Archive: Environmental

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Technology options for capturing CO2

Concerns about global climate change have prompted interest in reducing or eliminating the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of fossil fuel-fired power plants. Here’s a guide to the technology and economics of three CO2 capture methods: postcombustion separation of CO2 from flue gas (applicable to existing plants), and oxygen-fired combustion and precombustion capture (suitable for new coal-fired capacity, including IGCC plants).

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Utilities split on readiness of IGCC

For some gencos, the dearth of operating experience for integrated gasification combined-cycle plants adds too much uncertainty to the risk/reward equation for new-capacity technology options. For others, the possibility of being able to comply with air pollution limits as far out as 2018, as well as to meet all-but-certain CO2 caps, makes IGCC well worth investing in—now.

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Apply the fundamentals to improve emissions performance

The O&M staff of AES Westover Station wisely took a holistic approach to optimizing combustion within Unit 8’s boiler in order to reduce its NOx emissions while maintaining acceptable levels of carbon-in-ash content. The results of major modifications—centered on the addition of a fan-boosted overfire air system—were a 60% reduction in NOx levels, improved unit reliability, and a project payback period measured in months rather than years. As this project proved, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

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SO3’s impacts on plant O&M: Part I

The visible consequences of sulfuric acid aerosol emissions—opaque stack emissions called “blue plumes”—are merely the tip of an iceberg. In sufficient concentration, SO3 also can increase corrosion and fouling of equipment and components downstream of the furnace while decreasing their efficiency and penalizing overall plant heat rate.

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How accurate are your reported emissions measurements?

Complying with permitted emissions limits may be the most significant operations risk for a power plant. As limits are slowly ratcheted downward, understanding the accuracy and variation of measured pollutant levels becomes even more important. To avoid misunderstandings, regulators and plant owners should factor measurement uncertainty into air quality permit numbers both as the permit is formulated and preceding any subsequent modifications.

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Scrubbing: Optimizing Flue Gas Desulfurization Technologies Is Essential

New flue gas desulfurization (FGD) units are being installed at utilities in many parts of the U.S. and a large percentage of the new scrubbers are of the wet limestone type. Although wet limestone scrubbing is a well-developed technology, it may be unfamiliar to employees at plants that have previously not required scrubbers. This article […]

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Emissions: Clean Air Interstate and Clean Air Mercury Rules: An Overview

Utility customers depend on and expect reliable, affordable electricity for virtually every aspect of their lives. At the same time, electricity producers in the United States are faced with finding cost-effective methods to meet ever-increasing demand and more stringent environmental regulations. Though it’s not a new trend, the frequency with which new regulatory air quality […]

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Brooklyn Navy Yard Cogeneration Facility, Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Cogeneration facility supplies critical electricity and steam to New York City. Situated on an historic site, the plant has earned a series of awards and was the first cogeneration plant to be accepted into both the U.S. EPA National Environmental Performance Track and OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program in 2005. Through Delta Power’s unique asset management approach that brings added value to projects, BNYC has reinvented itself from a struggling, prematurely aging facility into one of the nation’s leading plants.

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Bethlehem Energy Center, Glenmont, New York

A great location, a fish-friendly cooling system, and the extent of environmental remediation needed to permit it distinguish this repowering project on the Hudson River just south of the New York State capital.