Similar to coal, Petcoke (a by-product of the oil refining process) is widely used in thermal power plants for power generation due to its higher carbon emissions than already carbon-intensive coal. Petcoke is also used as a complementary fuel in cement industries.
Many concerns about possible public health consequences by petcoke emission have been raised due to the establishment of large outdoor petcoke storage. Moreover during its bulk storage, many problems like spontaneous combustion, fugitive emission etc can occur at any stage of transport, storage & handling which is also a reason for the inefficient power generation at captive thermal power plant.
Best Practices to Control Petcoke Emissions & Spontaneous combustion:
To control Petcoke emission, a variety of procedures & techniques should be followed based on knowledge of specific facility and product conditions. Followings are the best practices that should be adopted to control petcoke emission:-
- Stockpile Handling & Maintenance: Following the “first in, first out” rule in petcoke stocking and stacking under petcoke dome or petcoke storage shed reduces the chances for hot spots in stockpiles by dissuading heat build up for portions of petcoke stockpiles so that the handling procedure may remain undisturbed for a long term. Moreover, proper maintenance of petcoke stockpiles like ‘piles compaction’, ‘piles stacking with minimum drop height’ etc will help to reduce petcoke fugitive emission.
- Wetting with water: The systematic application of water to petcoke helps to control fugitive dust emissions and maintain product moisture content. This periodic reapplication of water is generally needed to overcome the hydrophobic nature of petroleum coke.
- Maintenance of Temperature: It is better to maintain the ambient temperature near a specific threshold during plant operation not only for avoiding the problems of spontaneous combustion & fugitive emission but also for obtaining efficient power output.
- Electronic controls & self-checking systems: Automatic calibration with electronic equipments as well as manual calibration and checking should also be performed at regular basis to avoid Spontaneous Combustion in petcoke storage plants.
– Hindustan Alcox Limited, New Delhi