ARTICLE IN PRESS

Flue gas conditioning for reducing suspended particulate matter from thermal power stations
S. Shanthakumar a, D.N. Singh a,Ã, R.C. Phadke b
a b

Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, India CHEMITHON Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai 400 104, India

abstract
Increased population and industrial development demands sustainable electricity, the majority of which is produced by thermal power stations, which utilize coal as a fuel all over the world. Coal burning results in generation of large quantities of coal residues, which contains very fine particles that tend to become air-borne and which contribute to the formation of suspended particulate matter (SPM). Hence, in order to safeguard the environment against the emission of SPM, pollution control devices, such as cyclone separators, bag filters and electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) have been employed. In addition, flue gas conditioning (FGC) is practiced to increase the efficiency of ESPs, with the addition of chemical additives, or sprinkling water to the flue gas. This process increases the collection efficiency of the electrostatic precipitators, and thereby results in reduction of the SPM level. However, the effects of the process, which play an important role in efficient FGC, need to be investigated thoroughly before utilizing this method. With this in view, a critical review of various flue gas conditioning techniques employed for controlling the SPM level in thermal power stations is presented in this paper. The present study also reports analyses of data obtained from different thermal power stations in India as well as the rest of the world.

Keywords: Suspended particulate matter (SPM) Fly ash Pollution control devices Electrostatic precipitator (ESP) Flue gas conditioning (FGC)

Contents 1. 2. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 686 Pollution control devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 686 2.1. Cyclone separator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 686 2.2. Bag filter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 686 2.3. Electrostatic precipitator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 687 Flue gas conditioning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 688 3.1. Water/steam conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 688 3.2. Sodium conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 688 3.3. Sulphur trioxide conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 688 3.4. Ammonia conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 689 3.5. Dual flue gas conditioning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 689 3.6. Injection rate of FGC agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 690 A critical analysis of FGC systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 691 Case studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 691 Concluding remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 691 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 694

3.

4. 5. 6.

Abbreviations: AC, ash content present in coal; ACRL, Australian Coal Research Limited; CE, collection efficiency of ESP; DA, dosing amount in FGC systems; DOE, Department of Energy; EPA, Environmental Protection Agency; ESP, electrostatic precipitator; FGC, flue gas conditioning; IR, rate of injection of FGC agents; NTPC, National Thermal Power Corporation; R, electrical resistivity of ash; SC, sulphur content present in coal; SPM, suspended particulate matter; T, outlet temperature of ESP.

[51. cone length and diameter of the cyclone separator. flue gas inlet velocity and its viscosity. a critical review of the various FGC techniques and methodologies adopted for controlling the SPM level at thermal power stations is presented in this paper.21]. it has been noted that the electrical resistivity of the fly ash generally increases as the ratio of sulphur-to-ash content in the coal decreases. which results in a very low collection efficiency of ESP [19.22.52]. In order to achieve this. whereas ammonia conditioning improves the surface charge density and cohesive properties of the particles [21. Details of a cyclone separator. are employed for removing fine particles from the flue gas [7. a empirical constant X1 independent variable Om ohm meter mm micrometer 1. cyclone separators are most often chosen for the first stage of industrial dust collection systems [51. which may result in abrasion of the cyclone parts. Introduction Modern society primarily depends on coal fired thermal power stations for the generation of sustainable electricity. separator. Hence.1.34–42]. Details of these devices and their working methodologies are presented in the following. Pollution control devices Devices that are employed to control the emission of SPM in air are. bag filters and ESPs. such as cyclone separators [1–6]. various devices. and flue gas inlet and outlet diameters [54]. The coarser particles are moved towards the cyclone separator wall due to the applied centrifugal force.8. cyclone separators. Efforts have also been made to highlight the influence of different FGC systems on reduction of the SPM level. contribute to an increased suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the surrounding environment. 2. Bag filter Bag filters. However. reduction in emission levels of SPM becomes essential.23]. as depicted in Fig. This force is locally opposed by aerodynamic drag in the radial direction. 1.. 1. which is not desirable for industrial application [59]. hence. from combustion units. Therefore. cyclone separators are normally used for removal of coarse particles [18.60].6]. Electrostatic precipitation is a technique that employs the application of an electric field to separate out the suspended particles from the flue gas [12]. bag filters [7–11] and/or electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) [12–19] are employed.56]. low cost. However. There are several limitations associated with cyclone separators. The efficiency of the cyclone separator depends on the size and density of the particle. The researchers have also demonstrated that sulphur trioxide conditioning reduces the electrical resistivity of fly ash particles [25. Previous studies reveal that the ash collection efficiency of ESP can be enhanced by utilizing flue gas conditioning (FGC) techniques. the combustion of coal results in production of a large quantity of the ash. salts of sodium) and/or sprinkling of water to the flue gas. such as low collection efficiency for fine particles.58]. ammonia. Dust laden flue gas passes Clean gas Dust laden flue gas Outer vortex 2.51. low sulphur coal is currently used at power stations [20. altering the properties of the fly ash and resulting in increased collection efficiency [20. sulphur trioxide. As a result. 2. cyclone separators have no moving parts. Inner vortex 2.ARTICLE IN PRESS 686 Nomenclature 1C y degree celsius dependent variable K1. less space requirement and the capability to withstand high pressure and high temperature conditions [2–4. Cyclone separator A cyclone separator is a device that applies centrifugal force to separate suspended particles from the flue gas streams [1. Also. in order to safeguard the environment. Therefore. . However. which results in minimum maintenance and less energy consumption [55. Various industries use cyclone separators because of inherent advantages such as simple structures. In addition.24–33]. which essentially constitutes bottom and fly ash. a critical review of various techniques and methodologies employed for controlling the SPM in thermal power stations will be quite useful to the power plant authorities. which are in the form of suspension in the flue gas.10]. the finer particles exit at the top with the flue gas [8.43–50]. The fly ash particles.53].5]. to minimize the emission of sulphur dioxide from the chimneys of coal fired power plants.2.57. K2. With this in view. the particles get carried towards the bottom of the cyclone Dust Fig. Cyclone separators can be operated at higher inlet dust concentrations than fine particle control devices. which involves addition of different types of chemical additives (viz. as depicted in Fig.

the process of electrostatic precipitation involves (i) charging of particles flowing between electrodes. Details of a bag filter. which filters off the particles and allows the clean gas to pass through.61].ARTICLE IN PRESS 687 Clean flue gas Particulate laden flue gas Filter bag Dust particles Dust Fig. the system requires special refractory material. in order to maintain the filter operation without any problems. rather than exploding the layer from the collection surface. As such. as depicted in Fig. or because of simple re-entrainment due to the flue gas. Because of the high resistivity of the fly ash. such as (i) high maintenance costs. The filter cake must be removed when the pressure drop reaches maximum limit. which utilizes an electric field to separate the suspended particles from the dust laden flue gas [12. (ii) temperature limitations (it should not exceed 290 1C). they bled of their charge to the grounded collection plate rapidly and are prone to escape from the collection plate. which is maintained by a downstream fan. 3. In this process. (ii) migration and collection of the particles on oppositely charged plates. which can be expensive. This operation involves injecting highpressure back pulse air into the filter bags for a very short time [11]. . a layer of dust forms on the filter surface [61]. as well as low. The process units and the bag filters are normally operated at steady gas flow. However. and (iv) larger size and which makes it difficult to use when space is at a premium. which leads to reduction in ESP collecting efficiency [21]. The advantages of a bag filter system are (i) high collection efficiency. Electrical resistivity of the ash particles is one of the critical parameters which influence the fly ash collection in ESPs [20. large enough to fall through the gas flow into receiving hoppers.3. electrical resistivity (fly ash from low sulphur coals or fly ash containing high unburned carbon) [51]. Charged particles are then deflected across the field and collected on a grounded plate. for it is necessary to minimize rapping re-entrainment and maximize collection efficiency [8. Though there are certain disadvantages in this system.68].10].17. To ensure that the collection process in a dry precipitator is continuous.64. The rapping should facilitate dislodgement of the deposited particulate media from the collector surface in an agglomerated form. the collector electrodes are usually mechanically tapped after a period of time to remove the deposited material. Fly ashes with resistivity less than 104 O cm can be charged and collected very easily. (iii) during excess temperature. During this interaction.18]. Discharge electrode Collection plate Ionizing field or corona Particulate laden gas Clean gas 2. The frequency and intensity of the rapping is important. The filter cake is frequently removed by applying high-pressure reverse jet pulses [9. or at a pre-set filtration time. which may result in severe particle re-entrainment [64. and the furnace operating conditions [20. 3. either because of electrical repulsion back into the flue gas stream. causing sudden expansion of the filter medium and dislodgement of a particle cake from the filter surface [62].67]. the constituents of the flue gases and the temperature. the voltage drop can build up to such levels so as to cause the well-known back corona phenomenon. dew point and moisture of the flue gas. An ESP is an apparatus. chemical composition of dust and the operating pressure of the system [18]. Surface conductivity is dependent on interaction between the flue gas and the ash particles. fly ashes with resistivity over 1011 O cm exhibit opposite phenomena where the fly ash collected on the collecting plates will be tightly held in place by a corona current. (ii) no corrosion problems. operation of an ESP is that the flue gas is forced to pass through an electrical field wherein the suspended particles get electrically charged [61]. particle size distribution characteristics. electrical conduction on the surface of the ash particles is produced due to the movement of ions in the molecular coatings on the particles [61. The electrical resistivity of the fly ash depends on its chemical composition. through the porous filter media.65].63]. Fly ash composition is largely determined by the type and composition of the feed (coal). the former being prominent at low temperatures while the latter dominates at high temperatures.66]. and (iv) removal of the material from the hoppers [13–15.54. The fundamental principle of Fig.57. 2. or equipment. and (v) it requires special care for dimensional stability of filter openings that may lead to low ash collection efficiency due to the escape of particles [55]. The fly ash electrical resistivity is determined by two different conduction mechanisms: surface and volume conduction.19. (iii) dislodging the particles off the plates and into hoppers. Details of an electrostatic precipitator. to overcome the increased pressure drop across the filter. Electrostatic precipitator The application of ESPs for collecting fly ash generated due to coal combustion is a well-established technology by thermal power plants [16]. resulting in increased pressure drop across the filter. Because of their conductive nature. Parameters that affect the performance of bag filters are temperature. and (iii) ability to collect particles with high.

25. However. and a small fraction gets converted to gaseous SO3.55. 3. such that the collection efficiency of ESPs increases substantially [20.. While in an acid vaporization system. which may lead to acid dew point and cause corrosion problems. [81] have evaluated the effectiveness of sodium conditioning as a means of improving the efficiency of the ESPs. Thus. when the temperature of the flue gas drops below E315 1C. Also. other variables which have a significant influence on effective functioning of ESPs are flue gas velocity. sulphuric acid is heated above its boiling point.68.ARTICLE IN PRESS 688 In addition. the temperature at which precipitators normally operate. and design and operating parameters of the ESP. which is adsorbed on the surface of the particles when flue gas cools.68]. This process results in the formation of a thin conducting film on the surface of the ash particles [23. and (iii) increasing fly ash/dust cohesion to reduce losses during rapping [61. Air dilution maintains a constant controllable volume of gas flowing through the injection manifold. (ii) it should not harm the equipment. When coal with high sulphur content is combusted.54. catalytic conversion of SO3.77]. The FGC system requires no modifications to the ESP.22. Flue gas conditioning FGC involves injection of chemical additives (viz. SO3 begins to react with the water vapor to yield sulphuric acid vapor. it has been suggested that high calcium concentrations in coal require the addition of more sodium to achieve the same degree of resistivity reduction as required by the coal. (iii) low-pressure drop.61. this provides adequate dispersion in the flue gas. ammonium sulphate. to form a very thin conductive film. the SO2 vapor can then be mixed with enough air to produce a mixture containing approximately 8% of .3.. there is generally enough SO3 formed to bring the electrical resistivity of the fly ash into a range (104–1013 O cm) which results in good precipitator operation.20. or steam. and improve collecting efficiency even when dosed in reasonably small amounts. However.37].75].68]. the critical electrical field strength has to be overcome.61. vaporization of sulphuric acid and sulphur burning followed by the catalytic conversion of SO2 to SO3. Sodium carbonate and sodium sulphate are normally used for ash modification (i. and (v) its suitability for dealing with particles of different sizes and variable flue gas volumes [70. or dust. conditioning results from the sulphuric acid vapor.76]. The main advantages of the electrostatic precipitation method are (i) high collection efficiency (E99. ammonium bisulphate.1. This process increases the number of charge carrier sites on the fly ash particles. This results in an increased collection efficiency of the ESP [1. SO3 combines with the moisture vapor in the flue gas and forms sulphuric acid. (iv) relatively large gas flows. which can be easily handled. which results in increased collection efficiency [55]. sulphuric acid. 3. Water/steam conditioning The injection of water by employing an atomizer. Sodium has an influence on the morphological characteristics of the fly ash and lowers the ash fusion temperature during which the surface conduction is dominant [22. This reaction is completed when the temperature drops to about 150–175 1C.23. Sulphur trioxide conditioning The most commonly used conditioning agent to modify fly ashes of high resistivity is sulphur trioxide [61. The main objective is to condition the particles of fly ash/dust in the gas [40] to increase their size.79]. coal with low sulphur content deteriorates the ESP performance [21]. so.80] without any significant reduction in the volume or temperature of the incoming flue gases [61]. (iii) the extra costs involved in this conditioning treatment must be acceptably low. is adsorbed on the particles of the fly ash. Basic criteria for selection of a proper FGC agent are (i) the ability to effect the desired changes in the surface properties. Then it is injected into the flue gas. (ii) low-operating costs.2.61. Two major factors that control ash electrical resistivity are (i) sulphur content of the feed coal. FGC assumes a broader connotation as conditioning involves several processes other than resistivity modification. as weighed against the expected benefits of the treatment [77]. In catalytic conversion of SO2 to SO3. liquid SO3 is first metered into a vaporizer and then air-diluted. rapping frequency [16. it is cost effective and it requires less installation time [78]. for which.23. The mixture is conveyed in heated lines to the injection point to prevent formation of sulphuric acid due to the condensation and leads to corrosion. and (ii) formation of ash lumps in hoppers which makes the ash conveying system more difficult. It has been demonstrated that the atomizer type also plays an important role in this process of FGC [20. nor constitute a health hazard or despoil the environment after being released into the atmosphere.9%) on removal of submicron particulates. which contains moderate concentration of calcium. ahead of the ESP. (ii) increasing the inter-electrode space charge. FGC of fly ash basically aims at one or more of these effects: (i) modification of the surface electrical conductivity of the fly ash/ dust. Gooch et al. type of electrodes and the plate spacing. Water vapor is always present in the acid vaporization system. The demerits of this system are (i) reduction in temperature. to a flue gas stream not only reduces its temperature but also increases its relative humidity.80]. to decrease its resistivity) and can be directly added to the coal. particle concentration and particle size.72–74]. and (ii) overall elemental composition of the ash [61]. heating is necessary to keep gas temperature above the dew point.e. This causes reduction in their surface resistivity and hence in order to have more charge carriers.22. When coal is combusted. sulphur trioxide. It has been concluded that the conditioning depends on ash composition. while the aqueous spray yields a lower ($20–70%) adsorption probably due to its larger droplet size [25]. liquid SO2 is vaporized in a steam-heated vaporizer. Hence. It has been reported in the literature that gaseous injection of SO3 results in maximum adsorption of the additive by the ash.28. Water. applied. applied voltage and current.69]. high voltage has to be The modification of fly ash resistivity can also be carried out by adding the chemical compounds that alter the composition or properties of the coal [22. SO3 injection is necessary to modify the electrical resistivity to a level that produces optimum precipitator performance [48. Sodium conditioning 3. There are various types of sulphur trioxide gas conditioning systems such as direct injection. However. vaporized and diluted with air. more than 95% of the sulphur is converted to SO2.71]. sulphamic acid and ammonia for conditioning of flue gas) and/or water or steam into the flue gas to alter the physicoelectrical properties of the fly ash. 3. The manifold inside the flue gas is insulated to prevent corrosion and premature condensation [22. Details of these systems will be presented.79. rather than absorption of SO3 onto the surface of the fly ash particles [48. In direct injection. or steam.82].

As depicted in the figure. which acts as a catalyst. resulting in high collection efficiency due to the reduced rapping losses and re-entrainment.43. Opacity signal 14. Wagoner and Woracek [83] have investigated the FGC process with sulphur trioxide in a thermal power station. thermal power stations require installation of dual FGC. in the presence of excess ammonia. This effect is also referred to as agglomeration [22.Feed back to the control unit Fig. and a piping and nozzle arrangement for distribution into the path of the flue gas. the molten sulphur is pumped into the sulphur burner.48. which aids in the proper supply of acid to the flue gas. 4. SO2 cooler 8. and the blower delivers filtered air to the process. The molten sulphur piping is also heated with the steam and the temperature is maintained the same as that of the storage tank. The basic process deals with storage of the anhydrous ammonia in a tank. which are generated naturally from sulphur in the coal or due to the FGC with SO3. The coal with different sulphur content (2.5. the ammonia is pumped into the vaporizer. SO3 þ NH3 þ H2 O ¼ NH4 HSO4 : (1) However. Control valve Flue Gas It must be noted that these particles alter the electrical characteristics of the flue gas between the discharge and collecting electrodes. The temperature is maintained above the acid vapor dew point temperature all the way through the piping arrangement to the exit (i. From the tank.85]. and prevents the corrosion of the piping and injection nozzles. opacity signal and the ESP operational conditions. especially under agitation [78]. where it is oxidized to SO3 with the aid of Vanadium pentoxide. which helps to monitor boiler load. ammonium bisulfate melts and become a semiliquid. during which about 70–75% of SO2 is converted to SO3. The resulting mixture can be injected into the flue gas [22]. For such ashes. this FGC system consists of a sulphur storage facility. Details of SO3 flue gas conditioning system. NH4 HSO4 þ NH3 ¼ ðNH4 Þ2 SO4 : (2) 14 13 2 9 8 7 4 5 10 1 10 3 6 11 15 12 16 5 1. this system consists of an anhydrous ammonia storage facility. Each nozzle is fitted with a thermocouple to indicate the flue gas temperature. an ammonia vapor production unit. therefore it provides a fly ash that is receptive to the available SO3. alumina and iron in the fly ash. which produces a space charge enhancement of the electric field [23. This produces highly cohesive and relatively large particles. Fig. the gas is converted catalytically in a vanadium oxide bed to SO3. SO3 spray nozzles 13.Vent 9. or particle-to-collection plate interaction of the ESP greatly improves [78]. where it is atomized with the heated air.75%. . The entire system is equipped with control valves and a flow monitoring system connected to the control panel. The blower delivers filtered air to the process and the catalytic converter has two stages designed to improve SO2 to SO3 conversion efficiency. The electrical and intermolecular forces are generally active in very fine particles (o1 mm).61]. The conversion efficiency is about 72%. This mechanism assists in particle-toparticle interaction. Interstage cooling air 16. 4 illustrates the flow diagram employed by sulphur trioxide conditioning for a coal-based thermal power station. Flow monitoring unit 6. After cooling to 340 1C in an air cooler. From this tank.61]. the end product is ammonium sulfate. ammonia reacts with the natural sulphur trioxide. This is mainly due to the presence of silica. (1)) [22.. Sulphur burner 7. Two stage converter 12. The hot SO3 is mixed with the air and conveyed through insulated piping system to the nozzles located in the flue gas ducts. This simultaneous and --------.84]. which helps in its conversion to sulphur dioxide. SO2 is then passed through a catalytic converter. molten sulphur is pumped from a storage tank to the sulphur burner.Heater 10. the injection probes). maintained at E148 1C. and a piping and nozzle arrangement for distribution into the flue gas path. the addition of ammonia has been reported to be quite beneficial [48. making the surface of the ash glassy and less absorbent. is transported to the ESP distribution manifold for gas conditioning purposes [37]. and the agglomerates can form from these particles spontaneously.e. opacity signal which indicates the emission of SPM and the ESP operational conditions. The dilute SO3 gas. 3. Liquid sulphur is atomized with high velocity air and completely burned to SO2 in the combustion chamber at E870 1C. It has been concluded that the SO3 helps to restore the precipitator performance while burning the wide range of sulphur coal in the process. The basic process deals with storing molten sulphur in an insulated steam heated tank.4. This helps to achieve the ideal flow characteristics for sulphur. Sulphur flow control unit 5. Ammonia conditioning Some fly ashes do not readily absorb sulphuric acid vapor. using sulphur trioxide and ammonia. which helps to monitor the boiler load. Blower 11.26% and 0. 1. As depicted in the figure. and produces ammonium bi-sulfate (refer Eq. Each nozzle is fitted with a thermocouple to monitor the flue gas temperature. The entire system is equipped with control valves and a flow monitoring system. acting like a glue when mixed with the fly ash. This helps to avoid acid condensa- tion. Ammonia is used as a coagulating agent to create larger fly ash particles. This mixture is heated at E450 1C. where it is converted into vapor form. Dual flue gas conditioning Sometimes. 3. When the flue gas temperature is above 150 1C. Electrostatic precipitator 2. or moisture present in the fly ash. Boiler load 15. In a sulphur burning system. Fig. an SO3 production unit. Heated sulphur storage tank 4. at 600 1C. During ammonia conditioning.ARTICLE IN PRESS 689 SO2 by volume. connected to a control panel. Control unit 3. 5 illustrates a typical arrangement employed for ammonia conditioning for a coal fired thermal power station.49%) is used and the corresponding efficiency of the ESP and the SO3 feed rate are monitored. mixed with the air and conveyed through pipes to the nozzles located in the flue gas ducts.

61. Ammonia spray nozzles 17. It has been demonstrated that the maximum resistivity of fly ash occurs at E140 1C in the presence of sulphuric acid vapor.ARTICLE IN PRESS 690 9 2 3 7 9 5 6 1 4 8 5 7 8 12 11 10 7 18 17 2 9 15 6 1 3 7 4 1. and under varied temperatures [61]. K2 and a are empirical constants. This system of FGC is found to be more suitable when (i) percentage of Al2O3 and SiO2 is more than 90% [61. Boiler load --------. Control unit 3.Feed back to the control unit Fig. The factors responsible for determining the optimal rate of injection (IR) are coal and fly ash quality. 3. and secondary current and voltage of the ESPs. based on its chemical composition in particular SO3. independent injection of both ammonia and sulphur trioxide is referred as dual FGC [79. X1 is an independent variable. Control valves 10. and is depicted in Fig. Electrostatic precipitator 2. Flow monitoring unit 6. which helps in ESP performance. Injection rate of FGC agents Because the main objective of the FGC agents is to alter the properties of fly ash/dust particles. which represents overall coal characteristics such as sulphur content and ash content. However. whereas ammonia conditioning helps to improve the surface charge and cohesiveness minimizing the reentrainment of particles [20. Opacity signal 18. and K1. Details of dual flue gas conditioning system. based on the knowledge about the total system in a particular power station. Sulphur trioxide conditioning helps to reduce the resistivity of the fly ash. Sulphur burner 14. Anhydrous ammonia storage tank 4. 6.85]. It is very important to identify the most appropriate FGC agent(s) and their injection rate(s) in order to establish the efficient performance of the ESP. Blower 11. which helps to estimate the relationship between SO3 and the flue gas temperature. Vent 9. (3) where y corresponds to the amount of injected SO3 and natural SO3 from the coal sulphur. Two stage converter 15. Control valve 7. Details of ammonia flue gas conditioning system. (ii) the meters on the precipitator power supply controls should be in good operating condition and should run under automatic control. However. SO2 cooler 13. Control unit 3. (iii) opacity monitors which . Some approaches that are employed to optimize the FGC system [61] are (i) a theoretical approach. Electrostatic precipitator 2. 19 13 14 16 Flue Gas Flue Gas 1.87].76. Heated sulphur storage tank 5. which is naturally generated from the coal sulphur. (ii) a procedural approach. Vaporizer 5. 5. configuration and operational data such as primary current and voltage. Flow monitoring unit 8. Sulphur flow control unit 6. Boiler load 19. the issues to be considered for optimizing the FGC system are (i) an individual should be identified for executing the process so that it will be easy to adjust the dosing level in the FGC system to control the emission of SPM. Sometimes in situ resistivity measurements during burning of the coal in the combustion process become necessary [61]. Bickelhaupt [88] proposed an interesting methodology that can be used to predict resistivity of the fly ash.6. (3)) to study various possible factors that influence the rate of injection of the FGC agents and factors influencing coal characteristics: y ¼ K 1 þ K 2 ðX 1 Þa . which consider more than one independent variable for designing an experiment. based on the computer models. the coal ash content and the composition of the ash particles affects the amount of conditioning agent to be injected [89]. Vaporizer 7. Anhydrous ammonia storage tank 4.Feed back to the control unit Fig. 6. SO3 spray nozzles 16. Heater 12. can be estimated by using these correlations [88]. it becomes necessary to determine the rate at which they should be injected in the system. and (iii) a statistical methods. Coe and Krigmont [90] have employed regression analysis (Eq. Blower 8. which helps in the adjustment of one variable at a time. Author has opined that the amount of SO3. the injection rate of the FGC agent predicted by controlled bench scale experiments (which maintain a constant volume of acid vapor concentration in the flue gas over a relatively long period of time at a constant temperature) differs from realistic conditions in which the fly ash is exposed to these agents for a very short duration. or (ii) fly ashes exhibit high resistivity.86]. Interstage cooling air --------. Ammonia spray nozzles 9. Since the acid vapor film formation on the surface of the fly ash particle is related to the conditioning process.

7 N/A 40 40 29. rapping cycle schedule and number of supplies in/or out of service). This indicates an overall enhancement in the collection efficiency of ESP. and by the addition of chemicals to modify the fly ash or the electrical conditions in the ESP. washing of the coal and environmental issues associated with it. The data that should be collected for FGC system optimization pertain to (i) the boiler unit (viz.55. Based on the critical review of the literature. (iii) the SO3 FGC system unit (viz. (ii) shorter execution time. coal flow..60] and bag filters [7–11. A critical analysis of FGC systems It can be noted from the review of the existing literature that among pollution control devices. It can further be observed from Fig.8 51.e. the sulphur and ash content present in coal (denoted as SC and AC. R remains practically same.. cyclone separators [1–6.51. employing wet ESP to minimize re-entrainment.61.e.93]. (ii) the ESP unit (viz.5 0. SO3). (5) R ¼ 15 Â exp À 3:3 It should also be noted that dosing amount in FGC. and (iv) the NH3 FGC system unit (viz. 8 indicates that R decreases with the amount of the FGC agent (i. 9 that SPM levels reduce drastically due to the application of the FGC agents (i. For the sake of completeness. injection rate. Results presented in these tables were plotted as depicted in Figs. 7 that as expected R decreases quite rapidly for SCp1.63–66..61. their effectiveness in a wide range of operating temperatures.6 350 247 800 410 400 358 310 231 187 620 629 629 629 After 80 120 110 140 74 65 61 120 124 92 128 268 186 147 4.12–20. ESP voltage and current change).1 44 3 3 500 50 600 4000 1000 40 800 5000 100 N/A 148 150 145 142 150 137 160 133 140 131 172 145 22 15 30 30 28 5 14 24 24 15 15 35 45 50 SO3 – – – – – 14 18 – – – – – – – SPM (mg/N m3) Before 120. R. boiler load signal. The rate of . DAE10–15 ppm results in a sufficient drop in the value of R. Some results from power stations in other parts of the world are also included. installation and operating costs for employing wet ESPs. and temperature at the outlet of ESP. (4) R ¼ 5198 Â exp À 0:3 Fig. However. boiler load. CE. However. Case studies Tables 1 and 2 present details of the FGC agents used at various power stations in India and other parts of the world. steam flow and stack opacity).4 53 42 42.5 0. SPM levels can be controlled/maintained easily by simply adjusting the amount of FGC agents. coal proximate analysis. respectively).38 0. ESPs are popularly employed by thermal power stations to reduce SPM [8. the other SPM emission control methods are less effective. (iii) more flexibility and versatility even if variations in operating parameters occur (such as coal variation.1 37. (6) It can also be noted from the data presented in Table 2 that when NH3 is used as the FGC agent. in mathematical form this trend can be represented as CE ¼ 87 Â DA0:03 . boiler load signal. It has been observed that ESPs are widely employed for this purpose. as this is the device to be used for reference in making injection rate adjustments. 10. where it almost attains a constant value (of the order of 109 O m). T. which are too high apart from lump formation of the ash and its degradation as a construction material [92.57. air flow and sulphur flow). The amount of SPM present in the flue gas was determined before and after FGC by iso-kinetic sampling analysis [94]. and their suitability for corrosive environmental conditions. are also presented in the table. increasing the collection plate area to the existing ESP. N/A: not available.91] that the performance of ESP can be improved by changing the feed coal. investigations were conducted on various coal-based thermal power stations in India. However. FGC becomes the inevitable choice. FGC becomes the inevitable choice for improving the performance of the ESPs in which 5. the results are reported in the following section. addition of more collection plate area in ESP (which requires more space and is very expensive).5% and beyond.53–58.). injection of SO3 and NH3 is also presented in the table. ammonia tank pressure and air flow). as depicted in Fig.. precipitator outlet temperature. –: not applicable. due to the lack of data available. The overall trend can be expressed as   SC þ 149..e. converter inlet temperature. (iv) system data should be collected at regular intervals to assist the optimization efforts. These agents are quite useful in reducing resistivity. 6.61. mathematical trends could not be developed. injection rate. 7–10. primary power consumption. cost associated with import. and hence improving the surface conduction characteristics of the particles of fly ash/dust.51. Concluding remarks An effort has been made to review the existing literature on the devices which are employed by various thermal power stations for reducing SPM levels.4 N/A N/A 0. and ash content etc. these techniques also have limitations. It has been demonstrated in previous research [7. Under these circumstances.18. resistivity of ash. it has been observed that an FGC system has several advantages over other systems such as (i) lower cost input compared to the establishment of additional ESPs. Table 1 Details of the FGC system at various power stations in India Power station [85] SC (%) AC (%) R ( Â 107 O m) T (1C) IR (kg/h) NH3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 0. spark rate. both NH3 and SO3). most of these options are difficult to implement at a power station. air heater temperature. the overall trend can be presented in mathematical form as   DA þ 2:3. Though. It can be noted in Fig. 68–71]. boiler load. increasing or lowering the gas temperature. converter outlet temperature.68.. air heater control setpoint.62] have also been employed to remove particulate matter.7 N/A 0.4 0.ARTICLE IN PRESS 691 indicates the emission of SPM should be in calibration and operating correctly.18..01 mm in size). mainly due to the constraints associated with feed coal (i.63 0.5 30 34 38. secondary power consumption. Beyond this DA. it results in a slight increase in pH of the ash. In order to demonstrate the influence of FGC agents and their effectiveness in reducing SPM levels. This is mainly due to their greater efficiency in removing particles (o0. economizer outlet temperature.

4 N/A [80] 71 – – – – 86 – – – 97.25 0.5) 50 (4) N/A [44] N/A 21 20 22 20 19 23 N/A N/A 95.2 2.5) 300 (3) N/A References After N/A [95] NH3 After dosing N/A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 0.5 – 95 97.692 Table 2 Details of the FGC system at worldwide power stations except India Power station SC (%) T (1C) DA (ppm) SO3 Efficiency of ESP (%) Before dosing N/A R ( Â 109 O m) Before 60 300 2500 200 2000 200 2000 400 1000 (5.6 N/A 127 132 149 149 149 143 177 167 204 149 143 143 204 N/A N/A 15 ARTICLE IN PRESS N/A N/A 100 (7) 500 (6) 10 (4.3 0.5 0.47 0.5) 0.6 0.2 3.6 0.5 132 127 132 143 177 104 104 N/A 160 160 135 135 177 N/A 10 7 20 20 N/A 400 30 0.5 (3.25 0.5) 10 (4.8 0.25 0.5 0.5 96.4 60 N/A 400 40 0.97 99.1 0.6 0.20 98.5) 1000 (5) 0.61 N/A [36] 0.5 0.5 1.85 0.61 98.65 [68] .5 94.5 4 N/A 0.5 0.5 (3.8 3 N/A [45] 10 15 20 20 8 16 6 18 20 – 5 10 15 80 94.5 99 2000 2000 4000 4000 2000 12 – – – 200 20 60 20 40 – 6.68 – – – – – N/A 97.9 1.7 N/A 93 99 99.52 99.6 0.6 0.93 98.4 98.

375 – 9.1 N/A 36 0.5 N/A N/A N/A 37 0.5 15 25 75 94. S693 .32 0.4 0.3 8.35 0. –: not applicable.49 N/A N/A N/A 38 0.34 0.65 – 0.19 – 3 0.7 N/A 84 – – – – 57 – – – – – – 88 94 95 96 – 83 87 92 92 97 40 3 132 N/A N/A Values in parentheses indicate pH.6 – – 15 – – – – 38 – – – 20 – – – N/A – 0.6 N/A 1.5 N/A – 15 20 – 13 27 – 6 15 26 33 – 6 12 18 – 10 20 30 – 20 30 40 50 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 5 7.25 N/A N/A N/A ARTICLE IN PRESS 39 0.8 5.4 N/A N/A N/A 35 0.9 5.5 – – N/A – 99 99. N/A: not available.57 0.

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