Archive: Coal


Woods and power company CEOs agree: “The state of the industry is cautious”

It is rare indeed to witness, at an otherwise staid industry forum, the public rebuke of the country’s most prominent supplier to the electric power industry. But at the Keynote session and Power Industry CEO Roundtable of the 2008 ELECTRIC POWER Conference & Exhibition in Baltimore this May, Milton Lee, general manager and CEO of […]


Options for reducing a coal-fired plant’s carbon footprint, Part II

A conventional coal plant’s CO2 emissions can be reduced either after combustion (see Part I of this article in POWER, June 2008) or before. In the latter case, typified by integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plants, the fuel used is synthesis gas (syngas), which contains mostly hydrogen (H2) and CO. A water-shift reactor converts the CO […]

Big Brown was the first large-scale, lignite-fueled power plant for Luminant and the state of Texas. It has two supercritical units with a total capacity of 1,190 MW (net). Units 1 and 2 are identically rated at 595 MW, powered by a Combustion Engineering (now Alstom Power) boiler and a Westinghouse turbine-generator. Unit 1 began commercial service in 1971; Unit 2 followed a year later. Big Brown was the PRB Coal Users’ Group (PRBCUG) 2008 Plant of the Year.

Luminant’s Big Brown Plant wins for continuous improvement and safety programs

Staff from Luminant’s Big Brown Plant accepted the PRB Coal Users’ Group’s top honor for innovative improvements to coal-handling systems and a sterling safety record. The numbers reveal their accomplishments: an average EFOR less than 4%, an availability factor averaging 90% for a plant that burns a lignite/PRB mix, and staff who worked more than 2.6 million man-hours since March 2000 without a lost-time injury.


Global Monitor (July 2008)

Yucca Mountain plan sent to NRC/ CPV cells get cooling chips from IBM/ StatoilHydro to pilot test first offshore floating wind turbine/ U.S. rivers next massive power source?/ Siemens delivers 500-MW gasifiers/ Algae: A green solution/ POWER digest


Debate on the Cost of Carbon Control Begins

Senate legislation to cap U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beginning in 2012 would have generally modest cost impacts on the national economy, leading to reductions in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 that range from 0.2%, or $444 billion, to 0.6%, or $1.3 trillion, according to an Energy Information Administration analysis.

But the analysis, which concluded that the costs of the legislation would depend largely on the availability of advanced nuclear and coal-fired generation technologies, drew criticism from Republicans for its projection of a massive buildup of nuclear generation.


A Fieldbus Primer

Many automation engineers are coming face to face with real fieldbus applications for the first time. Fieldbus (the use of digital communications networks for distributed instrumentation and control) is a wonderful technology with many benefits, but fieldbus installation requires some additional considerations over and above normal 4-20 mA projects. In this article, I present some of those issues and show you how to deal with them.


New Source Review Update

The mere mention of the words "New Source Review" (NSR) will immediately capture the full attention of any utility executive and might cause the cancellation of even the best power plant "upgrade" project. The effects of those three words have nothing to do with project economics or whether a project increases or decreases emissions. It’s all about the lawsuits.

From Plan to Plant: The Struggle to Make “Clean Coal” a Reality

In early June, New York Gov. David Paterson proclaimed that his state would commit $6 million to buttress a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) viability study for the development of a new 50-MW clean coal plant in Jamestown, in western New York. The circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) project, which would use pure oxygen to combust coal and subsequently capture and sequester 90% of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2), would be “the first of its kind in the world” and could potentially enable New York firms to launch exports of the technology worldwide, Paterson promised.

Designing Material-Handling Systems for FGD Projects

Reducing NOx, SO2, and other air pollutants continues to be a challenge for the power generation industry. The technologies are well-understood, but the devil is always in the details, especially when a complex treatment system is retrofitted to an existing plant.

The most common method for reducing SO2 from plant emissions is the conventional lime- and limestone-based flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system. Material-handling systems for limestone and gypsum present specific challenges and opportunities that differ from those of coal-handling systems. This article looks at factors to consider  before and during the design of a new material-handling system. The choices you make about these many variables will determine the cost and longevity of your system.


Options for reducing a coal-fired plant’s carbon footprint: Part I

Caps on greenhouse gas emissions are imminent in the U.S., and they will change how we design tomorrow’s coal-fired power plants. Efforts are already under way to develop alternative capture and sequestration technologies, mainly for CO2. Unfortunately, the proposed processes all consume lots of energy, reducing plants’ net output and efficiency. In Part I of our look at these technologies, we list and quantify the negative impacts of postcombustion removal of CO2 from a coal plant’s flue gas. Next month, in Part II, we’ll do the same for four other CO2 reduction techniques: oxyfuel combustion, using higher-temperature and higher-pressure boilers, cofiring biomass, and replacing some coal-fired capacity with renewable capacity.