2010-06-11 / General Stories

Community Members Tour Luminant Power Plants

A mid-May tour of two power plant units allowed Luminant Community Advisory Panel (LCAP) members to see the emission control equipment installed on Luminant’s Power Plant Unit 4 and the circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology in use at the recently built Unit 5.

The Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) device installed over existing emission control equipment in Unit 4 was a very large and noticeable structure whose construction required nearly a third as much steel as that needed to build all of Unit 5. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) were being removed before reaching the atmosphere, as intended. NOx is the target of reductions because it contributes to ozone formation.

Members heard that the CFB technology originally was designed for use in Scandinavia to burn plentiful but low heat value peat as fuel. CFB keeps the fuel in the system longer and operates at lower temperature, thus reducing emissions. Limestone helps remove emissions coming from the sulfur that is part of coal. The tour also showed attendees the location of a dry scrubber to remove additional sulfur dioxide and a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) built into Unit 5. Activated carbon is being used in both units to reduce mercury emissions that come from burning coal. Another obvious feature of Unit 5 was a large cooling tower used to cool process water by evaporation.

Attendees heard that the Sandow Station makes enough electricity for about 850,000 homes. One of the most noticeable aspects of power plant operation was how few employees (6-8) are needed on shift during the offhours as a result of the highly automated operations.

The Luminant CAP meets again on Monday, October 11. For details about LCAP or its meetings, contact the facilitator at 800-484-9212 x 4127. Visitors are welcome!

Lexington area residents are also welcome to contact Bob Lee at 979/542-3006.

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