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FGD Installations on Coal-Fired Plants

AUTHOR: Jan L. Vernon
DATE: April 1990

As controls over sulphur dioxide emissions have become progressively more stringent during the 1980s, an increasing number of coal-fired plants has been fitted with flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) installations to comply with the regulations and limits imposed in a growing number of countries.

This review is a compilation of data, gathered from around the world, on FGD installations on conventional coal-fired units. The information has been taken from the IEA Coal Research FGD installations database. The database contains details of over 500 FGD installations worldwide. The tables extracted from the database for this report are broken down by the type of process and the sorbent used in each installation.

The report shows that the most widely used FGD systems are wet scrubbers using a calcium-based sorbent. Initially most such systems produced non-usable residues but increasingly processes that produce the saleable by-product gypsum are favoured. Spray dry scrubbers and sorbent injection installations are growing in use in the USA and Europe, especially on small units, although their non-usable residues may hinder future expansion. Despite their potentially high-value by-products, regenerable processes have achieved only limited use. New FGD processes, especially those combining SO2 and NOx removal, are continually being developed. However, experience indicates that only a small proportion of these technologies will achieve widespread commercial use.