• IFRF Research for Power Generation

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    • Post Author

      Peter Roberts

The IFRF is presently participating in two EC co-funded, Power Generation related research programmes.  The first of these – “Cost abatement for effective NOx control in pulverised coal fired power plants” – or in short, CAFENOX – held it IFRF Supported International workshop in Athens on Thursday and Friday Last week. The Workshop is one of the deliverables for the EC co-funded programme and was organised by the National Technical University of Athens – NTUA.

The programme, as the Workshop title describes, is concerned with the ability of primary NOx control techniques to provide the degree of control required by the application of the EC Directives 2001-80 and 81 of 23rd October 2001, dealing with staged reduction of permissible NOx emissions in flue gas from PF units up to 2016.   These Directives deal respectively with the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants, and national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants.

The workshop was well attended and proved very effective in bringing together a full range of information on the subject of retrofitting primary and secondary NOx reduction technology to exiting coal fired power plant. This ranged from the “tried and tested” technologies through to emerging technologies, with a heavy emphasis upon the problems of applying combinations of control technologies to specific boilers fired with given ranges of coals, cost benefit and risk analysis.

In the synthesis session on Friday afternoon, a number of conclusions were reached which will be summarised in due course for dissemination in the IFRF website Combustion Trends for the Future.

Of importance is to recognise the potential long term aspect of the non-compliance with directives in borderline cases (nationally determined), associated with the possibility of emissions trading initiatives of the type recently commenced in the Netherlands – see associated article in this edition.

A second aspect is the necessity to relate the information developed in this project, which was essentially concerned with coal fired power generation equipment, with the extensive European research devoted to the substitution of coal in such boilers by bio- or waste-derived fuels.  The latter is motivated by specific CO2 emissions mitigation as well as disposal aspects, and is strongly encouraged by national governments as well as the CEC in their drive to meet Kyoto committments. However attention must also be paid to the effects of substitute fuels upon NOx control techniques as well as the effections upon other aspect of boiler operation.

Such concerns relating to Fossil Fuel substitution through co-firing is also followed by the IFRF in the PowerFlam research programme which in the second series at the present time.  We will have the opportunity to follow this point up at the 5th Review meeting in Essen, hosted by the VGB on Wednesday and Thursday this week and reporting back next week.