Choose the Most Appropriate NOx Control Technology


Most major industrialized urban areas in the U.S. Are not able to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Atmospheric research have shown that ozone formation is the end result of a complex set of chemical reactions related to volatile natural compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Those studies imply that many city regions with VOC/NOx ratios more tan 15:1 can reduce ambient ozone ranges simplest by using reducing NOx emissions. Many states, consequently, are enforcing NOx manipulate guidelines for combustion gadgets so that it will achieve compliance with the NAAQS ozone standard. This article discusses the characterization of NOx emissions from commercial combustion gadgets. It then gives steering on a way to examine the relevant NOx manipulate technology and pick the suitable manipulate method.

Characterizing Emissions

Most business combustion devices have no longer been examined to establish their baseline NOx emission degrees. Rather, the NOx emissions from those gadgets were in reality predict using different factors. In mild of new rules, but, it’s miles mandatory that the NOx emissions from affect units now be regard with actuality. This will establish each unit’s present compliance popularity and allow definition of price applicable control technologies for the ones devices so one can require modification to reap compliance. It is, therefore, essential to check each combustion tool to affirm its NOx emissions characteristics. The checking out technique need to be streamlined to provide timely and important records for making decisions regarding the applicability of NOx manipulate technology.

The primary method is to select one tool from a category of devices (this is, of identical design and length) for characterization testing (NOx, CO2, and 02). Testing is perform at 3 load factors that represent the regular working range of the unit, with extra oxygen version checking out conduct at each load factor. Figure 1 illustrates the standard characterization check effects. The last devices in the magnificence are examin at simplest one load factor, at or close to full load.

The operational records receive all through testing, together with the NOx. And CO statistics, are use to define the compliance reputation of each unit. And in addition to the relevant NOx control technologies for the ones gadgets that should be chang. In most times, this approach will permit a couple of devices to be test in at some point. And provide the necessary operational data the engineer desires to properly evaluate the capability NOx control technology.

Fundamental Concepts

Reasonably to be had manipulate generation (RACT) requirements for NOx emissions are describ in terms of an emission restrict. And together with zero.2 lb NOx/MMBtu, in preference to mandating Specific NOx manipulate technology. Depending on the gas fire and the design of the combustion device. A myriad of manipulate technologies can be feasible alternatives. Before selecting RACT for a particular combustion device. It’s far vital to apprehend how NOx emissions are forme so that an appropriate manage approach can be formulat.

NOx emissions shape at some stage in the combustion procedure are a characteristic of the gasoline composition, the working mode, and the primary design of the boiler and combustion system. Each of those parameters can play a big position within the very last degree of NOx emissions.

NOx formation is attributed to 3 awesome mechanisms:

  1. Thermal NOx Formation;
  2. Prompt (i.E.. Unexpectedly forming) NO formation; and
  3. Fuel NOx formation.

Each of these mechanisms is pushe by means of 3 fundamental parameters – temperature of combustion, time above threshold temperatures in an oxidizing or reducing atmosphere, and turbulence throughout preliminary combustion.

Thermal NOx formation in gasoline-, oil-. And coal-fire devices effects from thermal fixation of atmospheric nitrogen in the combustion air. Early investigations of NOx formation have been base totally upon kinetic analyses for gaseous gas combustion. These analyses by means of Zeldovich yield an Arrhenius-kind equation displaying the relative importance of time, temperature, and oxygen and nitrogen concentrations on NOx formation in a pre-mixe flame (this is, the reactants are very well blend earlier than combustion).

While thermal NOx formation in combustion gadgets can not genuinely be decide the use of the Zeldovich relationship, it does illustrate the importance of the important factors that Influence thermal NOx formation, and that NOx formation increases exponentially with combustion temperatures above 2.800°F.

Experimentally measured NOx formation prices near the flame sector are better than the ones anticipat via the Zeldovich relationship. This swiftly forming NO is known as prompt NO. The discrepancy between the anticipat and measur thermal NOx values is attribut to the simplifying assumptions. And use inside the derivation of the Zeldovich equation, which include the equilibrium assumption. That O = ½ 02. Near the hydrocarbon-air flame area, the concentration of the fashion radicals. Which include O and OH, can exceed the equilibrium values. Which enhances the fee of NOx formation. However, the significance of set off NO in NOx emissions is negligible in contrast to thermal and gasoline NOx.


When nitrogen is introduce with the fuel, completely exclusive traits are observe. The NOx shap from the reaction of the gas nitrogen with oxygen is term fuel NOx. The most not unusual shape of fuel nitrogen is organically certain nitrogen found in liquid or solid fuels wherein character nitrogen atoms are bond to carbon or different atoms. These bonds destroy greater effortlessly than the diatomic N2 bonds so that gasoline NOx formation rates can be a great deal better than those of thermal NOx. In addition, any nitrogen compounds (e.G., ammonia) add into the furnace react in tons the identical way.

Fuel NOx is a whole lot greater touchy to stoichiometry than to thermal conditions. For this reason, conventional thermal treatments, inclusive of flue gas recirculation and water injection, do no longer successfully lessen NOx emissions from liquid and stable fuel combustion.

NOx emissions may be manag either at some point of the combustion manner or after combustion is entire. Combustion control technologies depend upon air or gasoline staging techniques to take gain of the kinetics of NOx formation or introducing inerts that inhibit the formation of NOx for the duration of combustion, or each. Post-combustion manipulate technology depend on introducing reactants in distinct temperature regimes that ruin NOx both without or with the use of catalyst to promote the destruction.

Conbustion Control

The handiest of the combustion control technology is low-excess-air operation–that is, decreasing the excess air level to the factor of a few constraint, which include carbon monoxide formation, flame length, flame balance, and so forth. Unfortunately, low-extra-air operation has demonstrat to yield best moderate NOx reductions, if any. Three technology that have confirmed their effectiveness in controlling NOx emissions are off-stoichiometric combustion. Low-NOx burners, and combustion temperature discount. The first two are applicable to all fuels, whilst the 1/3 is relevant only to herbal fuel and coffee-nitro-gen-content fuel oils. Off-stoichiometric, or stag, combustion is accomplish with the aid of enhancing the number one combustion quarter stoichiometry – that is, the air/fuel ratio. This may be execute operationally or by means of device modifications.

An operational technique regard us burners-out-of-service (BOOS) involves terminating the gasoline go with the flow to select burners while leaving the air registers open. The remaining burners operate gas-wealthy, thereby restricting oxygen availability, lowering peak flame temperatures, and decreasing NOx formation. The unreact merchandise combine with the air from the terminated-gas burners to finish burnout before exiting the furnace.


Figure 2 illustrates the effectiveness of this technique applly to electric application boilers. Staged combustion also can be achieved by putting in air-most effective ports, called overfire air (OFA) ports, above the burner region. Redirecting a portion of the air from the burners to the OFA ports. A variant of this concept, lance air, includes putting in air tubes around the outer edge of each burner to deliver staged air. BOOS, overfire air, and lance air achieve comparable effects. These strategies are usually relevant most effective to large, multiple-burner, combustion gadgets.

Low-NOx burners are design to achieve the staging impact internally. The air and gasoline flow fields are partitioned and manage to achieve the preferr air/fuel ratio, which reduces NOx formation and consequences in entire burnout inside the furnace. Low-NOx burners are applicable lo practically all combustion gadgets with circular burner designs. Combustion temperature reduction is powerful at reducing thermal N0x but not fuel NOx. One way to lessen the combustion temperature is to introduce a diluent.

Flue gas recirculation (FGR) is one such method. FGR recirculates a portion of the flue fuel leaving the combustion system returned into the windbox. The recirculated flue gasoline, typically on the order of 10-20% of the combustion air gives sufficient dilution to lower NOx emission. Figure 3 correlates the degree of emission discount with the amount of flue gas recirculated. On gasoline-fired units, emissions arc decreas properly past the tiers typically achievable with staged combustion control. In truth, FGR might be the simplest and least tough device for NOx reduction for fuel-fired combustors.

Post-Combustion Control

There are  technologies for controlling NOx emissions after formation in the combustion process – selective catalytic discount (SCR) and selective noncatalytic discount (SNCR). Both of these strategies have seen very restricted application in the U.S. For external combustion gadgets. In selective catalytic reduction, a fuel mixture of ammonia with a provider fuel (generally compressed air) is injected upstream of a catalytic reactor operating at temperatures between 450º F and 750º F. NOx manage efficiencies are commonly within the 70-ninety% percentage range, relying at the type of catalyst, the amount of ammonia injected, the preliminary NOx degree, and the age of the catalyst.

Technology Selection

As mention previously, choice of relevant NOx manipulate technology depends on some of gasoline, layout, and operational factors. After identifying the applicable manipulate technology, an economic assessment need to be perform to rank the technology in line with their value effectiveness. Management can then pick out the most reliable NOx manage technology for the particular unit.

It must be cited that the efficiencies of NOx control technology aren’t additive, but as a substitute multiplicative. Efficiencies for existing combustion devices had been confirm in terms of percentage discount from baseline emissions level. This should be taken into account while considering mixtures of era. Consider, for example, the following hypothetical case. Assume a baseline NOx emissions degree of one hundred ppmv and manipulate era efficiencies as follows: low-extra-air operation (LEA), 10%; low-NOx burners (LNB), 40%; and flue gas recirculation (FGR). 60%. The 3 controls are hook up inside the revolutionary order of LEA-LNB-FGR.


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