872Process Modification

There are several strategies related to process modification to reduce or eliminate SOx emissions. One strategy is to use an alternative method of generating the energy needed to process the materials. A common alternative is to use electrical energy instead of burning a fossil fuel. An example of a common industrial heating process used to make steel from scrap metal is known as an electric arc furnace or EAF (see Chap. 13). In an EAF, three graphite electrodes arranged in a triangle are inserted into a vessel containing a load of scrap metal. A very high voltage is applied which arcs between the electrodes through the scrap metal causing it to melt. The appropriate chemicals are added to the molten bath to produce the desired grade of steel. While electricity is often much more expensive than fossil fuels, the heating efficiency of the EAF is high, which makes it economical. However, this particular alternative is only a possibility for materials that are electrically conductive, which is not the case for most industrial combustion processes. A related alternative is to convert electrical energy into thermal energy in radiant heaters. The two challenges of this approach are the very high radiant power output density required in most industrial material processes and the overall system economics where electrical power is often several times more expensive than fossil fuels for the same heat input.

Another strategy is to modify the materials process by replacing the incoming sulfur-bearing feed materials with other materials that have less or no sulfur. This approach only applies to those processes where the incoming feed materials contain sulfur, which are fairly limited. It is also only viable if there is a suitable substitute for the materials containing the sulfur.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

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