A power plant, also known as a generating station, powerhouse or generating plant is an industrial facility that produces electrical power. The key source for producing the electricity at a power plant is the generator. A generator is a rotating machine that uses mechanical power to create electrical power. The source of energy used to turn the generator varies widely. Much of it depends on the cost of fuels and the technology available to the power company. Most power stations burn fossil fuels (coal and oil) and natural gas while other use nuclear power or renewable sources (solar, wind farms, wave and hydroelectric) to power the generator.

With the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, power plants are required to cut down on the emissions related to fossil fuels like coal. The process that is commonly used is Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). Selective catalytic reduction is a post-combustion NOX reduction technology in which ammonia (NH3) is added to the fuel gas, which then passes through layers of a catalyst. The ammonia and NOX react on the surface of the catalyst, forming harmless nitrogen (N2) and water vapor.

SCR is well accepted by the industry as the best available technology, achieving the highest NOX reduction level. Technologies are changing rapidly in the NOX reduction SCR market and new alternative technologies keep coming to the market. Ammonia is currently considered the most effective NOX reducing agent used with SCR systems. Ammonia-based SCR systems can use three different NOX reducing agents: anhydrous ammonia, aqueous ammonia, and urea.

Corken reciprocating compressors are used in anhydrous ammonia SCR systems. Anhydrous ammonia is the most effective NOX reducing agent used in SCR systems. However, due to its hazardous nature, this form of ammonia can incur high compliance costs and safety concerns related to transportation, storing, and handling. This technology has been in use in Europe since the 1980’s.

Non-toxic urea is transported as a granular solid. It is mixed with water on site and converted to ammonia to be used as a NOX reducing agent in SCR systems. This technology has recently gained a lot of interest from end-users due to minimal safety concerns.

For more information on Corken’s compression and pumping solutions for the electric power generation market, click on one of the links below:

  • Reciprocating Compression Solutions

  • Power Plants