Decarbonization in Power Generation

Carbon emissions are an unfortunate byproduct your power plant produces while burning fuels to generate electricity. Yet it’s still necessary to convert coal and oil into the product that keeps hospitals running, schools lit, and homes warm. Decarbonizing power plant operations provide carbon-neutral electricity options that enable other industries to decarbonize. 

So how can your power plant maximize productivity while minimizing harmful emissions?

Industry Trends in the Decarbonization of Power Generation

Reducing emissions is essential for any industrial facility, but so is remaining profitable and meeting production demands. Three major trends have arisen as companies attempt to close the gap:

  • Reducing fossil fuels in exchange for renewable energy sources, such as bioenergy 
  • Innovating infrastructure to enhance plants’ ability to integrate new technologies and renewables in support of decarbonization efforts
  • Using comprehensive carbon capture technologies on remaining fossil fuel-based generation

The power sector has opportunities to reduce emissions of their existing systems as they plan for the future, so in this post, we focus on switching fuel sources and innovating infrastructure to improve production efficiency. 

Switching Fuel Sources

Trading fossil fuels for renewable energy requires the most investment but will have the most impact. Wind, hydro, and solar energy resources are limited in some states. And wind and solar aren’t available on command, which limits their utility for meeting demand in peak periods.  Bioenergy, however, is produced from biomass and is available everywhere and on demand. Bioenergy is currently the fastest-growing renewable energy.

We expect these technologies to advance as the shift to green energy continues. As we look toward that future, we recommend power plants consider bioenergy resources, such as wood and agricultural waste, municipal solid waste (MSW), and biogas. 

Improved Production Efficiency

Some of your greatest opportunities to reduce emissions don’t require significant changes. Airflow testing, equipment retrofits, and fan upgrades are just a few investments that can reduce carbon and cost in the long run. 

Industrial Airflow Testing

We conducted an aerial and thermal inspection of one of our power client’s baghouses and surrounding ductwork to identify possible air pollution control issues. We found several temperature deviations (indicating thinning of steel, corrosion, holes, or cracks). By planning to rectify these hard-to-reach areas in their upcoming outage and maintenance plan, our client saved $20,000 per day. 

Our industrial airflow testing services evaluate pressure, flow, and power measurements at points throughout your system to identify inefficiencies.  We also use this data to pinpoint leakage and calculate estimated cost and emissions impact.

Fan Upgrades & Equipment Retrofits 

When industrial electricity rates are $0.08 to $0.10 or more, increasing the efficiency of your industrial fan is a strategy every power plant should consider. Poor design, system changes, and leakage can all affect fan efficiency. 

Upgrading and retrofitting underperforming fans and other equipment can help your plant optimize airflow.  From developing optimal combustion environments for your boiler to creating the needed pressure for your APC system, airflow is essential to the operation of your plant.  

Supporting Power Plants in Decarbonization Efforts

ProcessBarron is committed to enabling power plants for smart, clean, and efficient production. We designed products and services to help your plant increase production efficiency, reduce emissions, and create ways to save money as you invest in the future. 
Ready to do more for your carbon reduction goals? Let’s start the decarbonization conversation.