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International On-Line Coal Analyzer Technical Conference

St. Louis, Missouri, November 8-10, 2004





Compliance Blending of PRB Coal At B. L. England Station Using
Cross-Belt Analyzer

V.N. Bhamidipati
1
, C.D. Rose
2
, J.M. Russell
3


_________________________________________________________________________________



ABSTRACT: Compliance with a fuel sulfur regulatory limit was achieved at B. L. England Station through on-
site blending of Powder River Basin (PRB) and Eastern Bituminous coals. A PGNA elemental cross-belt on-line
analyzer was installed to control the blending of these two coals and to demonstrate the continuous compliance
with the regulatory limit on the fuel firing in B. L. England Station Unit 1.

This paper describes the testing, calibration and certification efforts required to optimize the cross-belt analyzer
performance and demonstrate compliance with day-to-day coal sulfur content limits. The approach used for
reporting the compliance to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is also discussed. The
paper includes a comparison of the on-line analyzer test data with coal sampling lab data for sulfur, ash, heat
content and moisture. Understanding each of these properties of the blended fuel is significant to the successful
operation of this cyclone-fired unit.


Background

B. L. England Station Unit 1 (BLE-1), located in Beesleys Point, New Jersey, is required by statue to
control the sulfur level in the coal-fired in this cyclone boiler. The specific compliance level is
established in the fuel permit issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
(NJDEP). During the most recent renewal of the BLE-1 fuel permit, it was agreed that the
compliance level would be 1.7% sulfur in fuel on an annual basis and 1.9% sulfur in fuel on a
monthly basis. To comply with this standard, Atlantic City Electric Company (a wholly owned
subsidiary of Conectiv) committed to firing a blend of Powder River Basin (PRB) and Eastern
Bituminous coals. The Eastern Bituminous coal used in the blend for BLE-1 is the same coal fired in
B. L. England Station Unit 2, which is equipped a wet flue gas desulphurization system to control
SO
2
emissions from the unit.

The characteristics of the Eastern Bituminous and on-site blended coals are summarized in Table 1.


1
VN Bhamidipati is a Sr. Engineer at Conectiv BL England Station, 900 North Shore Road, Beesleys Point, NJ 08223.
Tel: 609-390-5167. Email: venkata.bhamidipati@conectiv.com.
2
Charlie Rose is VP of Technical Services of SGS Minerals Services, 16415 Addison Rd. Suite 309, Addison, TX
75001.Tel: 972-818-2600. Email:Charlie.rose@sgs.com.
3
J. Russell, MPR Associates, Inc. 320 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
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Table 1. Comparison of Fuel Characteristics
Fuel Characteristics Units Eastern
Bituminous
30% PRB Coal
Blend
Proximate Analysis
a. Moisture % 5.15 10.29
b. Ash % 9.80 7.46
c. Volatile Matter % 35.79 35.29
d. Fixed Carbon % 49.59 46.95
Ultimate Analysis
a. Hydrogen % 5.21 5.70
b. Carbon % 71.54 67.70
c. Nitrogen % 1.31 1.23
d. Sulfur % 2.39 1.57
e. Oxygen % 9.44 16.35
f. Ash % 9.80 7.46

Heating Value Btu/lb. 12855 12053
Free Swelling Index 7.8 7.2
Hardgrove Grind Index 57 51
Ash Fusion Temperature Reducing Atmosphere
a. Initial Deform
o
F 2115 2124
b. Softening
o
F 2190 2178
c. Hemi
o
F 2340 2236
d. Fluid
o
F 2400 2337
Slag Viscosity Factor (T
250
value)
o
F > 2500 2494

Chlorine % 0.06 0.05
Fouling Index 0.17 0.22
Slagging Index 0.83 0.60
Base/Acid Ratio 0.34 0.39

The blended fuel permitted for use in BLE-1 was limited to 30 percent PRB. Based on an extensive
testing program conducted in 2001-2002, this blend was demonstrated to provide the necessary
regulatory improvement in sulfur emissions without adversely impacting unit operations. One
important factor in establishing a suitable fuel blend was maintaining the design slag viscosity factor
to ensure proper tapping of the cyclones and furnace. Fuel blends with a higher percentage of PRB
coal would have required extensive modification to the boiler and electrostatic precipitators that were
not part of the fuel permit renewal process.


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On-site Coal Blending System

The coal handling system at B. L. England Station was originally constructed to support the operation
of BLE-1 in 1961. This system was expanded in 1964 to support the operation of a second unit,
BLE-2. Figure 1 shows an overview of the existing coal handling system.

The coal handling system extends from the coal stockpile adjacent to the rail yard to the bunkers for
BLE-1 and BLE-2. The material handling system (shown to the left of the main conveyor in
Figure 1), located adjacent to the crusher house, is for handling tire derived fuel, a supplemental fuel
that is not currently fired at B. L. England Station. It should be noted that the coal stockpile is
surrounded by environmentally protected wetlands, visible at the top of the Figure 1.


Wetlands
Coal Stockpile
Rail Line
Rail Car
Unloader
Crusher
House
Material
Handling
System
Main
Conveyor

Figure 1. Arrangement of B. L. England Station Coal Handling System

Both of the B. L. England Station units are supplied through the common, non-redundant coal
handling system. Therefore, the addition of on-site coal blending required modification of the
existing systems that accommodate the unloading, stack-out, and storage of two different coals.

Blending of the coal on-site is achieved by layering loads the appropriate percentages of contract coal
and PRB coal from separate piles onto the conveyor belt system. Based on the 30-day test firing,
adequate mixing of the blend occurs at the crushers and transition points in the conveyor system.

The existing fuel handling equipment was used to limit the cost of implementing on-site blending and
allow continued use of the existing conveyor arrangement to supply both BLE-1 and BLE-2.
Figure 2 shows the layout of the coal handling system and the location of the transition points
responsible for mixing the two coals prior to loading into the bunker. The coal stockpile is
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segregated into two separate piles. The existing vibratory feeders are used to control the delivery
from the PRB coal stockpile onto the reclaim conveyor belt that has been previously loaded from the
bituminous coal stockpile. The coal supply for BLE-2 is provided without operating the feeders
under the PRB stockpile.



Figure 2. Layout of B. L. England Station Coal Handling System
Control of Coal Blending Process

Control of the blend supplied to BLE-1 depends on accurately loading the single conveyor belt from
each of the coal stockpiles. The conveyor system was equipped with two belt scales to measure the
blend supplied. The existing four-idler belt scale (Scale #1) located on Conveyor #17 (See Figure 2)
is used to measure the total coal flow to the bunkers. This scale provides a measurement accuracy of
1%. A second belt scale (Scale #2) was installed as part of the on-site blending system modifications
to measure the quantity of bituminous coal on the conveyor belt. This two-idler belt scale is located
on Conveyor #16, upstream of the PRB coal stockpile feeders. The two-idler belt scale has an
accuracy of 2 to 3%. The amount of PRB coal supplied for the blend is controlled based on the
difference of the measure weight of bituminous coal (Scale #2) and the total weight of the blend
(Scale #1). It was determined that in this service that the lower accuracy of Scale #2 would not
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significantly impact the overall accuracy of the measurement of the blend. The reclaim feeders on
Conveyor #16 are controlled based on the signals provided by the two belt scale to establish the fuel
blend bunkered for BLE-1.

Although the scales can be used to control the blend of PRB and bituminous coal supplied to BLE-1,
using this method to comply with the fuel in sulfur requirement would depend on performing separate
analyses of each fuel in the blend. Due to the variability of coal, in particular the bituminous coal
purchased by BLE-1, frequent laboratory analyses of representative coal samples would be required
to comply with the fuel permit with on-site blending. Further, the inventory would need to be
separated between trains. It is also important to the operation of the cyclone-fired BLE-1 boiler to
understand other fuel properties, such as the heating content and coal ash viscosity temperature (T
250
)
of the blend, to ensure reliable operation of BLE-1.

As a result of these factors, it was determined that an on-line coal analyzer would be installed as part
of the on-site blending upgrades to control the coal stockpile feeders. A cross-belt type, nuclear coal
analyzer was installed on Belt #17 to continuously monitor sulfur in the blended coal. The on-line
coal analyzer is used for controlling and reporting the sulfur content of each bunker loading operation
for BLE-1. It also provides effective monitoring of the other fuel properties significant to boiler
operation and prevents unacceptable variations in stack emissions. The agreement between the
NJDEP and Conectiv for BLE-1 requires control of sulfur in the fuel be reported based on the on-line
coal analyzer with quarterly sampling and analysis of the coal used to verify the coal analyzer
accuracy.

Coal Analyzer Calibration

Conectiv installed a Thermo-gamma-metrics nuclear analyzer to monitor sulfur in fuel. The nuclear
analyzer provides ash elemental analyses and measurement of the coal moisture to allow calculation
of the heating content of the coal. The specific guarantees were provided by the vendor for::

Sulfur: 0.08% accuracy for a sulfur range of 0.2 to 1% as-received sulfur
0.07% accuracy for a sulfur range of 1% to 3% as received sulfur
Ash: 0.825% accuracy over a range of 5.0% to 10% ash
1.485% accuracy over a range of 10% to 18%.

No guarantee was provided for the measurements of heating content, moisture or ash oxides.

Calibration of the nuclear analyzer included:

Initial testing using reference and standards at Thermo-gamma-metrics fabrication shops
Reference standard testing at B. L. England Station
Initial calibration and certifying testing as per ASTM 6543
Calibration and testing at quarterly intervals, using reference standard and sampling






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Analyzer Performance

Table 3 shows the results of the initial field calibration and performance tests for coal sulfur done in
January 2004.
4
A summary of all results from the calibration and performance test is given in
Appendix A. Note that for the recalibrated analyzer the estimate of the sulfur imprecision (one
standard deviation of measurement error) is 0.045% sulfur. Figure 6 charts the 45 sets of sulfur data
used for calibration and six additional sets collected in April 2004, after the calibration. The post
calibration data indicates that the sulfur calibration is stable.

Table 3: Results Of Field Calibration And Performance Test For Sulfur
Number of data sets 45
Reference Measurement Error Variances
Variance Std Dev
Product (30 minute sub-lots) 0.15305 0.391
Meas Error Of Reference 1 (Odd) 0.00325 0.057
Meas Error Of Reference 2 (Even) 0.00412 0.064
Meas Error Of Avg Reference Values 0.00184 0.043
Range 1.63
Min, Max 1.41 3.04
Regression With Measurement Error
Std Dev Rel Std
Correlation 0.988
Slope (Reg. Factory Cal on Avg Ref) 1.0283
Ste Of Slope 0.00153
Z(1) Of Slope 18.492
Z(0) Of Slope 671.407
Intercept (Reg. Factory Cal on Avg Ref) 0.1234
Ste Of Intercept 0.0030
Z(0) Of Intercept 41.624
Meas Error Of Newly Cal Analyzer 0.00203 0.045 2.4%
Lambda (ratio of meas error variances) 1.099
P (lambda + slope squared) 2.156
Std Deviation Of Residuals 0.063
Grubbs Calculations
Variance Std Dev Guarantee LCL UCL
Grubbs ECA (N ) Estimate for Sulfur 0.00203 0.045 0.070 0.023 0.071


In April 2004 after the ECA had been updated with the field calibration, the three reference blocks
furnished by Thermo Electron, the manufacturer of the analyzer, were each interrogated ten times,
each time interrogating for sixty minutes. This established an initial control chart for instrument
performance. The charts were updated in July and October, each time repeating the 60 minute
interrogation twice. See Figures 7-9. The control charts indicate that the instrument performance
remains stable.


4
The main reason for the factory calibration being about 10% relative on the high lies with the actual belt speed being
different from the speed assumed when the factory calibration was done.
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Figure 6: Calibrated Sulfur Results
0.50
1.00
1.50
2.00
2.50
3.00
3.50
1 5 8 11 14 17 20 23 26 29 32 35 38 41 45 48 51
Data Set #
%

S
u
l
f
u
r
Lab Reference Recalibrated Factory Calibration






















Figure 7: Reference Block 101 Interrogation
April -- October, 2004
1.90
1.95
2.00
2.05
2.10
2.15
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Test Number
%

S
u
l
f
u
r
%Sulfur UCL CL UCL

























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Figure 8: Reference Block 102 Interrogation
April -- October 2004
5.15
5.20
5.25
5.30
5.35
5.40
5.45
5.50
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Test Number
%

S
u
l
f
u
r
%Sulfur UCL CL UCL


















Figure 9: Reference Block 103 Interrogation
April -- October 2004
0.40
0.45
0.50
0.55
0.60
0.65
0.70
0.75
0.80
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Test Number
%

S
u
l
f
u
r
%Sulfur UCL CL UCL










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Conclusions

The cross-belt nuclear coal analyzer installed at BLE-1 provides a reliable method for controlling the
blend of PRB and Eastern Bituminous coals fired to comply with the Sulfur in Fuel permit.
Measurement of the sulfur content on a continuous basis allows the specific blend ratio of the two
fuels to be optimized on a daily basis. Accurate reporting of the Sulfur in Fuel to satisfy the
requirements of the permit is also provided by the use of the nuclear coal analyzer as part of the on-
site coal blending system. The operating information provided concerning the ash, heating content
and heating constituents will be used in controlling future unit operations.

The accuracy of the cross-belt nuclear coal analyzer was demonstrated through the use of the
extensive sampling required to satisfy ASTM 6543 calibration requirements. The test boats and more
limited sampling will be used quarterly to demonstrate the continued calibration of the cross-belt
nuclear coal analyzer. This approach, negotiated with the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection (NJDEP), provides the quality assurance for the regulatory reporting performed based on
the nuclear analyzer.

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APPENDIX A: Initial Calibration/Performance Test Summary Statistics
Note: All contents are percent of coal by weight
Moisture Sulfur Ash SiO
2
Al
2
O
3
Fe
2
O
3
CaO K
2
O TiO
2
BTU AST
Product standard deviation 3.840 0.391 1.268 0.610 0.242 0.339 0.146 0.035 0.010 850 15
Product range (using duplicate average reference values) 9.98 1.63 2.37 4.75 1.06 1.62 0.49 0.173 2501 0.056 105
One std dev of meas error of duplicate average ref values 0.181 0.043 0.259 0.191 0.066 0.064 0.033 0.021 0.008 62 18
Correlation of CQM values with duplicate avg ref values 0.983 0.988 0.902 0.914 0.535 0.973 0.444 0.115 0.232 0.972 0.386
Current CQM gain 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000
Current CQM intercept 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Current trace ash And bound moisture 0.000 N/A 0.000 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Calculated optimal gain 19.9352 0.9725 0.8980 0.7785 0.9940 0.8250 0.9090 3.5883 1.8426
Calculated optimal intercept -221.09 -0.1200 1.0357 0.1291 -1.5839 0.2671 -1.0131 -1.3005 -0.0480
Optimal trace ash and bound moisture 0.000 N/A 4.605 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Grubbs est of std dev of CQM meas error -- current calibration 3.648 0.048 0.740 0.293 0.366 0.093 0.315 0.077 0.017
Grubbs est of std dev of CQM meas error -- recalibrated 0.688 0.045 0.537 0.184 0.363 0.049 0.286 0.261 0.031 192 21
Lower confidence limit of Grubbs estimate 0.540 0.023 0.420 0.100 0.280 0.032 0.220 0.200 0.023
Upper confidence limit of Grubbs estimate 0.920 0.071 0.720 0.280 0.490 0.072 0.380 0.350 0.042
Vendor Grubbs guarantee None 0.070 0.750 None None None None None None
Product range for which guarantee is applicable N/A 2.00 3.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Passes Grubbs test N/A Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A