Project Synopsis

Design a water based scrubber system to scrub flue gases on an oxy-fuel combustion power generation system.

Project Summary


The client has designed and fabricated an oxy-fuel coal combustion system for a U.S. university group.  Oxy-fuel combustion is the process of burning a fuel using almost pure oxygen instead of air to reduce fuel consumption, produce less flue gas, and produce higher flame temperatures. The university requested that the client provide them with a water scrubber to remove acid gas components from the combustion flue gas, namely Sulfuric Acid / SOx and Nitric Acid / NOx.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was hired to design the scrubber. The purpose of this project was to develop equipment duty specifications and a preliminary piping and instrumentation diagram for the water scrubber.  The water scrubber will take the form of a once-through, packed bed column that provides residence time for direct-contact cooling of the combustion system flue gas as well as the non-catalyzed partial conversion of NOx and SOx to their respective acids.  The process design information generated assisted the client in developing a detail design of the scrubber system.

Specific project tasks included:

  • Process Design Basis development, which involved the development of the baseline information that governed subsequent process design tasks.
  • Mass and Energy Balance preparation, which involved the development of a comprehensive, detailed mass and energy balance for the scrubber system.  This included process stream flow rates, compositions, temperatures, pressures, and physical/chemical properties.  This involved set-up of a process simulation model in CHEMCAD software.
  • Process Flow Diagram (PFD) preparation, which involved utilizing the mass and energy balance information generated during the preceding tasks and preparing a PFD for the process.  The PFD depicted the scrubber system and process streams.
  • Major equipment sizing, which involved the preparation of preliminary (process design level, duty) equipment sizing information for the major process equipment items, namely the scrubber column and the magnetic drive recirculation pump.  The information was used to prepare detailed equipment specifications during the subsequent detail design phase of the project.
  • Preliminary Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) preparation, which involved utilizing the information gathered and generated during previous tasks to develop P&IDs for the process.  The P&IDs depicted the primary unit operations, process streams, and primary instrumentation and controls.

Industry Type

  • Power Generation Research

Utilized Skills

  • Scrubber design and sizing

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