Test Results for Mercury Abatement Trials

In our last two blogs, we’ve discussed the evolving mercury abatement market, some of the challenges presented, and the technology Nol-Tec has developed – our Gen 3 system – to meet those challenges. We’ve had proven success with these new systems – proven through our on-site testing program.

Utilizing a large fleet of portable, self-contained testing equipment, Nol-Tec ran tests on site of both power plants and industrial boilers, in real-world conditions. Most tests were for mercury compliance with MATS standards. However, EGUs and IBs also wanted to control SO3 emissions that are not directly included in MATS, but necessary nonetheless for enhanced Hg removal.  Many tests included injecting both alkaline products and Hg sorbents. This helped us prove not only that Nol-Tec’s systems can produce the correct levels of mercury abatement, but also provide the flexibility our customers demand.

At multiple test sites, Nol-Tec proved again and again that our Gen 3 could meet the challenges presented by powder activated carbon (PAC) and mercury abatement standards. We used a variety of PAC formulations, as well as mixing different kinds of sorbents with PAC to meet requirements. We ran systems at higher injection rates than a standard eductor system could handle. We worked with fluctuating pressures (a reality in pneumatic conveying) and long convey distances. In every case, we were able to bring mercury and other pollutant levels into compliance with EPA standards, efficiently and effectively.  PAC and activated carbon injection do work for mercury abatement when used with a correctly designed pneumatic convey system.

More test result details can be found in the August 2014 issue of Air Pollution Control Magazine or on our website at this link. And you can get more information about Nol-Tec’s ACI systems at this link.

Flexible Technology for Mercury Abatement

In our last blog post, we discussed the evolving mercury abatement market, use of powder activated carbon (PAC), designer sorbents and some of the challenges that activated carbon injection (ACI) presents to utilities and industrial boiler owners. Ideally, power producers need a system that allows them to inject any sorbent they want, at whatever rate they want, through a system convey routing that they choose.  And of course, reliability is critical to the success of meeting MATS.

Since that last post, we’ve added a short primer on what mercury is, how it effects us, and methods of treatment. View that document under our Technical Information tab.

Eductor technology has long been a standard in ACI technology. However, an eductor system will not perform reliably if the system pressure exceeds 3 PSI.   Higher injection rates, longer conveying distances, and the use of designer sorbents will dictate that an alternative be utilized.

A viable alternative to the eductor design incorporates the use of a zero clearance rotary airlock (RAL) to meter product into the dilute pressure conveying system.  The zero clearance RAL greatly improves the feeding of PAC due to reduced leakage.  This technology provides a slight increase in system pressure capability, up to 6 PSI.  However, this design is not entirely reliable at the top end of its pressure range.  Some RAL leakage will still occur and material abrasion (especially with some designer sorbents) can reduce the life of the RAL.

By listening to customer needs, Nol-Tec Systems has designed and innovated a convey system which is able to meet the need to convey higher rates, longer distances, and different sorbent types. This pressurized continuous transport system provides the capability to meter material at system  pressures up to 12 PSI.  Nol-Tec’s Gen 3 systems meet the mercury abatement challenges our customers are facing.  For further information, visit our ACI web page.

How do we know we’re meeting our customers’ needs? Because in 2013, Nol-Tec invested a lot of time and effort in to field testing. Next post, we’ll discuss some of those test results.

The Evolving Mercury Abatement Market

Due to the increasingly stringent EPA regulation on mercury and the many variables surrounding in-duct capture technology, the mercury abatement market continues to change and grow. Injecting powdered activated carbon into flue gases is showing proven results in meeting the increasing compliance  standards for mercury abatement.

But because the EPA standards regulate emissions on many pollutants, technology must be able to handle activated carbon injection (ACI) and a combination of other non-carbon designer sorbents (e.g. amended silicates). These designer sorbents are being developed with finer particle sizes and unique chemistry  so as to increase removal rates not only for mercury abatement, but for SO2, SO3, HCl, and HF as well. The physical material handling properties of the new sorbents impact the pneumatic conveying system design. ACI/sorbent injection rates are being increased to meet the newest compliance standards. There is also an increasing demand for longer conveying distances, so as to allow placement of multiple silos in one offloading location. Therefore, the ACI system must be designed properly to convey various sorbents, at increased injection rates over longer distances. For further information on ACI, check out our web page at this link.

Nol-Tec has been working to meet these new challenges. In our next post, we’ll take a look at technology developments that are allowing energy producers (utilities and industrial plants) to meet mercury abatement standards, while addressing these other issues.

 

Dry Sorbent Technology for MATS and MACT Compliance

The EPA has instituted stringent regulations for both utilities and industrial boiler operators for the mitigation of air pollutants. Deadlines are approaching in both MATS and MACT and users must work with trusted suppliers to develop cost-effective solutions. Nol-Tec can provide dry sorbent injection (DSI) systems that meet both effectiveness and time frame considerations.

DSI uses a pneumatic conveying system to inject dry sorbent materials into system ductwork in a controlled manner. The pollutants in the plant emissions interact with the sorbent chemicals and become inert or non-polluting. DSI is an industry standard for mitigating sulfur trioxide or SO3. It is now also being applied effectively to sulfur dioxide (SO2), mercury (Hg), and hydrochloric acid (HCl) emissions.

One very attractive reason to use DSI is that it can be a low capital cost solution. It allows utilities and industrial boilers to supplement their current mitigation systems affordably – or to use DSI as an interim solution until larger, more costly solutions can be evaluated and installed, if needed.

Additionally, DSI systems can be quickly installed and started up. Often, the time frame from purchase order to commissioning is less than one year. This relatively quick project execution can allow energy generators to quickly meet the latest EPA standards – an important factor as deadlines draw near.

There are numerous variables to be considered to determine if your system is a good candidate for successful DSI mitigation. Removal level requirements, boiler size, flow rate, and sulfur levels in the fuel if coal is being used are only a few points to take into account. Nol-Tec has been specializing in DSI systems – design, testing, installation, and operations – for years. We can help you make the right decisions for your operation, your mitigation requirements, and your budget.

What is Resistive Splitting and Why Use It?

For utilities and industrial boilers, capital costs are one large consideration when installing air pollution mitigation. However, ongoing maintenance and materials costs can have an even great impact over time. Dry sorbent injection (DSI) systems keep capital costs in check, but sorbent effectiveness must be boosted for cost effectiveness. Here’s where Nol-Tec’s state-of-the-industry resistive splitter design comes in.

Our innovative Sorb-N-Ject® system designs make the most of sorbent materials. With our resistive splitter technology, sorbent materials do not take the path of least resistance and are instead dispersed equally through each injection lance. Non-resistive splitting, on the other hand, leaves gaps in the sorbent flow, so pollutants may or may not interact with the chemical. The process of resistive splitting fills the duct with a consistent flow of sorbent, so flue gases stream through a curtain of sorbent. This ensures maximum contact between gases and sorbent, which results in efficient chemical interaction and mitigation—and decreases sorbent usage.

Nol-Tec’s in-house experts developed this resistive splitting technology, based on our 30 years of experience in the pneumatic conveying industry. Resistive splitting increases the effectiveness of your sorbent, decreasing overhead costs. It reduces abrasion on the equipment, so a broader range of sorbents can be considered, while lowering your maintenance costs. And we’ve designed it to install easily at the main convey pipe, which lowers the costs to begin using the technology.

Remaining competitive today means keeping costs down and efficiency up. With the innovation and proven success of resistive splitting, that’s exactly what Nol-Tec helps you achieve.

Please Contact Us for more information and be sure to read our blog about DSI Regulations.

Welcome to the Nol-tec Systems Blog

Nol-Tec Systems is one of the most knowledgeable solution providers in the dry bulk materials handling industry. We balance the technical expertise of our staff with original ideas in order to provide custom-engineered pneumatic conveying solutions, bulk material handling, dry sorbent injection and emissions control solutions, and integrated control systems. Our customers are industry leaders and our partners. We invite you to join us here for discussions of the industry and issues that matter to you.