PITTSBURGH, PA -
Praxair Inc.’s Oxygen Enhanced Combustion (OEC) system for controlling
emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) was recently recognized as one of five
2005 finalists for Chemical Engineering magazine’s prestigious
Kirkpatrick Award for Chemical Engineering Achievement. The system was
developed under the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Innovations
for Existing Plants program, which advances technologies to improve the
environmental performance of America’s existing coal-fired power
Chemical Engineering magazine, published by Chemical Week Associates,
grants the Kirkpatrick Award biennially to honor the most outstanding
chemical engineering technology commercialized during the previous 2 years.
Nominations may be submitted by any person or company worldwide and are
evaluated based on the novelty of the technology and the difficulty of
the chemical engineering problems encountered and solved.
Praxair’s OEC technology injects oxygen into the critical area of
the flame in a coal combustor, replacing a small portion of burner combustion
air. The process can reduce the cost of reducing NOx by as much as 40
percent over current state-of-the-art NOx-control technology without substantial
boiler modifications. OEC promises to meet the needs of small, aging power
facilities that must adhere to increasingly aggressive clean air regulations.
Chemical Engineering has awarded its biennial prize since 1933.
Chemical advancements honored in previous years include thermoplastic
resin from corn, the streamlined production of the pain-reliever ibuprofen,
hollow-fiber membrane production for gas separation, and new-generation
A burner flame without added
oxygen (left) compared to a burner flame with added oxygen (right).
Small amounts of oxygen enhance the combustion process, leading
to lower NOx emissions.