Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Report Published May 1980:

Title: Feasibility and costs of applying NOx controls on stationary emission sources in California.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Leo, P. P.

Contractor: The Aerospace Corporation

Contract Number: A7-164-30

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Stationary Sources


The feasibility and costs of various NOx control methods, i.e., ammonia-based reduction and low NOx burners, were detemined for .potential application to eight selected stationary sources of nitric oxide (NO) emissions in California, primarily in the Los Angeles area. The applicability of selective ammonia-based reduction systems, both catalytic and noncatalytic, were studied for seven major NOx sources: simple and combined cycle turbines used by electric utilities, an internal combustion engine used in compressing natural gas, an oil refinery process heater, an oil field steam generator used in thermally enhanced oil recovery, a cement kiln, and a glass melting furnace used in the manufacture of flat glass. Although the units selected were con- sidered as representative either in terms of size, operation, or numbers in use, the results apply specifically to them.

A 90% NOx reduction criterion was defined by the California Air Resources Board staff for these sources except for the oil field steam generator and refinery heater. For the refinery heater the criterion .was 50% and for new and existing oil fiel.d steam generators was 70 and 50%, respectively. In addition, the potential reduction that could be expected by using low NO burners on utility boilers and other emission sources was also assessed.

The major feasibility emphasis in this study was on the applicability of existing control technology. Technical feasibility for NOx control was evaluated on the basis of control technology developed in Japan and currently being considered for application in the United States. Other factors such as the compatibility of control measures with the emission source and power and exhaust gas reheat requirements were also addressed.

It was concluded that all NO emission sources studied could utilitze selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to achieve the specified percent reduction in NOx levels. Thermal denitrification (DeNOx), i.e., selective noncatalytic reduction, was determined to be applicable in only those instances where reductions of 50 to 70% relative to current levels were specified but at significantly lower costs than for SCR installations. The use of thermal DeNOx to achieve 90% reduction is not feasible for any of these sources.

The benefit for further reduction in NOx emission rates resulting from the use of low NOx burners in utility boilers in combination with combustion modifications currently in use, i.e., two-stage firing and off- stoichiometric combustion, appear somewhat limited. Further reductions of approximately 10% appear. realistic, with additional reductions possible depending on specific boiler arid burner characteristics.

Capital investment estimates for early 1979 reflecting estimated retrofit complexity factors for the various installations are provided. Annual control in terms of mills per kilowatt hour, dollars per pound NOx removed, dollars per million Btu thermal input, and dollars per ton product, as appropriate, are reported.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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