University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

EERC partners with Israeli company to test air pollution technology

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota is working with Lextran Ltd., a global air pollution control company based in Petach Tikva, Israel (adjacent to Tel Aviv), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, and Great River Energy, to test the performance of Lextran’s unique multipollutant control technology for use in coal-fired power plants.

The EERC conducted a weeklong combustion test in one of its demonstration facilities to evaluate the performance of the technology on multipollutant reduction in lignite-fired flue gas conditions. The overall goal of this project is to determine the effectiveness of Lextran’s technology for use by the company’s North Dakota partner, Great River Energy.

“The EERC has extensive background and expertise in testing and developing pollution control technologies for coal-fired power plants and similar industries,” said Jay Almlie, EERC Senior Research Manager. “Our personnel are highly experienced in conducting these types of tests and determining what factors are critical to success. This experience, along with existing pilot test facilities, made the EERC uniquely qualified to conduct the test program,” he said.

Lextran, a privately held company, developed the technology for combined removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from combustion flue gases emitted from power plants and other facilities burning fossil fuels.

Currently, each individual pollutant has required a specific control strategy, which imposes significant financial stress to the utility industry. Cost-effective multipollutant control technologies are needed for companies burning lignite to meet anticipated future regulations.

Although demonstrated previously, this technology has not been evaluated specifically in a North Dakota power plant or in a North Dakota lignite flue gas stream. This project is key in applying the technology to the U.S. utility market.

“I traveled to Israel as part of a U.S. Department of Energy delegation after the enactment of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which opened a lot of doors for future relationships with companies there, and I’m very pleased with the work our team has done to foster this new partnership,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “The United States shares many of the same energy insecurities and environmental challenges that Israel does, and partnerships such as this will share expertise, information, and technologies of mutual benefit for both countries.”

The total cost of the project is more than $195,000 and was completed in March 2013. The EERC will now work with Lextran to pursue a consortium-based initiative to test the technology further in a full-scale field demonstration.