Archive: Coal


Low-NOx Retrofit for Firing Coal/Petroleum Coke Blends

Replacing existing, older-generation controlled-flow split-flame burners on Unit 1 at the Seminole Generating Station with Foster Wheeler’s new low-NOx burners and overfire air additions reduced NOx emissions. This case study provides all the details and post-installation test results.


Innovative Control Strategies Improve Boiler Dynamic Response

The more capable a power-generating unit is of reacting quickly to changes in load demand, the more profitably the unit can be operated. An improvement in load dynamics means that additional control response and capacity can be made available to the power grid. These characteristics are especially in demand in regions where a fast-responding unit can supply energy as ancillary services at a premium price.

Press Pictures: Copyright

Debunking the Chinese coal monster myth

A detailed analysis of power plants in China by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) debunks the widespread notion that outmoded energy technology or the utter absence of government regulation is to blame for that country’s notorious air-pollution problems. The real issue, the study found, involves complicated interactions among new market forces, new […]


Under construction in South Africa

This summary of power generation projects is a web-only supplement to the November 2008 special report titled “Whistling in the dark: Inside South Africa’s power crisis.”


Vattenfall inaugurates first CCS pilot plant

On Sept. 9, Sweden’s Vattenfall inaugurated the world’s first demonstration plant that connects carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in a full-chain working system. The inauguration of the pilot plant at Schwarze Pumpe in Germany, which underwent 10 years of testing, was a milestone that marked its move from the laboratory to reality, Vattenfall said. […]


TS Power Plant, Eureka County, Nevada

Top Plant: Not all coal-fired power plants are constructed by investor-owned utilities or independent power producers selling to wholesale markets. When Newmont Mining Corp. recognized that local power supplies were inadequate and too expensive to meet long-term electricity needs for its major gold- and copper-mining operations in northern Nevada, it built its own generation. What’s more, Newmont’s privately owned 200-MW net coal-fired plant features power plant technologies that will surely become industry standards. Newmont’s investment in power and technology is also golden: The capital cost will be paid back in about eight years.


Finessing fuel fineness

Most of today’s operating coal plants began service at least a generation ago and were designed to burn eastern bituminous coal. A switch to Powder River Basin coal can stress those plants’ boiler systems, especially the pulverizers, beyond their design limits and cause no end of operational and maintenance problems. Many of those problems are caused by failing to maintain good fuel fineness when increasing fuel throughput.


Bringing down the cost of SO2 and NOx removal

A twist on an old technique, flue gas recirculation, helps prevent slagging in the upper furnace and convective pass, according to pilot testing recently completed by APTECH CST and the Southern Research Institute. The technology—along with a companion technology for furnace sorbent and urea injection for SO2 and NOx control—could help owner/operators of smaller, older coal-fired plants meet emissions limits at a reasonable cost.


Computer simulation as a NOx reduction design tool

A utility evaluated various methods of obtaining a NOx reduction of at least 30%, as required by upcoming regulations for its boiler, which originally produced 0.54 lb of NOx/million Btu at 410 MW full load. Nalco Mobotec engineers performed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of the boiler to first understand the boiler’s combustion process and then determine the most economical method to achieve the required NOx reduction.


J.K. Spruce Power Plant, Unit 1, San Antonio, Texas

Top Plant: CPS Energy’s J.K. Spruce Power Plant, Unit 1 was recently recognized by the EUCG Fossil Productivity Committee as the best performer in the large coal plant category over the 2002-2006 evaluation period. The competition was tough, with more than 80 plants in the running, but Unit 1 emerged as the clear winner by earning top points for high plant reliability and very low nonfuel O&M costs.