Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 11, 1976 · Page 26
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 26

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 11, 1976
Page 26
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12B -July 11, 1976 Sunday GaxeUe-Mail Charleston, West Vlrglnid Coming. . . The most dramatic and compelling newsphotos taken , At THAT Moment A new photo series starting Sunday July 18 in the Sundav Gazette-Mail Coal Research Facility to Be Built at WVU MORGANTOWN-The high sulfur content of northern West Virginia coals and air pollution laws just don't mix very well. "To protect the jobs of West Virginia miners and to protect the health of our ' people, we have to find ways to burn our . state's high-sulfur coals without polluting the air." observed Dean Bill L. Atchley of West Virginia University's College of Engineering. "One possible way of doing this will be /.tested at the U.S. Energy Research and ..-.Development Administration's (ERDA) ; ·' coa! research facility that will be built on : ' WVU's Campus. The tests will consist of ·.;burning high-sulfur coal in a flaidized bed · ] el crushed limestone. If the tests show /·that it is economically feasible to prevent !;.air pollution by this method, the economic '* well-being of the northern West Virginia '..coal field will be assured," Dr. Atchley ; said. , · · * * . t ; "IN ADDITION to the immediate bene- '.'' fits to be gained from the facility, its loca- ·' tion at WVU will give our faculty and stu- i^idents an opportunity to become familiar :!with the latest fluid-bed technology," he ' explained. * "The facility will provide a 'hands on' ·"' opportunity for students--both undergrad- uale and graduate--to get experience in ".' the practical art of engineering. Students will be exposed to areas not generally considered in formal courses, which will inte- j.grale the art and theory of engineering '.and give us a better trained individual." "- Although fluidized beds were used as ."·'early as the 1600s to purify ores, current · knowledge of them still remains in the .. primitive state. Most experimental work -· has been done on a small scale (the largest test bed had a cross section of less than 10 square feet) and with such processes a quantitative change can make a qualitative difference. "In my opinion one of the first steps in meeting our national goal of energy independence is to conduct large-scale experiments on fluidized beds," Atchley said. "ERDA's facility at WVU is the beginning of such a program." The steam boilers in the new facility will consist of rectangular metal cells and will contain a bed of crushed limestone fluidized by compressed air. The particles of limestone are suspended in the air stream and are mixed continuously by rising and falling. (The bed is fluid in the sense that a stone would sink in it and a piece of wood would float on top.) not sulfur dioxide, a serious air pollutant, is formed. An added advantage of the process is that the calcium is retained with the ashes. In conventional coal-fired boilers, the sulfur dioxide goes out with the stack gases. To meet air pollution standards, some power plants treat the gases in a device known as a wet scrubber to remove sulfur dioxide. Wet scrubbers are expensive to install and difficult to maintain because of fouling by calcium sulfate. The heart of the new system is three boilers (called cells) that contain the fluidized beds of limestone in which the coal is burned. The cells are stacked on top of each other in the WVU facility. The top one. which is smaller than the others, is called the CBC (carbon burnup cell) and is fired by partially burnt coal from the two lower cells. Pipes inserted into the cells and in the cell walls carry water that is converted into steam. In a commercial version of the system, this steam would be used to drive a turbine which in turn would drive an electric generator. "The key to the new unit is that it will be .large enough for prototype component testing but small enough to allow quick change of operating conditions and configurations, 1 ' according to John S. Wilson of ERDA's Morgantown Energy Research Center, which is in charge of the project. Field Day Scheduled JANE LEW-The Mason-Dixon Shorthorn Field Day will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Frank McDonald farm here. For more information, contact Mrs. Gene Core of Core, W.Va. HAVE YOU PROTECTED YOUR VALUABLES? We Suggest A SAFE DEPOSIT BOX A T . . . ' KEY TO THE PROCESS is that when coal is burned in the bed the sulfur in the coal combines with calcium in the limestone and not with oxygen in the air. This means that calcium sulfate, the stuff which forms on the inside of teapots, and ol SOUTH CHARLESTON South ChorUilon, Wtit Virginia Your Account Insured up lo $40.000 . Phone 744-9424 Member FDICL ENTIRE STOCK White Combinations NUNNBUSH STORE HOURS Mai, Fri. 9:30-9 PJM. 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