As emissions regulations for coal-fired power plants become stricter worldwide, layering combustion modification and post-combustion NOX control technologies can be an attractive option for efficient and cost-effective NOX control in comparison to selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. The layered control technology approach designed in this article consists of separate overfire air (SOFA), reburn, and selective noncatalytic reduction (SNCR). The combined system can achieve up to 75% NOX reduction. The work presented in this article successfully applied this technology to NRG Somerset Unit 6, a 120-MW tangential coal-fired utility boiler, to reduce NOX emissions to 0.11 lb/MMBtu (130 mg/Nm3), well under the US EPA SIP Call target of 0.15 lb/MMBtu. The article reviews an integrated design study for the layered system at Somerset and evaluates the performance of different layered-NOX-control scenarios including standalone SNCR (baseline), separated overfire air (SOFA) with SNCR, and gas reburn with SNCR. Isothermal physical flow modeling and computational fluid dynamics simulation (CFD) were applied to understand the boiler flow patterns, the combustible distributions and the impact of combustion modifications on boiler operation and SNCR performance. The modeling results were compared with field data for model validation and verification. The study demonstrates that a comprehensive process design using advanced engineering tools is beneficial to the success of a layered low NOX system. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010
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