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Bring Jiangnan Ammonia Desulfurization Technology to the world

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  Recently, boiler flue gas desulfurization EPC general contracting project of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co., Ltd. thermal power plant constructed by Jiangsu New Century Jiangnan Environmental Protection Co., Ltd (the former Zhenjiang Jiangnan Environmental Protection Engineering Co., Ltd), passed 168 hours initial performance test at one stroke. According to the testing results, the desulfurization efficiency stayed above 98%; and by-product ammonium sulfate quality was higher than national agricultural fertilizer product quality standard, and overall system performance index had reached international advanced level.
  The project used ammonia - fertilizer flue gas desulfurization technology owned by Jiangnan Environmental Protection with independent intellectual property rights; Total amount of flue gas processing reached 1.5 million standard cubic meter/hr, which is equivalent to the scale of 2 × 200 mw unit, which represented the best result of ammonia desulphurization technology adopted in China.
  When imported technology had unified the world of flue gas desulfurization, how a private enterprise developed a technology with independent intellectual property rights? What strength the enterprise could depend on to successfully apply the technology in Yangzi Petrochemical, such a large-scale petrochemical enterprise?
  Walk on the road of independent innovation in combination with China's national conditions
  Since the end of 1980s, domestic flue gas desulfurization devices have been dependent on foreign technology and equipments, and the most used technology was calcium desulfurization method (limestone - gypsum).The main reasons were that, firstly, limestone as a desulfurization reagent of calcium method was abundant and cheap, secondly, calcium method technology was quite mature in foreign countries and public, easy to obtain.
  After imported calcium desulphurization technology has been used in domestic for more than ten years, there gradually occurred one biggest drawback, namely piles of gypsum as desulfurization product, which could lead to a difficulty of secondary pollution hard to solve. According to statistics of environmental protection department, by 2010, domestic desulfurization gypsum piling is expected to be more than 100 million tons. In addition, the technology also has other problems, such as high investment, high energy consumption, system fouling and clogging, and high operating cost.
Because of the obvious defects of calcium method, GE Company from the US, LurgiLentjes Company from Germany and Ebara Company from Japan began to study more advanced ammonia desulphurization technology, and have stepped into large-scale application phase. American GE Company once proclaimed: The age of ammonia flue gas desulfurization has come.
However, the replacement between old and new technology doesn’t happen in one night. In 1993, Jiangnan Environmental Protection Company decided to enter into the field of flue gas desulfurization, and was faced with such a great choice: To introduce calcium desulphurization technology which was public and mature, or to conduct independent innovation, break monopoly of foreign technology, research and develop ammonia desulphurization technology with independent intellectual property rights.
  Jiangnan employees realized that, ammonia desulphurization was more suitable for China's conditions as a big agricultural country. Because China was a big urea producer with rich source of ammonia; In addition, ammonia desulfurization process could create byproduct - ammonium sulfate, which would make up the gap of large sulfur fertilizer production demand and insufficient sulfur import, and turn air pollutants sulfur dioxide generated from synthetic ammonia production to treasure; Meanwhile, ammonia desulphurization process could both carry out desulfurization and denitrification, which is a more suitable desulfurization technology for China’s conditions, entirely cycling and more environmental..
However, the former would create quick achievement and remarkable short-term benefit; the latter dooms to an arduous and tortuous road for Jiangnan Environmental Protection such a private enterprise with less strength at the time. With a strong sense of responsibility to society and sharp insight on the trend, Jiangnan employees were eventually resolute to make a choice: develop advanced ammonia desulphurization technology suitable for Chinese situation.
Conquer all difficulties and develop own technology
  In 1998, Jiangnan Environmental Protection set up Jiangnan Environmental Protection Research Institute, introduced dozens of scientific research personnel, and raised tens of millions Yuan in many ways to invest research on ammonia desulphurization technology. On the one hand, they relied on the Research Institute to develop new and advanced technology research; On the other hand, they actively contacted with universities and various research institutes in order to chase the opportunities of technical cooperation and technology innovation in the form of combination with production, teaching and research. Starting from basic principle and basic process, Jiangnan employees seriously studied and bravely innovated, through many years, they has overcome multiple technical challenges.
  Firstly there were problems of aerosol and ammonia slip. Aerosol refers to a dispersion system generated when solid or liquid particles steadily suspend in the gas phase. In the process of ammonia desulphurization, aerosol of ammonium sulfite and ammonium bisulfite would be discharged with clean flue gas, causing ammonia slip; this became a bottleneck to impede ammonia desulphurization technology development. In order to reduce ammonia slip, people invented multi-stage washing, wet electrical dust precipitator  collecting and other methods; most focused on remediation after ammonia fog formation, so running cost and investment sharply rise. Jiangnan Environmental Protection cooperated with Southeast University to improve the technology from the root to decrease ammonia slip, strictly controlled reaction temperature and ingredients in absorbing liquid, eliminated formation conditions of ammonia fog, resolved the problems of ammonia slip economically, and made ammonia content in flue gas after purification below 10 mg/m³, ammonia slip below 0.19%.
  Resolving aerosol problem was only the first step; How to change ammonium sulfite to ammonium sulfate and achieve complete sulfur resource recycling became a new obstacle. Two problems need to be solved to achieve ammonium sulfate recycling: One is ammonium sulfite oxidation; the other is ammonium sulfate crystallization.
  Ammonium sulfite oxidation is the key to economic operation of ammonia desulphurization device; in the past, there were oxidation, catalytic oxidation and other methods, all of which need to build another set of oxidation device, leading to high operation cost to the whole system. Ammonia desulphurization technology of Jiangnan Environmental Protection used multifunctional absorber to cleverly make process adjustment; it set up natural oxidation part to make full use of flue gas for oxidation and forced oxidation part using auxiliary air in tower; Oxidation rate of ammonium sulfite from the tower could reach 99%, greatly reducing investment and significantly improved oxidation rate index.
  After years of unremitting efforts, Jiangnan Environmental Protection relied on independent innovation, finally realized the aspiration to make ammonia desulphurization become “Chinese creation”. On Sep. 17, 1999, “Jiangnan Ammonia Desulfurization Process” passed expert appraisal and acceptance co-chaired by Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, State Environmental Protection Administration and several power companies; The process with a number of key technology innovations for China's national conditions was evaluated to reach international leading level by experts. Jiangnan Environmental Protection Company is deemed as ammonia desulphurization star by industry insider.
  At present, in the field of ammonia desulphurization, Jiangnan Environmental Protection owns 14 patents, and has national “Ninth Five Year Plan” key technology tackling project and exclusive implementation permissions of 11 patents of national “Tenth Five Year Plan” 863 new special project; A completely independent “Jiangnan Ammonia Method Process” intellectual property rights patent system has been formed. So far, Jiangnan Environmental Protection has constructed more than 10 sets of ammonia flue gas desulfurization device in Tianjin, Yunnan, Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Hubei, Guizhou, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guangxi and other provinces and cities; Successful application of these devices shows that application problems in ammonia desulphurization technology have been completely solved, marking that desulfurization technology, represented by “Jiangnan Ammonia Method”, has been fully mature and get general recognition in the industry.
Realize industrial application; Use performance to win the market
  When Jiangnan ammonia flue gas desulfurization technology  justentered into the market, it immediately attracted high attention from state competent department, industry and customers. In order to further implement national energy conservation and emission reduction, Jiangnan Environmental Protection has undertaken 15 large and medium flue gas desulfurization projects; Its project number and total sulfur dioxide emission reduction amount ranks the first place in the field of ammonia desulphurization globally. This project includes: Phase I, II, III project of Yunnan Jiehua Group, general contracting project of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical, contracting project of Shandong Zhongtai Power Generation Co., Ltd, general contracting project of Hubei Chemical Fertilizer Plant, transformation and extension project of Guangxi Water Conservancy & Electric Power Construction Group Tiandong Power Plant, project of Shandong Hualu Hengsheng Group Dezhou Thermal Power Co., Ltd, project of Chongqing Fuling Hydraulica and Electric Investment Group Longqiao Thermal Power Co., Ltd and so on.
  “Jiangnan Ammonia Process” has the unique advantage of "using waste to treat waste" in the field of chemical industry. Yunnan Jiehua Group produced a large number of waste ammonia solution each year in the past; 3×75tons/h+1×130tons/h coal-fired boiler in the Group required SO2 treatment. After multi-party research, the Group chose Jiangnan Ammonia Desulphurization Technology, using two sets of desulfurization system and a set of subsequent ammonium sulfate system. The device not only solved sulfur dioxide pollution problem in Jiehua Group, but also "eat" out discharged waste ammonia solution in the desulfurization process, saving pollution emission fee of waste liquid and waste gas. The device can produce 38,000 tons of ammonium sulfate per year; assumed that a ton of ammonium sulfate sells 1000 Yuan, sales income will increase nearly 40 million Yuan each year.
  Many Engineering practice in years helps Jiangnan Environmental Protection train and cultivate a batch of high-quality staff, also makes “Jiangnan Ammonia Desulfurization” improve. At present, after examination, each indicators of the company’s desulphurization device is in world's leading level: Desulfurization efficiency is stable above 98%; Denitrification efficiency is above 50%; Ammonia escape is below 8 mg/m3; Quality of byproduct ammonium sulfate reaches national GB535-1997 first-class product standard; Device operation rate is over 95%.
  Desulfurization and denitrification synchronous application, and walk into a new journey
  Desulfurization accompanied with efficient denitration is a higher goal on Jiangnan innovation road.
  Traditional limestone-based method can only be applied for desulfurization but not denitrification; with increasingly strict emission standard for nitrogen oxides worldwide, thermal power enterprises have to spend much money to build a set of special denitrification device after construction of calcium desulphurization device.
  Ammonia used in ammonia desulphurization can be reductant in denitrification; this means that if the same device realizes simultaneous desulfurization and denitrification, it will greatly reduce engineering investment and long-time operatiing cost; It has epoch-making significance in the field of flue gas purification; its successful application will bring immeasurable environmental value and economic benefits.
  Jiangnan Environmental Protection has been in global forefront of this advanced technology. With the help of technological innovation and scientific research, Jiangnan Environmental Protection has made denitrification efficiency stay above 50% without increase of investment and operation cost. For example, desulphurization device in Hubei Fertilizer Plant has adenitration efficiency of 55.2%, according to detection by environmental protection departments. If spend an additional small amount of cost along with a little of modification, selective catalytic reduction method will further increase denitrification efficiency to more than 90%.
  At the same time, Jiangnan employees have successfully conquer technical problems to apply ammonia desulphurization technology to 300 mw and above large thermal power unit, including large capacity ammonium sulfite solution oxidation technology, gas liquor distribution technology in the process of large flow flue gas absorption, and tail gas purification despumation technology in high flow velocity. The company also researched and developed tower inner crystallization technology, which greatly reduces energy consumption, improves reliability of the device, reduces construction and operation cost; this keeps domestic ammonia desulphurization technology stay at international leading level.
  Based on the superiority of this technology and the demands on circular economy, “Jiangnan Ammonia Desulfurization” has excellent adaptability and great promotion space in countries and regions mainly depending on coal-fired power generation. Jiangnan Environmental Protection is steadily expanding foreign desulfurization market at present, bringing this desulfurization technology with Chinese independent creation to the world and letting the Jiangnan star shining in the blue sky.

 
 
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