Fortum implements combustion modification to significantly cut NOx emissions at a coal-fired power plant in India

Fortum eNext successfully completed its first commercial combustion modification project in India. The NOx emissions of a coal-fired boiler are for the first time cut down by almost 60% reaching levels well below 300 mg/Nm3 fulfilling also India's set target of 450 mg/Nm3.

old coal-fired power plant

Fortum, a Finnish clean energy company, successfully completed its first commercial combustion modification project in India. The project was aimed at reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions on one of the coal-fired power plants with a capacity of over 100 MWe. The NOx emissions of a coal-fired boiler were for the first time cut down to such extent that NOx levels reached well below 300 mg/Nm3 in all loads and mill combinations. The boiler was commissioned during Q1 in 2020 and it has been in operation since then. Performance Guarantee Tests have also been duly completed.

Fortum has advanced technology for bringing about NOx reduction up to the Statutory Limits by using only primary combustion modification on the boiler with minimal capital expenses and no operating expenses. Fortum is one of the only companies that can help reduce NOx levels below the 300 mg/Nm3 applying only primary methods.

The project met the guaranteed values of 290 mg/Nm3 of NOx (at 6% oxygen reference) in all mill combinations and load conditions (60%, 80% and 100%) by using local Indian coal with the lowest NOx values remaining well below 200 mg/Nm3.

Keeping in mind the expertise in planning and execution of NOx reduction combustion refurbishments, Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India, said, “India’s existing coal-fired plants will need to go through technological upgradation to meet the stringent emission norms. Even the 15-20 years old power plants have potential to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their air emissions significantly, like in case of NOx emissions, by adopting the best available technologies. With this project, we have been able to demonstrate that it is not only possible to meet the existing NOx emission norms in India, but also overtake them and with some margins.”

Mr. Juha Suomi, Head of Sales, Fortum eNext, said, “Reducing the emission levels of power plants will not only help make the energy sector more sustainable but also curb the air pollution levels, thereby taking India closer towards achieving its climate goals. Fortum is committed to supporting India in achieving this goal by offering its knowledge and expertise to the energy sector.”

During the course of the project, Fortum carried out various field data analyses; tests with local coals in different coal mill operations and combinations, measurements of NOx emission levels at different production loads; and modification to the existing coal burners and combustion staging, based on Computational Fluid Dynamic modelling combined with Fortum’s excessive experience on previous retrofit projects.

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