Release Date: May 17, 2006
|We Energies Begins Operational Phase of Mercury Control Test in Michigan Coal-Fired Power Plant
TOXECON™ Process Could Achieve 90 Percent Mercury Removal
Washington, DC - The nation's first full-scale test of the patented
TOXECON™ pollution control process began operations at the We Energies
Presque Isle Power Plant located in Marquette, MI.
This test program is important because the Presque Isle Power Plant burns a western, sub-bituminous coal and uses a particulate collection device known as a hot-side electrostatic precipitator, or hot-side ESP.
Mercury presents special problems for sub-bituminous coals, which represent about half of all the fuel used to generate coal-produced power in the United States. Mercury in flue gas from sub-bituminous coal (such as that from the Powder River Basin) exists primarily in elemental form as a vapor that is insoluble in water. It will pass through virtually all types of air pollution control equipment.
The TOXECON™ process may prove to be the primary mercury control choice for western coals, especially for units employing a hot-side ESP. Thus, TOXECON™ has application at power plants burning any coals with hot-side ESPs (18 gigawatts in the United States), bituminous coals with cold-side ESPs (81 gigawatts), and plants burning western, sub-bitminous coals with cold-side ESPs (68 gigawatts). Using TOXECON™ to control sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) further enhances its attractiveness for improved environmental control.
For the state of Michigan, the demonstration is especially significant. Currently, all of Michigan's inland lakes are under a statewide advisory limiting the consumption of fish due to mercury contamination. In April 2006, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced a proposal to reduce mercury emissions from Michigan power plants in order to protect the environment. Under the new rule, Michigan power plants will have to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2015 based on a system-wide approach.
When completed in 2009, and if successful, the TOXECON™ project could reduce mercury emissions at the plant by 90 percent, capturing about 80 pounds per year of mercury. It also hoped that the plant will eliminate 1,145 tons per year of SO2 and 428 tons per year of NOx emissions - reductions of 30 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
Mercury levels before and after TOXECON™ treatment are being monitored by a continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) instrument developed at Thermo Electron Corporation (Waltham, MA) with support from DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory. Initial operation of a production model CEM instrument is stable and responsive to activated carbon injection, already recording significant mercury reductions.
We Energies is the trade name of Wisconsin Electric Power Co. and Wisconsin Gas Co., the principal utility subsidiaries of Wisconsin Energy Corporation. They provide service to more than one million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
We Energies is being assisted by team members ADA-ES, who are providing program management support and design, and specifications for mercury control and monitoring; Cummins & Barnard, who are providing architectural and engineering services and construction management; and EPRI, who are technical advisors to the project.
|Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646|