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Radiation Physics and Chemistry 57 (2000) 495499

www.elsevier.com/locate/radphyschem

Operational experience of a commercial scale plant of


electron beam purication of ue gas
Yoshitaka Doi*, Ikuo Nakanishi, Yoshihide Konno
Ebara Corporation, EBA Division, 1-6-27 Kohnan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108, Japan

Abstract
A commercial scale plant using electron beam irradiation was constructed to clean the ue gas from a coal red
thermal power plant at Chengdu in China. Operations began in September 1997 and the plant achieved its design
performance with the satisfactory recovery of by-product fertilizer for agricultural use. Another commercial plant is
now under construction at Nagoya, Japan and the operation will be started in November, 1999. 7 2000 Published
by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Electron beam purication; Fertilizer; FGD

1. Introduction
Air pollution and related acid rain have now become
a serious problem world wide. In particular, immediate
measures need to be taken for the reduction of sulfur
oxides and nitrogen oxides emitted in large quantities
from coal red power plants. Various technologies and
processes have been developed to reduce sulfur oxides
(SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. One such
eective process using electron beam irradiation was
commercialized as the Electron Beam Flue Gas Treatment process (EBA process). The EBA process
removes SOx and NOx simultaneously by electron
beam irradiation with ammonia (Maezawa and Iizuka,
1997). This process converts these pollutants into a dry
by-product consisting of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate, which can be used as an agricultural
fertilizer.

* Corresponding author. Fax: +81-3-5461-6085.

Based on the experience gained from several pilot


plants through cooperations with the Japan Atomic
Energy Research Institute (JAERI) and others, Ebara
Corporation proceeded to build the rst commercial
scale plant at Chengdu Thermal Power Plant in
China in 1997 with the assistance of the Chinese government (Plate 1). This project demonstrated the
economic benet and technical feasibility including
by-product utilization and scale up capability. The
removal eciencies of SOx and NOx reached design
requirements and the resulting by-product was demonstrated to be a fertilizer for agricultural use through
cultivation tests. In addition, a second commercial
scale plant using the EBA process is now under
construction in Japan. The features of the EBA process are summarized as follows (Aoki and Okamoto,
1998)
1. Ecient simultaneous removal of SOx and NOx.
2. Dry process without waste water treatment.
3. Valuable by-product usable as fertilizer.

0969-806X/00/$ - see front matter 7 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Y. Doi et al. / Radiation Physics and Chemistry 57 (2000) 495499

2. EBA reaction mechanism


The center of the EBA process (Namba et al., 1998)
is a `Process Vessel' where electron beam irradiation
causes the main reactions to occur in three stages. The
rst stage is the formation of active radicals, such as
OH, O and HO2. The second stage is the oxidation of
SOx and NOx by free radicals to form sulfuric acid
and nitrate acid respectively. The third stage is the
neutralization of these acids by the injection of ammonia to form dry ammonium sulfate and ammonium
nitrate solids (Fig. 1).

3. EBA project in China


China relies on coal as a primary energy resource to
about 75%, and emits large amounts of ue gas
containing high concentrations of SOx. This SOx

pollution causes environmental problems. As a


solution to the environmental problems as well as to
contribute towards an increase in food production,
the Electron Beam Desulfurization Project was
initiated in China (Izutsu and Okabe, 1997; Tokunaga,
1998).

4. Process ow
The EBA process consists of three main stages:
gas cooling, ammonia injection and electron beam
irradiation, and by-product collection and treatment.
The schematic process ow is shown in Fig. 2.
After y ash collection, the ue gas is passed
through a spray cooler at a ow rate of 300,000
m3/h (NTP) where it is cooled by water sprays. The
cooled gas is then introduced into the process
vessel and irradiated with electron beams after the

Plate 1. Electron beam desulfurization project in China

Y. Doi et al. / Radiation Physics and Chemistry 57 (2000) 495499

Fig. 1. Reaction mechanism.

Fig. 2. EBA plant in China.

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Y. Doi et al. / Radiation Physics and Chemistry 57 (2000) 495499

Table 1
Design specicationsa
300,000 m3/h (NTP) (equivalent to 90 MWe)
1508C

Gas ow rate
Gas temperature
Components
Initial SO2 content
Initial NOx content
Initial dust content
SOx scrubbing eciency
NOx scrubbing eciency
Treated dust content
a

1,800 ppm (D.B.)


400 ppm (D.B.)
800 mg/m3 (NTP)
> 80%
> 10%
< 200 mg/m3 (NTP)

The NOx scrubbing eciency is governed by the SOx scrubbing conditions.

injection of ammonia. The powder by-product is


collected by the electrostatic precipitator and the
treated clean gas is discharged into the atmosphere
through the stack.

5. China plant design


At present neither NOx removal nor stringent
SO2 controls are required in China. Eighty percent of
initial SO2 content (1800 ppm) is designed to be
removed with more than 10% NOx removal. The
design specications of this plant are shown in
Table 1, with the main process items being listed in
Table 2.

6. Process performance
The boiler loading of the Chengdu Thermal Power
Plant changes continuously, causing uctuations in the
ue gas SO2 levels. Stable SO2 removal eciencies
above 80% are achieved as shown in Fig. 3, even
though SO2 levels may vary by up to 1200 ppm. It has
been shown that high removal eciencies can be
achieved with the EBA process by proper control of
the absorption rate of electron beam, ue gas temperature and ammonia injection ow rate.

7. By-product utilization
The amount of by-product recovered by this plant is

Fig. 3. SO2 removal eciency.

Y. Doi et al. / Radiation Physics and Chemistry 57 (2000) 495499

499

Table 2
Main process items
Spray cooler
Process vessel
Electron accelerator
DC high voltage power supply
Electrostatic precipitator
Induction draft fan

Descending ow, full evaporation type


Horizontal two stage irradiation system
Scanning type, 800 kV 400 mA/unit
Oil-insulated transformer recticate
Horizontal dry type
Dual suction centrifugal fan

Table 3
By-product components
Ammonium sulfate
Ammonium nitrate
Others

91.9%
0.8%
7.3%

Table 4
Result of vegetable (lettuce) cultivation test

Max height of plant (cm)


Max width of leaf (cm)
Weight (g)
Coloura
a

EBA by-product

Reference fertilizer

Ammonium sulphate

Ammonium Nitrate

No nitrogen

24.8
6.9
87.6
29

25.0
6.8
87.4
29

25.5
6.8
89.3
29

24.7
6.8
92.1
30

20.7
5.3
46.1
21

Colour of leaves was measured using a chlorophyll meter SPAD-50.

about 2.5 tons/h or 20,000 tons a year. The main component of the by-product is ammonium sulfate, containing approximately 20% nitrogen as the eective
fertilizer component, with an eciency similar to other
commercially available fertilizers. It can either be used
as a single-component fertilizer or as a starting material for chemical (mixed) fertilizers.
The by-product components are shown in Table 3.
Table 4 shows the results of vegetable cultivation tests
as a comparison with the recovered by-product.
8. EBA commercial plant in Japan
The second commercial scale EBA plant is now
under construction for the Chubu Electric Power Co.
at the Nishi-Nagoya Thermal Power Station Unit No.
1 (a heavy oil-red boiler with a power output of 220
MWe) to treat ue gas at a ow rate of 620,000 m3/h
(NTP). This plant will start in 1999. The rate of byproduct production is estimated at 4.5 tons/h.
9. Conclusion
The commercialization of the EBA process using
electron beam irradiation is moving ahead at a fast

pace following the demonstration of its technical and


economical feasibility. Having the ability to produce a
valuable fertilizer from the ue gas, the EBA process is
essentially a technology capable of contributing to
both environmental pollution controls and food production.

References
Aoki, S., Okamoto, K., 1998. The electron-beam ue gas
treatment system. In: The 41st Radiation and Chemistry
Symposium, Kobe, Japan.
Izutsu, M., Okabe, R., 1997. Final development to commercialize EBA process, non-thermal plasma technology for
gaseous pollution control. In: Proceedings of The second
International Symposium Salvador, Brazil.
Maezawa, A., Iizuka, Y., 1997. Electron beam ue gas treatment process technology. In: International Congress of
Acid Snow and Rain, Niigata, Japan.
Namba, H., et al., 1998. Electron beam treatment of ligniteburning ue gas with high concentrations of sulfur dioxide
and water. Radiation Physics and Chemistry 53 (6), 673
681.
Tokunaga, O., 1998. A technique for desulfurization and
denitration of exhaust gases using an electron beam.
Science & Technology in Japan 16 (64), 4750.