Alcoa is piloting a new emissions reduction technology at its baked anode and calcined coke facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, that it claims will reduce sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and hydrogen fluoride emissions at the plant by up to 90%.
The new technology also offers significantly lower installation costs than more established emissions-cleansing technology and lower operating costs, using half as much water and 30% less energy, according to Alcoa.
“Alcoa’s experts have extended the boundary of traditional scrubbing equipment, enabling a more cost-effective, robust and sustainable alternative for reducing industrial emissions,” cto Ray Kilmer said in a statement.
“Following successful completion of this pilot, we plan to commercialise our technology to help other companies reduce emissions at a fraction of the cost of using conventional scrubbers, making it a bankable technology,” he added.
Whereas conventional wet scrubbers pump a limestone or sodium-based solution to the top of a 100-foot tower and spray it onto flue gas, Alcoa’s In-Duct Scrubber moves flue gas from the smelter or boiler into a horizontal chamber and sprays a sodium-based solution in the same direction as the gas flow.
“Alcoa’s high-velocity, horizontal scrubbing process allows up to three times more gas to be treated than in an equivalent conventional scrubber space and requires 30% less energy to operate,” the company said. “The technology treats upwards of 90% of sulfur dioxide in less than one-fifth of a second compared to traditional wet scrubbers, which could take 10-15 seconds.”
Commissioning and testing of the new technology is expected to be complete by August next year.