Archive: Coal

Navigating a carbon-constrained world

Scientific debate on the validity of global warming science continues, but the issue has yet had little impact on individuals. That impact is being negotiated in Washington, where a regulatory framework that would mandate reductions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is taking shape. Legislative options under consideration would redefine what power plants must do-and not do-to […]

Westar’s Lawrence Energy Center wins for not blinking on safety

It took Westar Energy eight years to upgrade the Lawrence Energy Center to burn Powder River Basin coal. Its zero lost-time accident record during the million-man-hour project is a testament to Westar’s commitment to workplace safety. Here’s your backstage pass to meet the PRB Coal Users’ Group 2006 Plant of the Year.

PRB Tech Notes: Lawrence Energy Center Showcases Winning Plant

Lawrence Energy Center (LEC) proudly hosted about 60 representatives of the Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group (PRBCUG) at its July 24th open house, luncheon, and plant tour. LEC was named the PRBCUG’s 2007 Plant of the Year at this year’s ELECTRIC POWER Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, May 1 – 3. Traditionally, the winning […]

Speaking of Coal Power: IGCC Sticker Shock

Former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen once observed, "A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money." The same can be said about skyrocketing estimated costs of integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plants as their designs are fleshed out. The higher price tags shouldn’t be a surprise — the more you learn […]

Mercury Control: Capturing Mercury in Wet Scrubbers: Part I

Are you using your flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system to its highest potential? You might not be if you’re not making it do double duty. It seems that million-dollar wet scrubber you installed to rid your flue gases of sulfur dioxide also can do a decent job of capturing mercury — under the right conditions. […]

Lignite Drying: New Coal-Drying Technology Promises Higher Efficiency Plus Lower Costs and Emissions

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Great River Energy are testing a new coal-drying technology that could dramatically reduce the emissions of lignite-burning power plants. The project was selected for funding during Round I of the DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI), a series of competitions to demonstrate a range of promising clean-coal technologies. […]

The Coal Patrol: Coal to Synfuels: Deal or No Deal?

Synfuels’ political bubble has burst in Washington, but the market may step in where Congress fears to tread. When coal industry interests, in the form of the CTL Coalition, got a bill with strong federal support for coal-to-liquids technology before the Senate this spring, it appeared that the political skids were greased for some kind […]

Coal Plant O&M: Smart Sootblower Tailors Cleaning to Need for It / Blending’s Impact on Coal Quality

The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act require coal-fired power plants to reduce their emissions of the pollutant SO2. To do so, many have switched to, or are considering switching to, Powder River Basin (PRB) coal. Unfortunately, PRB coal has a tendency to leave excessive and tenacious deposits on boiler heat-exchange surfaces. Complicating the problem, the distribution of the deposits is far from uniform.

PRB Coal Users’ Group grapples with supply chain challenges

Consumption of Powder River Basin coal continues to grow, from 28 million tons annually in the mid-1970s to what is now 400 million tons per year. Existing plants as far east as Nova Scotia burn the low-sulfur coal to comply with increasingly stringent limits on SO2 emissions, and PRB coal has become the fuel of […]

Global warming, rising costs complicate capacity additions

If little else is clear about the future of the U.S. power industry, this much is: Electricity rates are going up across the country, and will continue to. None of the esteemed panelists at the CEO session of the ELECTRIC POWER 2007 Conference & Exhibition in Chicago last month actually said those words. But much […]