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Friday, Feb 08, 2002

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New tech to cut power station emissions

M. Somasekhar


IN an interesting collaboration, the Heavy Water Board (HWB), a unit under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the US-based Chemithon Corporation are blending their technologies to help bring down particulate emissions from coal-based power plants.

Their combined technology is to be implemented at the Ukai thermal power station in Gujarat, wherein Chemithon Engineers Ltd (CEL), a joint venture of Chemithon Corporation of US, bagged the order recently.

CEL will supply the dual flue gas conditioning system to the Ukai station of the Gujarat Electricity Board. The system is based on sulphur trioxide conditioning technology developed by Chemithon, US, and the ammonia conditioning method developed indigenously by HWB.

The feasibility of the dual flue gas technology has been demonstrated at HWB's captive power plant at Manuguru in Andhra Pradesh, according to Mr H.S. Kamath, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), HWB.

HWB has transferred the ammonia conditioning technology to Chemithon. In the execution of the Ukai project, HWB will provide the basic design and detailed engineering support, while Chemithon will execute the project. "The two partners have reached a profit-sharing arrangement," Mr Kamath told Business Line.

In the novel technology process, ammonia is injected into the flue gas to improve the performance of the electrostatic precipitators installed in the exhaust of the power plants. This step helped in reducing the harmful emissions into the atmosphere, he explained.

Trials to establish the feasibility of the technology were conducted jointly by Chemithon and HWB at the Guru Nanak Dev thermal power station, Bhatinda. More trials are to be undertaken at the Koradi thermal power station of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

Most coal-based thermal power stations in the country belch flyash and particulate matter, leading to air pollution. The eco-friendly technology could be one of the solutions to cut down the emissions, Mr Kamath said. This technology can also be deployed in dust emitting industries such as cement and steel.

Encouraged by the Manuguru experience and the Ukai project, CEL has bid for more orders from thermal plants. "We have bagged an order for the Tuticorin thermal plant and are confident of getting a few more," Mr. Kamath said.

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