As the United States transitions to cleaner, greener sources of power, the Energy Department is investing in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from burning the fossil fuels that many areas of our country still rely upon. Recently, theNational Energy Technology Laboratory partnered with Great River Energy to increase operating efficiencies and reduce the emission of pollutants at the company’s Coal Creek Station in North Dakota using a new fuel enhancement system called DryFining™.

DryFining™ uses a plant’s waste heat and a proprietary drying process to remove moisture and impurities from low-rank coals, making their use cleaner and more efficient. The system segregates particles by density, allowing a significant amount of higher density compounds, containing pollutants, to be removed rather than oxidized in the boiler. This technology has great potential as the United States has about 280 power stations that burn high moisture coal, and, worldwide, 50 percent of coal reserves are low rank.

As a result of this demonstration project, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions from the Coal Creek Station have been reduced by 40 percent, nitrogen oxide by 20 percent and carbon dioxide by 4 percent. Removal of moisture prior to combustion decreases the volume of exhaust gas by 17 percent and improves the efficiency of fans, motors and existing emissions-control equipment. Because of the low initial cost of installation and increased operational efficiency, the Coal Creek Station has reduced expenses by more than $20 million annually.

To learn more about this innovative project, watch the video above or check out