BoilersBy Cosby Woodruff, Assistant Editor System Cuts Boiler NOx Emissions By Up To 90%Plants can add boiler capacity without increasing pollution. Environmental awareness has taken its place alongside globalization, specialization and consolidation as trends affecting the way textile companies do business. Along those lines, many companies look for wayshowever smallto reduce operating costs and pollution.Cutting the nitrous oxide emissions (NOx) from a boiler may only make a dent in a plants overall environmental impact, but Nationwide Boiler Inc. recently introduced a catalytic reduction system – CataStak – that reduces NOx emissions by up to 90% over traditional natural-gas fired boiler burners. Nationwides system also reduces carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). NOx is a key component to smog, and CO and VOC both contribute to air pollution.Nationwide developed CataStak to meet Californias tough, anti-smog laws, company president Jeff Shallcross says, but he expects to receive orders from textile operations through his firms Charlotte office.He predicts it is only a matter of time before national regulations become tougher, and the demand for emission-reducing products grows nationally. “They are getting tighter and tighter on pollution,” Shallcross says. “This is the next step in lower emissions. If plants need to get down below a certain level (of emissions), this is a way they can do it.”He also says CataStak can increase a plants boiler capacity without increasing its total pollution emissions.
Nationwide’s CataStak reduces boiler emissions of several pollutants, including NOx, CO and VOCs.Installing CataStak does not mean installing a new boiler, or even a new burner. It installs on in-place boiler burners. It is for boilers producing 50,000-150,000 lb/hr, but Shallcross says it can be fitted onto smaller boilers and that it does not reduce boiler efficiency.CataStak operates with three, standard 150-lb ammonia containers instead of a conventional ammonia storage tank. Containers are replaced when empty. The ammonia mixes with the exhaust gases, and the mixture moves through a catalyst in the CataStak, which removes the ammonia and pollutants.CataStak took a year to develop and originally was for Nationwides fleet of rental boilersboilers mounted on 18-wheelers, which are rented to plants undergoing boiler maintenance. Then the company began selling them on new installations in California, then added the product to its retrofitting line. “We were applying it to package boilers,” he says. “Now this is available for direct sales and users.”Nationwide guarantees CataStak to reduce boiler emissions from 30 ppm NOx to 9 ppm. When used with a low NOx burner, it can reduce that to fewer than 3 ppm. Since CataStak is a self-contained box with no large ammonia tanks or vaporizers. Inside the box are a single-reactor with the catalysts and an ammonia-injection skid.Field installation requires a relatively small space, and the device requires little operation intervention. The device is portable and operates at low temperatues. It does not require a special burner or any special exhaust fans. The company began research into NOx reduction more than 15 years ago.November 2001