The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has reported results of tests conducted at Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA)’s Northside power plant using mid-to-low-sulfur coal showing the facility to be one of the cleanest burning coal-fired power plants in the world. The plant utilizes Forster Wheeler’s circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFB) technology.
A part of DOE’s Clean Coal Technology Demonstration Program, the JEA project is a repowering demonstration of the operating and environmental performance of Foster Wheeler’s utility-scale CFB technology on a range of high-sulfur coals and blends of coal and high-sulfur petroleum coke. The 300 MW demonstration unit has a non-demonstration twin, and together they produce 600 MW of baseload power. The demonstration unit is the largest CFB demonstration unit in the United States and scales up CFB technology to sizes preferred for adding new plants and repowering. Rather than capturing pollutants from flue gases after combustion, CFBs capture most pollutants inside the boiler during combustion.
Tests using Illinois No. 6 coal eliminated more than 98 percent of sulfur emissions and held them to measured levels as low as 0.08 pounds per million mmBtu of fuel use. At this level, SO2 emissions were 94 percent below the general limits set for high-sulfur coal in federal law and regulation and almost 50 percent below project design limits. All other emissions were also under the levels set either in design or by federal law and regulation.
The JEA demonstration also proved ultra-clean in other tests. Similar results were obtained with Pittsburgh No. 8 coal and with petroleum coke. The latter was burned in blends with coal of 50 and 80 percent petcoke.
Foster Wheeler designed and supplied the CFB boilers, provided environmental permitting, engineering, procurement, and construction management services, and supplied and erected the air pollution control systems, chimney, limestone preparation system, and ash handling systems.
“These results clearly demonstrate that Foster Wheeler CFB technology can be used at utility scale to offer electricity producers the flexibility to use a variety of fuels,” said Bernard Cherry, CEO of Foster Wheeler Global Power Group. “That includes the ability to use abundant and lower-cost mid- to high-sulfur coal, while cutting emissions to a fraction of federal limits.” p
The cover illustration of Power Engineering magazine’s June issue depicts the worker on the far left wearing blue rubber gloves while holding a meter. A reader notes that while OSHA recognizes the use of rubber gloves to maintain dexterity when performing a limited, short-time task, safe work practice and most manufacturers’ instructions require the worker to wear an outer protective leather glove over the rubber glove. p