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Particulate Control for Coal Combustion

AUTHOR: Jonas S. Klingspor and Jan L. Vernon
DATE: February 1988

Although control of particulate emissions from coal combustion systems in a mature technology, a wide range of work is under way to improve the applicability, performance and cost-effectiveness of particulate control equipment. Particulate control technologies in commercial operation for control of emissions from coal combustion sources are mainly mechanical collectors, basic principles, collection mechanisms, performance and costs.

The economics of particulate control technologies are considerably influenced by site-specific factors. In general terms, however, they are unlikely to exceed 5-10% of total plant capital and annual costs. Whilst cyclones are the cheapest form of particulate control, they are generally unable to meet the strict emission standards now being introduced for large combustion systems. The relative costs of ESPs and fabric filters vary, depending on precise emission standards, coal type, combustion system type and size. High operating costs for wet scrubbers have limited their application in recent years.

Development work on fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators shows potential for improvements in both their performance and their cost- effectiveness, particularly in mitigating the adverse effects of high fly ash resistivity on electrostatic precipators, and in combining particulate collection with control of other pollutants. Extensive developments are also taking place on particulate control technologies for use with new combustion/gasification processes.