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Mitigate NOx emissions and increase energy efficiency

By Scott Jenkins |

In an industrial-scale demonstration, a technology designed to lower NOx emissions has also boosted energy efficiency, according to developer ClearSign Combustion Corp. (Seattle, Wash.; www.clearsign.com). In addition to keeping NOx emissions at 5 ppm or below in industrial burners, ClearSign’s Duplex technology was found to increase thermal efficiency in a retrofitted once-through steam-generator (OTSG) system with a design capacity of 62.5 MMBtu/hr used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at Aera Energy’s Belridge oil field, near Bakersfield, Calif. The greater thermal efficiency can lead to overall energy savings of 3–4% when compared to systems operating with fluegas recirculation (FGR), which translates into yearly cost savings on the order of $100,000 for OTSGs of this capacity, says Roberto Ruiz, chief operating officer at ClearSign. Conventional low-NOx burners operate with FGR to keep NOx emissions down, but such systems penalize thermal efficiency, which leads to higher fuel costs, Ruiz explains. The Duplex technology, first introduced in 2013, helps improve burner flame shape and heat transfer, while optimizing combustion chemistry (Chem. Eng., July 2013, p. 13; www.chemengonline.com/burner-technology-enables-reduced-nox-with-short-flame-length). The…
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