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Cleaver-Brooks Reduces Fuel Costs Significantly for Olin Chlor Chemicals

Case Study

  • Company: Olin Chlor Chemicals
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Location: Niagara Falls, New York
  • Profile: Olin is a leading producer of Chlor Alkali products including chlorine, bleach, hydrochloric acid hydrogen gas.
  • Challenge: Olin was searching for a way to utilize a by-product of their industrial processes, low-pressure hydrogen gas, as a fuel source to reduce their dependence on pipeline natural gas.
  • Solution: Cleaver-Brooks developed a state-of-the-art integrated boiler/burner system that favors hydrogen gas over other fuels, simultaneously firing supplemental natural gas or fuel oil when needed.
  • Results: Fuel costs are significantly reduced by the ability to fire hydrogen gas which was previously sent to a flare 20:1 turndown allows for extreme operational flexibility Low-pressure hydrogen gas is fired in a safe & reliable manner.

Cleaver-Brooks prides itself on being at the forefront of combustion technology. It developed a burner package that was able to burn by-product H2 gas while simultaneously firing natural gas or #2 oil.  Cleaver-Brooks does not deviate from the basic fundamentals of combustion when developing these state-of-the-art specialty application burners.  Safety and reliability are of paramount importance in all of its designs.

The combination of H2 burner injectors, fuel train instrumentation and control strategy allowed this customer to optimize the use of H2, a low-cost by-product of their process. This project became one of the major cost-cutting undertakings for Olin.

A relatively high turndown of 20 to 1 was required to make this project viable.  In addition, it was to be accomplished with only seven psig of available H2 pressure. In order to fire H2 safely, Cleaver-Brooks developed a method of staging the injection of H2 gas.  Gas was supplied to four individual lances and two additional headers.  Each header was then connected to four additional H2 injectors.  Shutoff valves were provided to the individual and headered lances for maximum control.

With such low H2 pressure, flow elements must also be designed to minimize pressure drop.  However, in order to have a representative flow signal throughout the turndown range, typically high DPs are required. In this case, Cleaver-Brooks worked with the instrumentation supplier to develop a split range strategy for the flow elements to insure safe, accurate flow signals with minimal pressure loss throughout the firing range.  The H2 main train is eight inches and the low-flow bypass for partial load H2 flow measurement is three inches. 

Cleaver-Brooks worked in conjunction with Nebraska Boiler to provide Olin with a complete boiler island consisting of two 75,000 lb/hr packaged steam boilers including the power plant DCS.  Our in-house combustion controls expertise ensured that all equipment performed safely and reliably. 

Targeted NOx on H2 firing was 0.10 lb/MMBTU (110 ppm). H2 is a rapidly burning fuel which inherently produces high levels of thermal NOx (in excess of 300 ppm).  Upon final commissioning, the resulting NOx emissions firing H2 fuel with sustaining natural gas were in the order of 72 ppm, well below the targeted 110 ppm limit!