State-of-the-Art Upgrades to Existing Wet FGD Systems to Improve SO2 Removal, Reduce Operating Costs and Improve Reliability

Presented to Power-Gen Europe
Cologne, Germany, June 3-5, 2014

Albert L. Moretti
Babcock & Wilcox
Barberton, Ohio USA


European utilities are continuously looking for ways to reduce operating and maintenance costs of their wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems while at the same time increasing sulfur dioxide (SO2) removal efficiency. Upgrading an existing wet FGD system may be an effective way to improve SO2 removal, allow the use of lower cost higher sulfur coals, reduce power consumption, eliminate high pressure drop packing, allow the conversion to a forced oxidized system, allow for the use of an alternate reagent, and improve the reliability of the system while reducing the operating and maintenance costs. By today’s standards, older wet FGD systems were not designed to achieve high SO2 removals and higher reliability while at the same time minimizing operating costs. New wet FGD systems are typically designed for SO2 removal levels of 98% and reliability of 99%+. Fortunately, the technological improvements that have been incorporated into the newest wet FGD systems can be adapted for retrofit into older wet FGD systems. These technological improvements include the installation of improved gas-liquid contacting devices, wall rings, redesigned spray headers, state-of-the-art spray nozzles and upgraded mist eliminators, conversion from natural or inhibited oxidation to in situ forced oxidation, and improved limestone preparation systems and byproduct dewatering systems. This paper discusses how state of the art wet FGD technology can be used to upgrade the performance of existing wet FGD systems.

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