Selective catalytic reduction
In power stations, the same basic technology is employed for removal of NO
x from the flue gas of boilers used in power generation and industry. In general, the SCR unit is located between the furnace economizer and the air heater, and the ammonia is injected into the catalyst chamber through an ammonia injection grid. As in other SCR applications, the temperature of operation is critical. Ammonia slip is also an issue with SCR technology used in power plants.
Other issues that must be considered in using SCR for NO
x control in power plants are the formation of ammonium sulfate and ammonium bisulfate due to the sulfur content of the fuel as well as the undesirable catalyst-caused formation of SO
3 from the SO
2 and O
2 in the flue gas.
A further operational difficulty in coal-fired boilers is the binding of the catalyst by fly ash from the fuel combustion. This requires the usage of sootblowers, sonic horns, and careful design of the ductwork and catalyst materials to avoid plugging by the fly ash. SCR catalysts have a typical operational lifetime of about 16,000–40,000 hours in coal-fired power plants, depending on the flue gas composition, and up to 80,000 hours in cleaner gas-fired power plants.