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Fuel Enrichment Breakthrough for coal-fired power stations

IIT is delighted to introduce our latest fuel enrichment innovation for power station operators. Discover the multiple economic and environmental benefits of SilaniteTM, our fuel additive that requires NO changes to your boiler installation and can be retrofitted without downtime to the power station.

Introducing Silanite™, the new Fuel Enrichment system for coal-fired power stations

Delivering major financial and environmental benefits

Silanite™ is a new, sustainable Fuel Enrichment system from International Innovative Technologies Ltd (IIT). It is an advanced fuel additive designed for coal-fired power stations requiring NO changes to the boiler installation and can be retrofitted without causing downtime. That means environmental and economic benefits that can be easily deployed by power station operators without having to make an up-front investment.

The IIT system will contribute to your power station’s bottom line from day one. The short period needed for implementation makes this system highly attractive for power station operators who are under immediate political pressure to demonstrate positive environmental action and economic capability.

What is Silanite™ Fuel Enrichment?

IIT’s patented Fuel Enrichment technology is based on the addition of a multi-oxide additive to the coal feedstock used for steam and electricity generation. The additive, in a finely milled form with closely controlled particle size distribution, is mixed with the coal before it enters the pulverised fuel carrying lines.

In the burner zone the Silanite™ particles interact with the much coarser coal particles resulting in the cracking of the heavier hydrocarbons into lighter hydrocarbons and thus leading to a more complete combustion.  The iron oxide in the fuel additive also acts as a catalyst for additional NOx reduction reactions, converting NOx into N2, which is a natural component of air.

A key component of the Silanite™ powder is an abundantly available by-product material that comprises a mixture of oxides of different elements, including transition metal oxides. 

The Fuel Enrichment technology has been developed by IIT in partnership with combustion specialists from leading universities in the UK. For more information on these collaborations, please register here.

IIT’s Silanite™ Fuel Enrichment system has multiple benefits:

  • Increases thermal efficiency, boosting power output
  • Reduces NOx emissions
  • Reduces Particulate Matter emissions
  • Improves the quality of fly ash
  • Reduces corrosion inside the boiler
  • Reduces slagging and fouling inside the boiler
Conventional methods of reducing emissions from coal-fired power stations such as low NOx burners and SCR, although reducing emissions, have big disadvantages. The former cuts thermal efficiency while SCR comes with a high parasitic load and at a heavy cost. What’s more, they both require significant capital investment and downtime of the power station during installation and commissioning.

Silanite™ FE technology proven in tests

Extensive testing has proven the economic and environmental benefits of Silanite™ Fuel Enrichment system. In a full-scale trial at a 233MWth utility boiler there were no detrimental effects on the boiler and representative lab tests showed that the additive actually reduces corrosion.
Although most R&D work on the Silanite™ additive has been done in relation to coal combustion, the technology is also ideal for biomass combustion. In addition to the effects on efficiency, NOx emissions and particulate matter (albeit with different performance levels), the Silanite™ additive is also expected to have a positive effect on slagging & fouling; a recognised problem in biomass combustion.
One of the unique characteristics of the Fuel Enrichment technology is that it has multiple beneficial effects.
The level of these effects is (within reason) proportional with the additive/coal mix ratio.

Silanite injection plan

Higher boiler efficiency

At a typical injection level of the Silanite™ additive the same amount of energy can be generated using ca. 1% less coal. Or put in another way, with the same asset and same coal consumption up to 0.5% more electricity can be generated. That is extra power, without carbon tax!
The energy required to produce the additive is only a fraction (~15%) of the energy saved during combustion.

Lower NOx emissions

The Fuel Enrichment system at a typical injection level reduces NOx emissions with ca. 10%. This means that a power station with a current NOx emission level of 500mg/Nm3 will see a reduction of ca. 50mg/Nm3 before post-combustion de-NOx technologies are considered. Combustion tests have shown that the Fuel Enrichment technology is not only fully compatible with and complementary to SNCR (Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction), but also has other positive interactions with SNCR, basically acting as a catalyst for SNCR. The Fuel Enrichment system is the only NOx reducing system with additional benefits and no detrimental side effects.

Lower Particulate Matter (dust) emissions

The Fuel Enrichment system at a typical injection level reduces dust emissions with ca. 20%. This is thanks to the lower carbon-in-ash and lower resistivity of Silanite™-based fly ash.

Beneficiation of coal fly ash

The Fuel Enrichment system changes the characteristics of the fly ash in 3 ways:
  • > 40% reduction in carbon in ash (expressed as LOI: Loss On Ignition),
  • > 40% reduction of the particle size of the fly ash, and
  • Silanite™ based fly ash has a high iron oxide content, eliminating the need to add iron oxide as a costly concrete additive.
The Concrete Technology Unit of the University of Dundee has confirmed that these are the three main effects that enhance the suitability of fly ash for concrete manufacture as a cement replacement producing lower-carbon and more durable concrete. So Silanite™ based fly ash can be sold at a higher price, generating additional revenues and profits for power station operators.
All that it takes is for the Silanite™ powder to be fed directly into the mill body through a pneumatic conveying pipeline. This injection method has been devised in partnership with the Wolfson Centre of the University of Greenwich, internationally recognised experts in bulk solids handling technology. The Silanite™ powder is stored in a silo that can be positioned hundreds of meters away from the boiler, making the installation of the injection equipment an easy retrofit without causing downtime to the boiler. This injection method gives good control of the mix ratio between the pulverised coal and the Silanite™ powder.
How will things work for power stations adopting the Fuel Enrichment system?
IIT supplies the Silanite™ powder at an agreed hourly feed rate to the power station and manages the entire upstream process from local sourcing of the feedstock materials to the injection of the finished SilaniteTM powder into the power station’s boilers. The power station is simply charged a price per tonne of Silanite™ powder. There is no up-front investment required from the power station.