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Researchers Continue Power Plant Emissions Reduction Strategies

June 5, 2008

A team of industrial and civil engineers at The University of Texas at Arlington have received another grant from Luminant (formerly the generation division of TXU) to enhance the capabilities of a software package that optimizes the management of emission controls at Luminant’s existing and proposed coal-fueled power plants. The team designed the current package in 2006 to optimally manage Selective Catalytic Reduction technologies for the utility company.

The team, led by Dr. Jay Rosenberger and his Industrial Engineering associates Drs. Victoria Chen and Seoung Bum Kim and Civil Engineering’s Dr. Melanie Sattler, will be adding several new features to the existing software. These primarily relate to reducing imbalances due to some plants emitting substantially more nitrous oxides (NOx) and having higher operating costs than other plants.

Another feature will improve the accuracy and efficiency of calculating NOx emissions and ammonia injection, which improves the performance of selective catalytic reduction. These improvements will allow Luminant to calculate many solutions and determine the trade-offs between NOx reductions and operating costs.

Finally, because of the reductions of emissions, Luminant may qualify for NOx credits. The researchers will develop a method to incorporate a NOx pricing forecast into the software to optimize decisions based on predicted NOx credits.

Two Ph.D. students will assist in the $100,000 project, which is expected to be completed in January 2009.