OXYGEN ENHANCED COMBUSTION FOR NOx CONTROL

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Conventional wisdom says adding oxygen to a combustion system enhances product throughput, system efficiency, and, unless special care is taken, increases NOx emissions. This increase in NOx emissions is typically due to elevated flame temperatures associated with oxygen use leading to added thermal NOx formation. Innovative low flame temperature oxy-fuel burner designs have been developed and commercialized to minimize both thermal and fuel NOx formation for gas and oil fired industrial furnaces. To be effective these systems require close to 100% oxy-fuel combustion and the cost of oxygen is paid for by fuel savings and other benefits. For applications to ... continued below

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Thompson, David R.; Bool, Lawrence E. & Chen, Jack C. April 1, 2004.

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Description

Conventional wisdom says adding oxygen to a combustion system enhances product throughput, system efficiency, and, unless special care is taken, increases NOx emissions. This increase in NOx emissions is typically due to elevated flame temperatures associated with oxygen use leading to added thermal NOx formation. Innovative low flame temperature oxy-fuel burner designs have been developed and commercialized to minimize both thermal and fuel NOx formation for gas and oil fired industrial furnaces. To be effective these systems require close to 100% oxy-fuel combustion and the cost of oxygen is paid for by fuel savings and other benefits. For applications to coal-fired utility boilers at the current cost of oxygen, however, it is not economically feasible to use 100% oxygen for NOx control. In spite of this conventional wisdom, Praxair and its team members, in partnership with the US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, have developed a novel way to use oxygen to reduce NOx emissions without resorting to complete oxy-fuel conversion. In this concept oxygen is added to the combustion process to enhance operation of a low NOx combustion system. Only a small fraction of combustion air is replaced with oxygen in the process. By selectively adding oxygen to a low NOx combustion system it is possible to reduce NOx emissions from nitrogen-containing fuels, including pulverized coal, while improving combustion characteristics such as unburned carbon. A combination of experimental work and modeling was used to define how well oxygen enhanced combustion could reduce NOx emissions. The results of this work suggest that small amounts of oxygen replacement can reduce the NOx emissions as compared to the air-alone system. NOx emissions significantly below 0.15 lbs/MMBtu were measured. Oxygen addition was also shown to reduce carbon in ash. Comparison of the costs of using oxygen for NOx control against competing technologies, such as SCR, show that this concept offers substantial savings over SCR and is an economically attractive alternative to purchasing NOx credits or installing other conventional technologies. In conjunction with the development of oxygen based low NOx technology, Praxair also worked on developing the economically enhancing oxygen transport membrane (OTM) technology which is ideally suited for integration with combustion systems to achieve further significant cost reductions and efficiency improvements. This OTM oxygen production technology is based on ceramic mixed conductor membranes that operate at high temperatures and can be operated in a pressure driven mode to separate oxygen with infinite selectivity and high flux. An OTM material was selected and characterized. OTM elements were successfully fabricated. A single tube OTM reactor was designed and assembled. Testing of dense OTM elements was conducted with promising oxygen flux results of 100% of target flux. However, based on current natural gas prices and stand-alone air separation processes, ceramic membranes do not offer an economic advantage for this application. Under a different DOE-NETL Cooperative Agreement, Praxair is continuing to develop oxygen transport membranes for the Advanced Boiler where the economics appear more attractive.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-00NT40756
  • DOI: 10.2172/889757 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 889757
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874532

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  • April 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2016, 3:14 p.m.

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Thompson, David R.; Bool, Lawrence E. & Chen, Jack C. OXYGEN ENHANCED COMBUSTION FOR NOx CONTROL, report, April 1, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874532/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.