Engineered MSW Fuels can Reduce NOx and Other Emissions


  • Allen Williams P. E.



A five year feasibility study was conducted using process modeling to design new fuels that could inherently reduce nitric oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions in power generation. The commercial station chosen for the study was a northeastern utility in Homer City with a history of emission difficulties. Heat data for the utility's unit 3 was available from diagnostic work done at this station back in the early 1980s. Unit 3 has a pulverized coal (with CE Raymond Mills) balance draft steam generator with single stage reheat rated at 4,280,000 lb steam per hour. The Turbine is a 692 MW four valve unit operating in variable pressure mode. The unit utilizes two steam driven boiler feed pumps. The company has been involved in a number of lawsuits over excessive emissions releases and has sought ways to successfully address the issue. New pollution abatement equipment coming on line at Homer City from various legal settlements has produced significant benefits. In 1995, Homer City discharged 127383 pounds (57.780 metric tons) of SO2 (4). In 1998, Homer City Generating Station produced a total (air and other) of 2,963 pounds (1,344 kg) of mercury according to the Environmental Working Group. In 2001, a wet scrubber desulfurisation system for Unit 3 (2) was installed which enabled the plant to burn less expensive, higher sulfur coal, while still meeting environmental standards for sulfur emissions.  In 2012 General Electric assumed full control of Unit 3 hiring NRG energy services the following year to operate it. The Pennsylvania plant was in its second bankruptcy in five years (1)  in legal actions resulting from excessive sulfur dioxide and other pollutant emissions. In 2016 Homer City generated 11,287.9 tons SO2 and by 2017 just 4,904.2 tons of nitrogen oxides.(5)


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How to Cite

A. W. P. E., “Engineered MSW Fuels can Reduce NOx and Other Emissions”, EPH IJSE, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 19–33, Apr. 2020.