Investigation of the Potential for Biofuel Blends in Residual Oil-Fired Power Generation Units as an Emissions Reduction Strategy for New York State

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There is a significant amount of oil, about 12.6 million barrels per year, used for power generation in New York State. The majority of it is residual oil. The primary reason for using residual oil probably is economic, as these fuels are cheaper than distillates. However, the stack emissions from the use of such fuels, especially in densely populated urban areas, can be a cause for concern. The emissions of concern include sulfur and nitrogen oxides and particulates, particularly PM 2.5. Blending with distillate (ASTM No.2) fuels may not reduce some or all of these emissions. Hence, a case can ... continued below

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Krishna, C. R. & McDonald, R. May 1, 2009.

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There is a significant amount of oil, about 12.6 million barrels per year, used for power generation in New York State. The majority of it is residual oil. The primary reason for using residual oil probably is economic, as these fuels are cheaper than distillates. However, the stack emissions from the use of such fuels, especially in densely populated urban areas, can be a cause for concern. The emissions of concern include sulfur and nitrogen oxides and particulates, particularly PM 2.5. Blending with distillate (ASTM No.2) fuels may not reduce some or all of these emissions. Hence, a case can be made for blending with biofuels, such as biodiesel, as they tend to have very little fuel bound sulfur and nitrogen and have been shown in prior work at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to reduce NOx emissions as well in small boilers. Some of the research carried out at CANMET in Canada has shown potential reductions in PM with blending of biodiesel in distillate oil. There is also the benefit obtaining from the renewable nature of biofuels in reducing the net carbon dioxide emitted thus contributing to the reduction of green house gases that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere. The present project was conceived to examine the potential for such benefits of blending biofuels with residual oil. A collaboration was developed with personnel at the New York City Poletti Power Plant of the New York Power Authority. Their interest arose from an 800 MW power plant that was using residual oil and which was mandated to be shut down in 2010 because of environmental concerns. A blend of 20% biodiesel in residual oil had also been tested for a short period of about two days in that boiler a couple of years back. In this project, emission measurements including particulate measurements of PM2.5 were made in the commercial boiler test facility at BNL described below. Baseline tests were done using biodiesel as the blending biofuel. Biodiesel is currently and probably in the foreseeable future more expensive than residual fuel. So, another task was to explore potential alternative biofuels that might confer emission benefits similar to those of biodiesel, while being potentially significantly cheaper. Of course, for power plant use, availability in the required quantities is also a significant criterion. A subsidiary study to determine the effect of the temperature of the filter used to collect and measure the PM 2.5 emissions was conducted. This was done for reasons of accuracy in a residential boiler using distillate fuel blends. The present report details the results obtained in these tests with the baseline ASTM No. 6 fuel and blends of biodiesel with it as well as the results of the filter temperature study. The search for the alternative 'cheaper' biofuel identified a potential candidate, but difficulties encountered with the equipment during the testing prevented testing of the alternative biofuel.

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  • Report No.: BNL--93682-2009-IR
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-98CH10886
  • DOI: 10.2172/1015131 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1015131
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833490

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  • May 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • July 21, 2016, 8:03 p.m.

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Krishna, C. R. & McDonald, R. Investigation of the Potential for Biofuel Blends in Residual Oil-Fired Power Generation Units as an Emissions Reduction Strategy for New York State, report, May 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833490/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.