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Alcoa says scrubber lowers emissions 90%

Keywords: Tags  Alcoa, anode, emissions, Lake Charles plant, Louisiana plant, Ray Kilmer, In-Duct Scrubber, Jethro Wookey

LONDON — Alcoa Inc. is piloting new emissions reduction technology at its baked anode and calcined coke facility in Lake Charles, La.

The technology can reduce sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and hydrogen fluoride emissions at the plant by up to 90 percent, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa said, adding that the Alcoa In-Duct Scrubber will also offer significantly lower installation costs than more established emissions cleansing technologies and lower operating costs, using half as much water and 30-percent less energy.

"Alcoa’s experts have extended the boundary of traditional scrubbing equipment, enabling a more cost-effective, robust and sustainable alternative for reducing industrial emissions," chief technology officer and executive vice president Ray Kilmer said. "Following successful completion of this pilot, we plan to commercialize our technology to help other companies reduce emissions at a fraction of the cost of using conventional scrubbers, making it a bankable technology."

While conventional wet scrubbers pump a limestone- or sodium-based solution to the top of a 100-foot tower and spray it onto flue gas, the In-Duct Scrubber moves flue gas from the smelter or boiler into a horizontal chamber and sprays a sodium-based solution in the same direction as the gas flow. Commissioning and testing is expected to be complete by August 2014.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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