McIlvaine Company – Contrary to popular belief, China is ahead of the U.S. in cleaning up its air emissions from coal-fired power plants. Furthermore, regulations will be tightened. This will cause another $40 billion in investment. This is the conclusion reached in FGD World Markets, a continually updated publication of the McIlvaine Company.
China has installed flue gas desulfurization systems on 532,000 MW of capacity as of the end of 2010. This compares to less than 200,000 MW of FGD in the U.S. No other country in the world has more than 50,000 MW of FGD. With 707,000 MW of total coal-fired capacity, China has fitted more than 75 percent of its coal-fired capacity with FGD. This compares to less than 60 percent in the U.S.
New standards to take effect on January 1, 2012 will limit sulfur emissions in populated areas to 100 mg/Nm3. This is a reduction from the present general standard of 400 mg/Nm3. China is also investing more in NOx reduction than any other country. It has now targeted mercury and is crafting a program to achieve reduction of this pollutant as well.
China has also undertaken a massive program to shut down 76,000 MW of old small coal-fired power plants. This is more capacity than exists in any country except the U.S. Additional measures are being taken to strengthen the enforcement of the regulations. Fines and continuous monitoring of emissions are two key elements of this program.
Nextbigfuture has covered the economics and technology for retrofitting air pollution controls
More should be done to get complete air pollution controls in place as coal power is still a rapidly growing industry.
The combination of retrofits to existing power plants and start-up of new coal-fired power plants in 2014 represents a total investment of $220 billion. At the end of 2013, the world will have coal-fired capacity of 2.21 million MW. At the end of 2014 there will be an increase of 60,000 MW to a new total of 2.27 million MW. There are 150 projects with an average size of 400 MW which are now in the final purchasing stage for all the components. Each of these projects represents a total investment of $1.2 billion. So the total is $180 billion in purchases.
China is building some cleaner coal plants along with the retrofits of air pollution control
Coal Units Approved:
2×600 MW Supercritical Units at Datang Huayin Youxian Power Plant
On July 9, 2010, two 600 MW supercritical units at Datang Huayin Youxian Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. The two units will consume about 2,900,000 tons of coal each year.
2×600 MW Units at Datang Huaibei Hushan Power Plant
On July 18, 2010, under the “Build Big & Close Small” policy, two units (2×600 MW) at Datang Huaibei Hushan Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. Highly efficient dust removal, FGD and SCR will be installed.
2×1000 MW Units at Datang Guangdong Chaozhou Power Plant
On July 22, 2010, No. 3 and No. 4 units (2×1000 MW) at Datang Guangdong Chaozhou Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. The two ultra supercritical units will be installed with limestone wet FGD and LNB. The general engineering technology will be designed by American Ever Cleaning Environmental, Inc.
2×300 MW Units at Guodian Jilin Longhua Changchun No. 1 Thermal Power Plant ~
On July 9, 2010, two units (2×300 MW) at Guodian Jilin Longhua Changchun No. 1 Thermal Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. The total investment will be RMB $2.87 billion.
Air Quality Retrofits:
FGD Project on 125 MW Unit at Huadian Inter Shiliquan Power Plant Started Construction
The FGD project on the 125 MW No. 5 unit at Huadian Inter Shiliquan Power Plant started construction on April 29, 2010 and will use the wet limestone-gypsum method. The engineering project general contractor is Wuhan Longjing Environmental Engineering Co., Ltd.
SCR System on 1000 MW Unit at Huaneng Yuhuan Power Plant Commercial Operation with 82 percent removal efficiency
On May 20, 2010, the SCR system on 1000 MW No. 2 unit at Huaneng Yuhuan Power Plant was put into commercial operation after 168-hour trial operation. The average NOx removal efficiency was 82.53 percent and the designed NOx removal efficiency was 80 percent. All four units (4×1000 MW) at Huaneng Yuhuan Power Plant are planned to be retrofit with SCR systems.
SCR System on 300 MW Unit at Guangdong Yudean Group Huangpu Power Plant Commercial Operation
On June 7, 2010, the SCR system on a 300 MW unit at Guangdong Yudean Group Power Plant was put into commercial operation after 168-hour trial operation. This project started construction on January 16, 2010.
Chinese Power Plants Emit as Much NOX as All the Passenger Cars in the World.
China has spent more on equipment to reduce NOx from power plants in the last two years than any other country, but it has a long way to go. The installed capacity of deNOx systems at the end of 2010 was 58,000 MW. This means that about 10 percent of the total coal-fired capacity of 600,000 MW is fitted with deNOx equipment. By contrast, two-thirds of the capacity is fitted with scrubbers to remove acid gases such as SO2.
There are 200 power boilers at 100 plants in China which have installed Selective Catalytic Reduction systems (SCR). These power plants are mainly located in the population centers of Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Shanxi, etc. Only four power plants have installed the less efficient but cheaper Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) systems. All boilers installed since 2003 are equipped with Low NOx burners.
The NOx emissions from Chinese coal-fired power plants were 9.5 million tons in 2010. This compares to three million tons of emissions from U.S. power plants. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and all of Europe have higher percentages of NOx control on power plants than the U.S. has. The result is that the Chinese and U.S. coal-fired power plants together emit almost as much NOx as the coal plants in the rest of the world combined.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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