First Limestone-Gypsum FGD Systems in Indian Market: Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.

- Uttar Pradesh, India

   There are multiple applications for removing sulfur and certain emissions from exhaust flue gases of coal-fired power plants. Some examples are: Wet scrubbing using a slurry of alkaline sorbents, spray-dry scrubbing, wet sulfuric acid process recovering sulfur in the form of commercial quality sulfuric acid; and dry sorbent injection systems.

National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) is tackling the first series of limestone gypsum FGD systems in the Indian Market. NTPC is India's largest energy conglomerate with roots going back to 1975. NTPC Ltd is an Indian Public Sector undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities. Some of the largest coal fired power stations in India are owned and operated by NTPC.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (Japan) has received an order from NTPC to implement India’s first ever Limestone-Gypsum FGD System in India. There will be six systems installed, on top of the already functioning power generating facilities in Central and Northern India. Two of the installation will occur at the Mouda Facility, with a combined capacity of 1320MW. Other systems will be installed at Rihand plants two and three, with 2000 MW capacity total. The FGD system type that will be implemented at these facilities will be a dry spray desulfurizing scrubber system.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems is a conglomerate of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Hitachi, Ltd. Since 2014, MHPS has been achieving goals in environmental technologies and project engineering across the globe.

Here is how MHPS is helping NTPC curb emissions of atmospheric pollutants by using off-gas cleanup systems and technologies:

1.     The desulfurization absorbs sulfur oxides, and collects the generated gypsum by reacting limestone with SOx.

2.     The open sprayer system sprays absorbent (limestone slurry) from above the compact flue gas scrubbing tower to absorb harmful SOx efficiently.

More than ever before, India is pursuing rigorous emission-fighting methods for every stage of the energy producing process, from cleaning coal, to processing and utilisation technologies post combustion.  Since coal is still India’s top energy source, adding FGD type systems is actually becoming increasingly common. Only time will tell which technologies will aid India’s goals best and extend to industry wide practice.

Early Bird Rates End July 1st! Register Now for Asian Coal Ash Association’s 6th Annual Coal Ash Asia Event


The Asian Coal Ash Association in collaboration with ITIBMI (Institute for Technical Information for the Building Materials Industry is under way with planning Coal Ash Asia, 2016, from September 23-26. New components at this year’s event will be an international panel discussion as well as an interview component, led by government, commercial and academic leaders of interest.

Based on the success of last year the association is offering our international delegates a unique experience at our event with complimentary business matching services. Attendees will be able to request meetings with individuals/organisations of interest and receive complimentary translation services during the course of the event.

This will be the association’s sixth year hosting and third year in Shuozhou City, Shanxi Province, with next year’s event to be held in Baotou, Inner Mongolia.  Government support from the Shuozhou government has made them a key participant and contributor to CAA events. Shuozhou city is home to one of China’s most prominent industrial parks, with currently twelve operations functioning in the industrial solid waste utilization sector.

Other activities of note include visiting a 1000 year old Pagoda, traveling on a 300km/hour high speed train to visit the city of Taiyuan (China's coal industry capital) and enjoying multiple cocktail hours and networking opportunities.

International guests are welcome to participate as oral presenters and exhibitors or by way of submitting academic research new product overviews to our poster exhibition and building materials journal. Register before July 1st and receive a discounted rate of $1500 (regular $1950).

Gold Coal and Abandon Mines: New Ash Utilization Methods in Most Polluted Cities in the World

India- Delhi tops the list as one of the most polluted cities in the world. India, in fact, is home to thirteen out of twenty most polluted cities (World Health Organisation). Pollution here is caused by inefficiencies in the industrial sector (dust and carbon emissions), and the transportation/automobile population in India’s densely populated cities. 

A main contributing factor to industrial emissions depends on the quality of fuel being burned. Choosing competent technology and efficient coal is critical in curbing emissions. The top 13 cities, and surrounding regions are under great pressure to adapt said measures. Reutilization and sustainability has been the goal of power stations and regulators for approximately the past two decade. Current strategies for coal ash reutilization include substituting more expensive ingredients in building materials such as concrete/cement, porcelain, bricks/blocks, and adhesives.

The majority of these cities operate their stations using domestic coal, which is burned unprocessed. This coal has an ash content of 38-45%, which is a directly linked to the environmental issues of: industrial dust and land consumption for the dumping of coal ash. 

The city of Mumbai uses cleaner coal by washing it before entering boilers (gold coal), reducing ash output to 3% in some stations. Mumbai has also implemented upgraded electrostatic precipitators and FGD units, unseen in any of the 13 cities on the list. The city has positioned itself at the head of the cleaner coal energy movement. The calorific value (Kcal) of the coal being burned in Mumbai is also significantly higher and possesses a much lower sulphur dioxide content. This brings down the quantity of coal being used for every unit of power generated.

Recent studies explore the possibility of using fly ash waste as a means to fill up abandon mines. This method is being approached by many coal-fired power plants including NTPC Korba Station, located in Chhattisgarh, who began exploring this option for its ash this past December.  The company will conduct the study on 4 abandon mines in Banki fields just outside the city, planning to publish results by the end of 2016. 

NTPC power has had a division of the company dedicated to ash reutilization since 1991. NTPC stations overall have switched to higher grade coal since then to combat the amount of ash burned in their stations, and also the quantity of coal burned. Success in this new study could lead to NTPC meeting the countries 100% utilization initiative. 
NTPC appears to be at a higher level of efficiency when compared to their competitors, as they make up for 16 percent of India’s total installed capacity, yet contribute a quarter of the total electricity generated in the country.  

A current memorandum of understanding between NTPC and Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand governments vow to improve the transportation and utilization of coal. 

Coal Ash Waste Increases in Viet Nam

HA NOI (Viet Nam) - Evidence shows that although coal waste from thermal power plants in Viet Nam has increased, the country still hasn’t made any meaningful movement towards utilization or industry reform. With density of 45 tonnes per square kilometer of cinder and coal ash, Viet Nam ranks at the top of the list in landfilling of coal ash, just below China. 

Further studies show that Viet Nam currently has approximately twenty coal fired power plants who contribute to the current fifteen million tonnes of ash that is being discharged annually. This number is expected to double in less than ten years. 

Recent measures to address this matter include a formal request from the Prime Minister to implement coal and ash treatment equipment in all plants, and to bring into operation by 2020. The follow up to this request was to be an undertaking by the Ministry of Construction, to work with industry organizations to create standards and regulations for this transition. Neither standards for managing this change nor incentivization for companies switching to green waste management practices has been issued. 

Among the many disappointed with current practices for fly and coal ash management is current deputy head at Binh Thuan Province’s Department of Science Technology, Nguyen Van Nhon. Mr. Van Nhon condemns the current method of burying the waste of thermal power plants, as it not only negatively affect’s the land and water quality, but is considerably wasteful considering the demand for these ashes in parts of the world not too far from Viet Nam’s borders. 

Winh Tan 2 plant in Binh Thuan is notably under scrutiny for its practices this year, taking no efforts to change their practices even after large groups protesting their plants and a formal charge of 66,000 USD from the government. 

Industry and academic leaders are calling for immediate action regarding the lack of change in coal-fired power plants’ waste management. Industry changes require cooperation from all sides in order to be effective, as witnessed in the smokestack industries of China, India and the USA. The first step is to create preferential policies for waste treatment measures adopted by power plants. Secondly, the government needs to strengthen inspection protocols and reprimand companies that violate the Prime Minister’s new waste management reform. These steps will hopefully encourage the functioning power plants to find interested buyers of fly ash and reduce the exploitation of Viet Nam’s natural resources.

Low Quality of Coal in China: recent studies show

Beijing- China
Pollution control in China has been at the forefront of the environmental reform portion of the latest China Five Year Plan. Coal fired power stations account for a vast majority of air and water pollution. The percentage of pollution that comes from these stations is determined by a few factors. One of these factors is the purity of the coal itself. “Dirty” coal can come from excess sulfur & phenol and generally produces a higher level of ash. Coal ash itself can be highly toxic if the coal is of low quality and is not burned or processed efficiently. 

According to new testing completed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the north of China, this “dirty” coal is being commonly used. Samples were taken from areas in and around the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Samples were collected from over 180 coal distribution centers. In each city, excessive pollutants were found in anywhere from 20 per cent to 40 per cent of all samples. MEP also inspected 10 thermal power coal stations used for residential heating in these areas and found that 7 of them had failed to meet coal quality standards. 

This information comes at a time of interest to the Chinese public as northern China turns on central heating for the winter months, which increases energy demands for power plants. The smog that Beijing and other northern provinces experience year round then thickens due to this increase. As the new Five Year Plan unfolds from the People’s Republic, the issue of clean coal will need to be addressed to fit with the current emphasis on industry reform and environmental sanctions.