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Acid Gas Removal Market Shifts to Existing Power Plants

Over the last twenty years, more than $150 billion has been invested in systems to remove acid gases from the stacks of coal-fired power, waste-to-energy, cement, steel, mining and other industrial plants.

Much of this money was spent on retrofitting existing power plants with systems to remove SO2 and HCl. The other major segment was new coal-fired boilers which have been equipped with flue gas desulfurization (FGD) equipment.

The market is now shifting in several ways. First of all the new power plant activity will be in developing countries. The percentage of acid gas removal investment for new power plants in Europe and the U.S. will be less than 20 percent of the investment in the rest of the world. The ratio of new acid gas system investment to the investment in maintaining and operating existing systems has fallen substantially.

This is bad news for system designers whose only focus is new systems. However, there are many suppliers who will benefit from these market developments. There are equipment, component, controls and consumables beneficiaries.

  • Upgrades to meet more stringent emission limits
  • Revisions to capture multiple pollutants
    Addition of solid waste or wastewater treatment technologies
  • Replacement of failed systems due to corrosion, erosion and obsolescence.

  • Components
  • Flow control products such as fans, compressors, pumps, valves and blowers
  • Scrubber internals such as mist eliminators, nozzles, packing
  • Sub system components such as hydrocyclones, pneumatic conveyors, static mixers, rotary atomizers, agitators, ball mills and belt filters
  • Materials such as linings and coatings
  • Consumables including lime, trona, limestone, water treatment chemicals, seals and bags
  • Monitoring and instrumentation including continuous emissions monitors and process control systems

  • Concern about greenhouse gases creates retrofit opportunities. Injection of sorbents ahead of the air/air heat exchanger allows greater extraction of the flue gas heat and higher boiler efficiency.

    The need to meet more stringent regulations at existing power plants creates challenges due to space limitations. Multi pollutant solutions where dust, NOx and acid gases are removed in the same device are both available and economically attractive.

    Source: McIlvaine Company


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