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1 March 2009
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* The U.S. market for air pollution control technologies for coalfired power plants was worth $2.5 billion in 2008. This is expected to increase to $2.7 billion in 2013, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5%.
* Scrubbers and FGD technologies generated $1.3 billion in 2008. This segment should increase slightly by the end of 2013, for a CAGR of 1.5%.
* Nitrogen oxide control technologies were worth $925.0 million in 2008. This should increase at a CAGR of 1.5% to reach $997.0 million in 2013.
Since 2002 much has happened in the coal-fired power plant industry and its attempts to control air pollution from such plants. In addition, much else has happened and continues to happen in the overall U.S. and global economic, energy, and pollution control situations. Many different and interlaced factors, not only technological and economic, but also increasingly political, are affecting and often driving the discussions of present and future policies and plans.
There are two different pertinent economic and technical areas, which with the countries of the world (and the entire global economy) are currently struggling with and seeking solutions. These are energy supplies and the environmental consequences of exploiting those supplies.
Energy can be supplied from a number of different sources. Today, most of the worlds energy is derived from so-called "fossil fuels," the products of millennia of decay of animal and vegetable matter. The three primary fossil fuels are crude oil, natural gas, and coal, and all three have been exploited vigorously.
* Crude oil has several advantages in that it is liquid (usually) and is rather easily and economically transported around the globe and across land and sea. Crude oil is refined using known technologies to produce a number of different products, ranging from light gases to liquid fuels to heavy oils and asphalts. It is in high demand for its ease of use, number of applications, and unless there is some global political or economic upset, relatively low price. In 2008, the price of crude oil more than doubled in less than a year for no known physical or supply reasons except that developing countries, especially China and India, are using and seeking far greater quantities of oil than in the past. However, no sooner had crude oil prices peaked at close to $150/bbl than the price bubble burst and prices dropped to the current (early 2009) levels around $40/bbl.
* Natural gas has one principal advantage: it is the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels. Its demand has increased as tougher environmental controls of power plants have moved many utilities and other power producers to either switch to natural gas or build new power plants that burn it. However, natural gas has one big disadvantage compared with crude oil; that is, it is gaseous. In addition, a unit of energy (such as a BTU or a joule) of a gas takes up much more space than a liquid. Transporting natural gas over large distances requires a much greater investment than that to transport an energy-equivalent quantity of crude oil. There are solutions, such as liquefying the gas with cold, pressure, or both for smaller-volume transport, and building power and other gas-using plants near gas fields. However, a lot of current natural gas is considered "stranded" in remote places like Siberia, and a lot of it is flared into the atmosphere.
* Coal, the third fossil fuel, is important principally to date as a fuel for the generation of electric power. Being solid, it is not easily adapted for use as a transportation fuel unless it is chemically converted to a combustible gas or liquid; more later on so-called coal-to-liquid (CTL) technologies. Thus, coal is used today in the United States primarily for electrical power generation, and coal-fired power generation is the subject of this study and report.
Global energy supplies, until very recently, were exploited and used around the world with little concern about the future. Most usage has been in developed nations, and most conspicuously in the United States, which has about 5% of the global population but uses up to 35% of global energy supply. The worlds energy supplies are used in a number of different application areas, such as transportation, power generation, heating, etc. study goals and objectives (Continued)
The environmental consequences of burning fossil fuels were essentially ignored for many years from the start of the Industrial Revolution. Stories of the "dark satanic mills" of the British industrial midlands of the 19th century abound in literature. As the worlds population grew and demand for power and industrial goods grew, the effects of all this fossil fuel burning became more apparent from increased smog, respiratory problems, dying trees, acid rain, and other effects. It also caused increasingly political and economic considerations for governments, industry, and the public. These consequences show up in different ways, some obvious such as visible tailpipe and smokestack emissions, others less visible in the form of unseen toxic and other environmentally unfriendly gases and both liquid and solid wastes.
Now the problem of global warming is taking centre stage, adding more urgency to the quest for new and/or better solutions to pollution from fossil fuel burning. One aspect of this overall global problem, that of control of air pollution from coal-fired power plants, is the focus and subject of this report.
For decades, the U.S. has relied on coal-fired electric-generating plants as the foundation of its central power system. Indeed, today more than half the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from burning coal. Coal is a very complex material. As we discuss later, fossil fuels vary depending on their geographical origin. Thus, there are different types of coal, crude oil, and natural gas, varying in chemical composition. "Coal" is a generic term for a great number of mixtures of often large and complex organic compounds, usually also containing metals and other contaminants. Burning coal generates many other emissions besides carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, the normal products of organic oxidation.
Because of these emissions, coal has received a lot of criticism as a power-generation fuel source because of its contribution to air pollution. Air emissions standards, constantly under study and discussion in universities, utilities, and government, have resulted in a re-evaluation of coal as a fuel source and the development of new technologies for reducing plant emissions. With deregulation of the utility market and the continual increase in the nations energy requirements, the need for cost-effective and environmentally compliant technologies also increases.
This BCC Research report analyzes the trends and developments of the rapidly changing U.S. market for air pollution control technologies for coal-fired power plants. The report provides an overview of the coal-based power industry, including history, key regulations, types and characteristics of plant emissions, types of emission-control technologies, industry structure, and future trends. Market forecasts are included for equipment to control the current major air pollutants from coal-fired power plants.
This study focuses primarily in the United States but also includes some international observations, given the global nature of business and technology these days when no nation or region can operate without consideration of the rest of the world. However, our focus is on the United States.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
During recent years, much emphasis has been placed on the development of air pollution control technologies that will allow the continued use of coal as an energy source while meeting the stringent requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 and subsequent legislation and regulations.
The report is designed to provide information of a professional nature, and the technical data are dependent on the accuracy of data provided by manufacturers, researchers, and government sources that we covered in our research. We have sorted through, organized, and condensed information from a large amount of literature and other reference materials to compile this report. The report is not intended to be an endorsement of any energy source, company, or technology.
The report should be valuable and essential for vendors, research and development organizations, investors, and engineering and construction firms faced with complex business decisions involving the future directions of energy development. It will also prove to be valuable to government agencies, legislators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
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