Low Emitter Status Achieved with Low-Cost Effort
A Midwest power plant called on Neundorfer to use its analytical skills, field experience and modeling capabilities to provide a low-cost/high-value solution that will allow them to achieve LEE (Low Emissions Emitter) status while forgoing the need for expensive monitoring equipment and a quarterly testing protocol.
"The Unit is consistently performing at 80% or more below the MATS limit."
A 450 megawatt coal fired power plant in the Midwest saw an opportunity to attain Low Emitter EGU (LEE) status for particulate, but needed a little help to get there. As part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EUG MACT rules, LEE status is achieved by sustaining emissions at less than 50% of the limit for a period of three years. If achieved, plants can forgo the expensive monitoring equipment and quarterly testing protocol, resulting in large savings. Depending upon the situation, expensive capital equipment upgrades can make the investment un-justifiable.
The plant was operating well below the MATS limit for particulate (.03#/mmbtu), but was above the requirement to achieve LEE status. Potential cost savings resulting from LEE status had to be weighed against the cost of achieving sustainable lower emissions. Neundorfer applied its analytical process and experiential knowledge to evaluate the current operation and determine possible strategies. This included understanding how the Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) and wet scrubber, and potential use of activated carbon injection for mercury control, would influence how each system functioned.
Neundorfer then helped determine the technical and economic feasibility of achieving LEE status while maintaining reliability. Neundorfer analyzed operating and testing data and modeling scenarios. Potential scenarios were presented that included the anticipated benefit, cost, outage time required and other factors important to the customer’s decision.
One low-cost, high-improvement opportunity that could be quickly implemented was to improve gas velocity distribution. Neundorfer used its physical and computer modeling capabilities to determine the optimal configuration and changes required and the plant commissioned Neundorfer to design, fabricate and install the solution. Timing was critical as the analysis, modeling and implementation had to be targeted for a quickly approaching outage window.
Once the solution was implemented, testing began. The result? A number of quarters have passed since the outage and the unit is consistently performing at 80% or more below the MATS limit. This proved to be a low investment, big payoff opportunity for the plant as they now retain their ability to be a low-cost power producer and are well on their way to achieving LEE status.