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News Release

Release Date: November 5, 2004

DOE Announces Further Field Testing of Advanced Mercury Control Technologies
Six Projects Selected in Round 2 to Address Future Power Plant Mercury Reduction Initiatives

PITTSBURGH, PA - With an eye on future federal regulations aimed at reducing mercury emissions, the U.S. Department of Energy has selected six additional projects as part of a DOE research program to advance the technical readiness of mercury control options for the Nation’s fleet of coal-fired power plants.

The six projects in this second round of awards build on last year’s selection of eight projects, and will verify technology performance, evaluate costs, and assess balance-of-plant impacts. The projects will field test advanced, post-combustion technologies involving all coal types at utilities using pulverized coal or cyclone-boiler configurations, and focus on technologies capable of removing mercury from flue gas containing higher concentrations of elemental mercury. The technologies include sorbent injection, wet flue gas desulfurization systems enhancement, and combustion optimization.

Both rounds of selections are aimed at meeting the Energy Department’s near-term goal of having technologies that can capture 50 to 70percent of mercury emissions ready for commercial demonstration by 2005 for power plants burning bituminous coal, and by 2007 for those that burn low-rank coals and blends. The Energy Department has set a longer term goal of having technologies that can achieve 90percent mercury reduction for all fuel types ready for commercial demonstration by 2010, and is also looking to reduce the cost of mercury control by 25 to 50percent over baseline, activated-carbon costs, which range from $50,000 to $70,000 per pound of mercury removed.

The selected projects in Round 2 and their descriptions follow:

  • ADA-Environmental Solutions, Inc. (Littleton, Colo.) will test two new mercury control technologies: TOXECON II™, and unique sorbents for injection into hot-side electrostatic precipitators. The TOXECON II technology injects activated carbon directly into the downstream collecting fields of an electrostatic precipitator. The majority of the fly ash is collected in the upstream collecting fields, resulting in only a small portion of carbon-contaminated ash. The TOXECON II technology requires minimal capital investment because of minor retrofits. The second technology is injection of novel sorbents for mercury removal on units with hot-side electrostatic precipitators. Mercury removal from these systems is difficult because their high operating temperatures keep the mercury in the vapor phase and prevent it from adsorbing onto sorbents. Additional project partners include EPRI, Dynegy, and Olgethorpe Power. The Energy Department and ADA-ES are still in discussion regarding the host utilities for this work. (Project duration: TBD; Total award value: TBD)
  • ALSTOM Power, Inc. (Windsor, Conn.) will test its proprietary activated-carbon-based sorbent, which promotes oxidation and capture of mercury via preparation with chemical additives. ALSTOM proposes to test the sorbents at three utilities burning different coals: PacificCorp’s Dave Johnston (Glenrock, Wyo.), which burns PRB coal; Basin Electric’s Leland Olds (Stanton, N.D.), which burns North Dakota lignite; and Reliant Energy’s Portland Unit (Portland, Pa.) which burns bituminous coal. Other project partners include the Energy and Environmental Research Center, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, and Minnkota Power. When this two-year project has been completed, ALSTOM will demonstrate the capability of controlling mercury emissions from units equipped with electrostatic precipitators, a configuration representing approximately 75percent of the existing units. (Project duration: 30months; Total award value: $5,039,460)
  • GE Energy (Irvine, Calif.) has developed a new, cost-effective technology that combines mercury removal with nitrogen oxide emission control. GE Energy will conduct a field demonstration of its technology at the John Sevier Station in Rogersville, Tenn., which burns a bituminous coal. The objective is to demonstrate at least 90percent mercury removal. Teaming with GE Energy will be the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Project duration: 18months; Total award value: $1,990,509)
  • Sorbent Technologies Corporation (Twinsburg, Ohio) will lead an extensive team to demonstrate how the injection of a specific kind of carbon—brominated powdered activated carbon (B-PAC™)—can cost-effectively reduce mercury emissions from power plants. Tests will be conducted on both cold-side and hot-side electrostatic precipitators using the brominated carbon, as well as Sorbent Technologies’ own concrete-safe version of the brominated carbon. Teaming with Sorbent Technologies will be Midwest Generation, Progress Energy, Headwaters/lSG Resources, Fuel Tech, Inc., Western Kentucky University, and Acticarb Tailored Products LLC. (Project duration: 24months; Total award value: $4,006,183)
  • University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) (Grand Forks, N.D.) will evaluate the long-term feasibility of using activated carbon injection to reduce mercury emissions from a Texas electric generating plant that burns either Texas lignite or a lignite-subbituminous coal blend. EERC will conduct the field test at TXU Energy’s Big Brown Steam Electric Station, which has two 600-megawatt units, near Fairfield, Texas. The project will test several activated-carbon injection options to cost-effectively remove mercury from lignite combustion gases. While EERC’s project will specifically address utilities burning Texas Basin lignite, this technology will be applicable to all utilities burning lignite throughout the United States and Canada. The research team also includes the Electric Power Research Institute, ADA-ES, Inc., and Babcock & Wilcox, along with several Texas state agencies and a consortium of Texas and North Dakota utilities. (Project duration: 24months; Total award value: $2,288,570)
  • URS Group, Inc. (Austin, Texas) will demonstrate the use of an additive in wet lime or limestone flue gas desulfurization systems. The additive is designed to prevent oxidized mercury from being reduced and subsequently re-emitted into power plant flue gas streams as elemental mercury. The additive also assists in the removal of mercury from by-products and its separate disposal. This project represents the first known demonstration in the United States of the additive to prevent mercury re-emissions from wet flue gas desulfurization systems in coal-fired power plants. Field testing is planned at TXU Energy’s Monticello Station (Mt. Pleasant, Texas), Georgia Power’s Plant Yates (Newnan, Ga), and American Electric Power’s Conesville Station (Conesville, Ohio). The URS project will be cofunded by the Electric Power Research Institute, TXU Energy, American Electric Power, the Southern Company, and Degussa Corporation. (Project duration: 12months; Total award value: $612,003)

Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646