The focus of the research will be to minimise NOx emissions by creating operational and management tools to maximise the performance of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)-related technology.
‘Our objective is to provide reliable, affordable and cleaner power to consumers in Texas,’ said Mike Greene, chief executive officer, TXU Power. ‘This is another important step forward in meeting that objective.’
Any combustion process releases exhaust gases that contain NOx. SCR uses a chemical reaction to break down the NOx into elemental nitrogen and water. Ammonia is used to initiate the chemical reaction.
In April 2006, TXU announced plans to invest $10bn to build 11 new coal-fired generating units at nine existing plant sites in Texas. TXU also committed to offsetting all key emissions – NOx, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and mercury – from the new units and further reducing key emissions across TXU Power’s solid-fuel fleet by 20 percent from 2005 levels.
SCR is the primary technology proposed to minimise NOx emissions from the planned new units. In addition, TXU Power has filed permit applications to install SCRs at its existing Martin Lake plant located near Henderson, Texas, and at the Sandow 4 unit near Rockdale, Texas. If fully approved by state regulators, the SCRs will be a key component of TXU’s plan to reduce overall key emissions by 20 percent while more than doubling its generating capacity.
‘Given the size and scale of TXU’s power development program in Texas, we will need advanced operational tools and techniques to make certain we meet our environmental commitments,’ said Greene. ‘With the help of researchers at UT Arlington, TXU will develop a first-of-its kind NOx reduction management system that will result in significant NOx reductions here in Texas.’
The research is expected to take one year to complete.