NOx Control on a Budget

National, regional and local regulations to reduce NOx emissions have prompted the development and implementation of a number of NOx control technologies – from selective catalytic reduction and low-NOx burners to overfire air and flue gas recirculation. Induced flue gas recirculation (IFGR), a design derivative of conventional forced flue gas recirculation, has demonstrated NOx reductions as high as 85 percent and NOx levels as low as 0.04 lb/MMBtu on gas-fired boilers, at costs of less than $3/kW.

Historically, NOx control retrofits have involved equipment-intensive technology such as low-NOx burners (LNB), overfire air (OFA), forced flue gas recirculation (FFGR), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), all of which can be very costly. Studies published by EPA1 and EPRI2 indicate that costs for conventional combustion modification NOx control techniques (e.g., LNB, OFA, FFGR) are in the range of $8-35/kW, while costs for flue gas control techniques (e.g., SCR) are in the range of $50-80/kW. Furthermore, due to the extremely mixed results from LNB installations, and the operational problems encountered with LNB, OFA and FFGR systems, the power generation industry needs an innovative, low-cost NOx control technology that can achieve lower NOx emissions with minimal impact on performance and operation.

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