Archive: Coal


SO3 Control: AEP Pioneers and Refines Trona Injection Process for SO3 Mitigation

Using a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from a coal-fired power plant is rapidly becoming the norm, rather than the exception. But for many plants, adding an SCR system has unintended consequences: greater oxidation of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to sulfur trioxide (SO3), and a rise in stack […]


Coal Plant O&M: Continuous On-line Monitoring Cuts Downtime, Costs

As gencos seek to improve plant reliability and availability, many are turning to on-line condition monitoring for help. Huge advances in the capabilities of on-line diagnostics have occurred over the past five years. By using this technology, plant personnel can spot early warning signs of impending equipment failure and take action to correct the underlying […]


PRB Tech Notes: New Plant/Old Plant: Are We Applying What We’ve Learned?

In the last issue of COAL POWER, I urged readers to give coal handling the priority it deserves. The coal yard warrants as much attention as boilers and combustion systems, turbine-generators and auxiliaries, and postcombustion emissions control — the other three "zones" within the plant perimeter — because it is an equally valuable business unit. […]


NOx, SO3 in the spotlight at NETL’s 2006 Environmental Controls Conference

As emissions caps drop, technological solutions must become increasingly effective and efficient. Researchers, equipment vendors, and plant operators are exploring alternatives to SCR and SNCR, with a view to reducing the overall costs of NOx reduction. They’ve also achieved 95% to 99% removal of SO3, with no visible plume opacity.


Sealing abandoned mines with treated flyash kills two birds with one stone

Environmentally benign disposal of coal combustion products/by-products (CCPs) such as flyash and bottom ash has been a problem since the first coal-fired power plant went on-line. In recent years, ways have been developed to recycle CCPs into useful commercial products like bricks and roadbase. This article describes an innovative State of Maryland program that is putting CCPs to yet another use: stabilizing abandoned mines to permanently sequester acids and harmful metals.


SO3’s impacts on plant O&M: Part II

Part I of this three-part series (POWER, October 2006) explored the negative impacts of sulfur trioxide (SO3) on the operation and maintenance of back-end plant equipment. In this issue, we list and quantify the likely and potential benefits of limiting the concentration of SO3 in flue gas to 3 ppm at the entrance to the air heater. Part III—to appear in the April 2007 issue—will describe the characteristics of an optimal SO3 removal technology and present the technical details and operating experience of one patented process that has worked successfully at a half-dozen plants for up to three years.


Finding and fixing cracks in high-temperature headers

The welds on superheater and reheater headers are arguably the most stressed parts of a modern steam plant. For that reason, it’s surprising that they also may be the most under-inspected. Cracks are rare, but they can be repaired if found early. One plant avoided a long forced outage to replace a reheater outlet header by using the correct condition assessments and welding techniques.


To optimize performance, begin at the pulverizers

A systematic, performance-driven maintenance program for optimizing combustion can achieve great results. The challenge for an O&M staff is deciding which proven strategy and tactics for reducing NOx and improving plant reliability to adapt and implement. The structured approach presented here has proven its worth at several plants that have wrestled with problems similar to yours.


Investment in generation is heavy, but important needs remain

Forecasting the direction of the U.S. electric power industry for 2007, much less the distant future, is like defining a velocity vector; doing so requires a direction and speed to delineate progress. In this special report, POWER’s first stab at prognostication, the editors look at current industry indicators and draw conclusions based on their more than 100 years of experience. To borrow verbatim the title of basketball legend Charles Barkley’s book: I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It.