Clean-Coal Technology Demonstration
Planned at American Electric Power
Generating Unit

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 1, 1998 -- American Electric Power (AEP) and numerous partners will participate in a demonstration project aimed at further reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

AEP’s 600-megawatt Cardinal Plant Unit 1 will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of reducing NOx emissions on large-scale steam generating units with a technology called Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction, or SNCR. Cardinal Plant is on the Ohio River at Brilliant, Ohio.

SNCR has been effective in reducing NOx emissions in smaller-scale boilers in both demonstration and commercial applications. The Cardinal demonstration will represent the largest domestic coal-fired generating unit to use the technology, which will be installed this fall with start-up expected by early 1999.

“If successful, this project will show that SNCR can be used in large boilers to provide reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions beyond those achievable with other technologies alone, enabling SNCR to play a role in an overall NOx compliance program that includes AEP’s supercritical units,” said Martin Mearhoff, AEP’s manager-mechanical engineering.

Coal mined in Ohio will be used in the project, which will be funded in part through the Ohio Department of Development’s Coal Development Office.

“Throughout the state of Ohio, technology-oriented firms are engaged in research and development efforts which will ultimately enhance our ability to produce clean power while using Ohio coal,” said Lieutenant Governor Nancy P. Hollister. “I look forward to monitoring the progress of this project as it yields innovative applications for Ohio’s No. 1 energy resource -- coal.”

Mark Gray, AEP’s manager-environmental services, called the project “an example of the commitment by AEP and the other participating utilities to achieve environmental goals, and to identify and develop clean-coal technologies. We need to find a NOx emissions control strategy that truly makes sense from both an air-quality and a cost perspective.

“A successful demonstration will reveal a technology that can help limit NOx emissions without imposing the costly restrictions currently proposed by the federal government,” Gray said.
Ohio and nine other states have taken issue with a federal proposal to require stricter NOx emissions in the Midwest in an attempt to improve air quality in the Northeast. Nitrogen oxides contribute to formation of ozone, commonly called smog. Recent studies have shown that NOx reductions lower ozone levels in the area where the reductions are made, indicating that the Northeast must reduce emissions locally to solve its ozone problem.

The Cardinal project will cost an estimated $6 million, including capital costs and operation and maintenance expenses. Participating with AEP and the Ohio Department of Development in the demonstration project are a consortium of other electric utilities, through the Electric Power Research Institute; fuel suppliers; and Nalco Fuel Tech, the technology supplier.

Participating utilities are Buckeye Power Inc., which owns Cardinal Plant units 2 and 3; Allegheny Power Systems, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Cinergy, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, FirstEnergy, New England Electric Service, Southern Company Services, Tennessee Valley Authority and Wisconsin Electric Power Co.

The U.S. Department of Energy also has indicated interest in the project.

SNCR is a chemical process that changes oxides of nitrogen into molecular nitrogen, or N2, by injecting a “reducing agent” into the combustion gases in the boiler. In the Cardinal project, this agent will be urea, a nitrogen-based compound that thermally decomposes to produce ammonia. When this injection occurs in the proper temperature range (1,700 to 2,200 degrees F), the reducing agent reacts with the NOx in the gas stream, converting it to harmless nitrogen gas and water vapor.

Application of SNCR to a generating unit the size of Cardinal Unit 1 has not been attempted previously because of the technical challenges involved with treating such large volumes of gases at such extreme temperatures, Mearhoff said.

“Major advantages of this technology are its low capital cost and the lack of byproducts that must be disposed of,” Mearhoff said. “In addition, it can be used in conjunction with other NOx reduction technologies to provide an additional margin of NOx reduction without excluding larger-sized boilers.”

The project goal is to attain a reduction in Cardinal Unit 1’s NOx emissions of 30 percent beyond the reductions obtainable through “low-NOx” burner technology, which slows the combustion process and thereby limits formation of NOx in coal-fired boilers.

AEP either has completed or plans to install low-NOx burner technology on 29 generating units to meet Phase I and Phase II requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

Approximately 90 percent of AEP’s 23,877-megawatt generating capacity is coal fired.

AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States’ largest investor-owned
utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

For more information, please contact:

David Hagelin
(740) 687-3022

Pat Hemlepp
(614) 223-1620

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