Paper: Natural Gas Conversion of Existing Coal-Fired Boilers

Effective approach to assess project technical feasibility


An increasingly stringent and uncertain regulatory environment and falling natural gas prices have made converting existing coal-fired steam-generating boilers to natural gas firing more and more attractive.

This paper provides a general assessment from a sampling of projects that have converted coal-fired steam-generating units to 100% natural gas firing. We present an approach to assess the project technical feasibility, including boiler thermal performance modeling and project planning. Balance-of-plant considerations, such as National Fire Protection Association code compliance, natural gas piping system, air pollution control equipment, draft systems, and retirement of existing coal equipment are also discussed.

A case study of one recently implemented natural gas conversion project is presented.

Marc E. Lemmons, Bryan J. McGowan – Sargent & Lundy

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