Moving Science

Southern Research to Present New Mercury Mitigation Technology and Video Droplet Analyzer Technology at EUEC 2010 Conference

January 27, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Southern Research Institute scientists have developed an on-site bromine-gas production and injection system that will allow coal-fired utilities to inject bromine gas into their ducts at any location, without the need to transport toxic or hazardous liquids or gases onto or off of the plant site, as a way to mitigate mercury emissions in energy production. Scientists there have also developed a technology that obtains data on droplet size and concentration distributions in wet scrubber mist eliminator performance testing programs, addressing a key concern for industrial plants in determining the collection efficiency of wet scrubbers.

These technical presentations will be made at the 13th Annual Energy & Environment Conference (EUEC) in Phoenix, February 1-3.

Thomas Gale, Ph.D., manager of Power Systems Research at Southern Research Institute, will discuss “Bromine Production and Injection System for Hg Mitigation at Coal-Fired Power Plants” on Monday, Feb. 1 from 7:30 – 9:30 as part of the Mercury Control and Sorbents track (Track C, Session C1).

Kenneth Cushing, manager of Environmental Field Services, will discuss “Wet Scrubber Mist Eliminator Performance Testing with a Video Droplet Analyzer” on Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 7:30-9:30AM in the Clean Air & Electric Utilities track (Track B, Session B7).

Bromine gas been shown to effectively oxidize the elemental mercury found in coal-fired flue gas to form mercuric bromide, which is more effectively captured by wet scrubbers and retained in scrubbers than mercuric chloride. However, bromine gas and liquid bromine create potential safety hazards.

Southern Research’s new technology injects calcium bromide through a reactor and a catalytic chamber, converting it to bromine gas and creating non-toxic by-products of quicklime and calcium hydroxide which can be used at the plant or safely disposed.

“Southern Research has demonstrated this new technology in a continuous operation, showing a greater than 85 percent conversion of calcium bromide to bromine gas in laboratory tests,” said Gale. “We expect the conversion rate in commercial systems to be greater than 90 percent, thus helping to resolve a very challenging problem for industry.”

Cushing will present new data about Southern Research’s Video Droplet Analyzer, how it functions and share real-world examples of its application in various scrubber mist eliminator test programs.

Methods previously available to measure droplet size distribution of liquid sprays and liquid carryover rates from wet scrubber mist eliminators, says Cushing, have generally been less than satisfactory. The Video Droplet Analyzer-a proprietary video-based, in-situ system which has been used extensively by Southern Research-provides practical solutions.

“Problems can occur when reducing wet scrubber operating costs associated with flue gas reheat, because ‘rain-out’ from the stack can occur,” said Cushing. “Tests may be required to ensure that mist eliminator performance specifications are being met. Our method has proven that it can quantify wet scrubber droplet concentrations, carryover, and emission rates, and provide a means of accurately quantifying mist eliminator carryover and droplet concentrations in stacks.”

Southern Research engineers and technicians will be available to discuss this work at Booth #716 in the conference exhibit hall. Southern Research has provided environmental research and services to government, industry, and private institutions around the world for more than 35 years. This work, much of it groundbreaking in nature, has led to the development of new test methods and instruments, the improvement of process and emission control technologies, solutions to daunting new environmental challenges, and other important contributions to environmental science.

About EUEC

EUEC has grown since its inception in 1995 and is now one of the largest and most prestigious “must attend” annual energy and environmental conferences. EUEC is organized jointly by US EPA, USDOE, EPRI, and EEI and has gained recognition and credibility for its networking and educational quality. Over 3000 delegates, including environmental business leaders, energy executives, NGOs and government policymakers, attend a technical program with 650+ speakers, and a networking exhibition with 200 companies.

About Southern Research

Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 scientific research organization that conducts preclinical drug discovery and development, and advanced engineering research in materials, systems development, environment and energy. Our more than 550 scientific and engineering team members support clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries. Southern Research is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with facilities in Wilsonville, Ala., Anniston, Ala., Frederick, Md., and Durham, NC and offices in New Orleans, La., Washington, DC and Kiev, Ukraine. Southern Research has considerable experience in developing and evaluating technologies for the power industry.

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