Coal dryer a winner for Great River

A PROTOTYPE coal dryer demonstrated at Great River Energy's Coal Creek Station has proven so successful that the power company intends to install full-sized versions of the prototype and install the technology on another unit, at its own cost.

Angie Tomlinson

Full-sized dryers will be installed on the station's 546-megawatt Unit 2 as part of the second phase of its cost-shared project with the US Department of Energy. The power company will also install the technology at its 546MW Unit 1.

The project uses waste heat from the power plant to reduce moisture content in the lignite coal used, allowing more energy to be extracted with reduced emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Installation will be completed by March 2008 and will be followed by demonstrations of the integrated system through the year, providing data useful to other power plants that burn high-moisture coals.

The Energy Department is expected to provide $US13.5 million of the $31.5 million needed for the coal-drying project over its 54-month duration.

The project is one of eight that were selected in the first round of the Clean Coal Power Initiative, a 10-year, $2 billion program to advance clean coal technologies.