Archive: Coal


R.E. Burger Plant, Shadyside, Ohio

FirstEnergy’s R.E. Burger Plant has hosted a number of R&D projects over the years, but none as large as the demonstration of Powerspan’s 50-MW Electro-Catalytic Oxidation (ECO) multipollutant removal process a few years ago. Credit Powerspan for scaling up the demo unit and for adding CO2 as a target of a new pilot process called ECO2. And don’t forget the behind-the-scenes support of Burger’s plant staff and their willingness to incubate R&D projects while producing power. That’s what makes R.E. Burger a Top Plant in our book.


Polk Power Station Unit 1, Mulberry, Florida

Ten years ago, POWER selected Tampa Electric’s 250-MW Polk Power Station and its revolutionary integrated gasification combined-cycle demonstration project as the magazine’s 1997 Plant of the Year. Although no new commercial IGCC projects have been built since then, interest in deploying the coal-gasification technology is getting traction in some parts of the U.S. In 2007, POWER recognizes Polk Unit 1 as a Top Plant for developing trailblazing O&M practices and technical improvements that enable it to operate today as reliably as a modern pulverized coal plant, with lower pollutant emissions.


Pleasant Prairie Power Plant Air Quality Control Upgrade Project, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

We Energies’ Pleasant Prairie Power Plant is a good example of how existing plants retrofitted with NOx and SO2 removal systems benefit from early planning and action. P4, as everyone calls it, recently completed a multiyear project to add a selective catalytic reduction system to one of its two units and a scrubber to both. The unique design and contracting aspects of the project make Pleasant Prairie one of POWER’s top coal-fired plants of 2007.


IGCC demonstration plant at Nakoso Power Station, Iwaki City, Japan

Integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plants are not yet standard designs. Although they use mature coal gasification processes and combustion turbines, disparate technologies and equipment still require custom, laborious interfacing at each site. Every major gas turbine vendor now can point to one or more power-producing IGCC projects based on its prime mover, but none yet offers a "reference" plant that has standardized the interfacing enough to justify confidence in two key metrics: $/kW and availability. With an air-blown demonstration plant based on one of its 130-MW turbines, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is looking to change the rules of this game.


Global Monitor (October 2007)

Siemens ships first blade from U.S. plant; GE’s frames hit 1,000; Battery problems hit hybrid EV programs; Solar thermal rebounds in California;Peabody’s Illinois coal plant gets green light;EPA could sink 278-MW CFB unit; Longest-serving NRC commissioner dies at 58; POWER digest; Readers talk back; corrections


Global Monitor (September 2007)

Constellation files partial COL / IAEA scrutinizes shaken Japanese nuke / Wave energy of the future? / New GE plant reigns in Spain / Solar house competition heats up / Oxygen-blown IGCC, at micro-scale / Turning corncobs into ethanol / Court blocks gas attack on coal project / New advanced energy initiatives / POWER digest


The Coal Pile: Steam Blast Rocks Big Apple

This July, an underground steam pipe near Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal ruptured and spewed a scalding brown geyser of steam and debris higher than the nearby 77-story Chrysler Building. The blast, which injured 30 people, created a 40-foot crater at street level that swallowed a tow truck. A similar explosion in 1989 killed three people. […]


Mercury Control: Capturing Mercury in Wet Scrubbers: Part II

In Part I of this two-part report ( COAL POWER, July/August 2007, p. 22), we introduced the integrated R&D effort by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) to improve understanding of the mechanisms of mercury (Hg) capture and retention in flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems and the fate of Hg in […]


Plant Economics: The Impact of Shortages on FGD Prices

Since ratification of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in 1970, U.S. utilities have made steady efforts to install pollution control equipment to curb power plant stack emissions. The CAA Amendments of 1990 raised concerns at the time about the industry’s ability to install a large number of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems, or scrubbers, in […]

The Coal Patrol: Mine Safety Deserves More Than Lip Service

Every step forward in underground U.S. mine safety in the 20th and 21st centuries has been on the backs of mangled and dead coal miners. That grisly observation is unassailable. Following the August tragedy at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah that killed six miners and three would-be rescuers, the federal Mine Safety and Health […]