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News Release

Release Date: November 17, 2005

Novel Pollution Control Technology Recognized
NETL-funded Technology Honored for Chemical Engineering Achievement

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 plants.


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 aviation fuels.

Without Added Oxygen

With Added Oxygen

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.


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