NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                MAY 2015

Shifting in the Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Market

The Danaher acquisition of Pall, the acquisition of Howden by Colfax, and the Nalco acquisition by Ecolab are all product expansions in the air/gas/water/fluid treatment and control market. This was a $323 billion market in 2012 and is now well above $350 billion. This market is continually analyzed in McIlvaine’s Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Treatment and Control: World Market. Despite the acquisitions none of the companies commands a significant share of the total market.

Danaher, Teledyne, Xylem and B&W are all in the air and water monitoring market. B&W and Teledyne are in the air segment.   Danaher, Teledyne and Xylem are in the water monitoring segment. However, these three companies do not compete in most of the other segments. So despite the acquisitions, no company covers all the major segments.

Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Market   ($ Billions)

Product Power Fluid Municipal Industrial and Other Residential/
Flow (Water)
Pumps 3 8 14 20 8 53
Valves 7 13 7 39 20 86
Subtotal 10 21 21 59 28 139
Liquid Treatment
Cartridge 0 7 1 6 7 21
Sedimentation/Centrifugation 1 0 2 5 0 8
Cross-flow Membranes 2 0 4 3 1 10
Macrofiltration 1 0 2 4 0 7
Subtotal 4 7 9 18 8 46
Oxidation and Destruction (Water)
Biological/Oxidation/Destruction 1 0 8 4 2 15
Water/Wastewater Chemicals 5 0 9 10 0 24
Subtotal 6 0 17 14 2 39
Indoor Air Treatment
Filtration/Purification 1 2 0 3 5* 11
Stack Gas Treatment and Flow
Fabric Filter 1 0 0 5 0 6
Scrubber 0 0 1 5 0 6
Precipitator 7 0 0 1 0 8
FGD 7 0 0 0 0 7
DeNOx 6 2 0 1 0 9
Thermal/Catalytic 0 10 0 2 0 12
Fans and Compressors 4 2 2 12 5 25
Subtotal 25 14 3 26 5 73
Air 1 1 1 1 3 7
Water 1 1 3 2 1 8
Subtotal 2 2 4 3 4 15
Total           323

Key to Color Code


With the acquisition of Pall, Danaher is now in five segments, Xylem is in four segments, B&W is in seven sub-segments but they are involved with stack gas. Teledyne is in just two of the segments. Danaher has now increased its market share to over one percent. The three others have shares below one percent.

For more information on Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Treatment and Control: World Market, click on:

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    MAY 2015

Hundreds of Options Facing Power Plants Purchasing New or Upgrading Wet Calcium FGD Systems

The wet calcium (lime and limestone) process is only one option for removing SO2. Dry systems, ammonium sulfate, seawater, amine and other processes are also alternatives. Assuming that the purchaser has decided to purchase a new or upgrade an existing wet calcium FGD system, he must then make hundreds of decisions about processes and components.  These systems represent up to 15 percent of the entire power plant investment.  So it is important that all options be considered and the best selected.  Power Plant Air Quality Decisions is a program providing utilities with a continuing and thorough analysis of issues and options.

The first set of options involves system design.  If you select the less expensive limestone process, you have low operating but high capital cost. If you opt for lime, the reverse is true.  If you need to elevate the discharge gas temperature to meet local regulations, then you need to consider gas-to-gas heat exchangers before and after the scrubber.  But you should avoid this expensive and maintenance prone process if you can. 

There are a variety of scrubber designs falling into four main categories:  spray tower, tray tower, sump and hybrid.  Spray towers require large quantities of slurry.  Tray towers use much smaller pumps but the fan horsepower is greater.  Sump scrubbers are compact but also require more fan horsepower.  A hybrid version is the rod or pipe scrubber which is being touted by at least one major supplier.  A double contact scrubber is offered by another.  The conventional wisdom has been that laminar flow and optimum droplet dispersion causes the best results.  The purchaser should be cautioned to consider that turbulence rather than laminar flow may provide the best results.

When spray towers are used, the performance of the nozzles is critical.  Hollow cone or full cone, downflow vs. upflow and other arrangements need to be analyzed. Mist eliminators are also critical.  Escaping mist adds to emissions and can cause maintenance problems.  Design considerations include:

  • Chevron or non-chevron
  • Shape and number of turns
  • Spacing between  each chevron
  • Number of mist eliminator stages
  • Pressure drop vs. efficiency

The selection of materials is critical due to the abrasive and corrosive environments.  The inlet to the scrubber and the scrubber walls has proved most challenging to materials suppliers.  Stainless, alloys, titanium, FRP, plastic and rubber lining, and non-metallic mineral linings are all being utilized.  One problem is that the corrosive impact is controlled by the operator.  If he recirculates more slurry and bleeds less, the chloride level can rise to levels which eliminate most material choices.  The temperature is also controlled by the operator. If the pumps fail, the scrubber can quickly exceed temperatures beyond the FRP limit.

Big recirculating slurry pumps may be required to move hundreds of thousands of gallons per minute.  Many improvements have recently been made to reduce maintenance and improve efficiency. The purchaser needs to determine which vendors have made these improvements.

Slurry valves are equally important. Two options are knife gate and butterfly valves. Both are being used with butterfly valves showing more use in Europe.

The power plant has to decide whether to make wallboard quality gypsum or just a material for disposal.  The gypsum quality is influenced by the oxidation blower.  Both single-stage and multi-stage blowers are available.  Cost, energy consumption and other factors differ.

Recent component improvements are important enough that the purchaser of a new system should make sure that the system he purchases incorporates them.  Operators who are upgrading systems should also make sure they are aware of these advances.

For more information on 44I Power Plant Air Quality Decisions, click on:

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                MAY 2015

$1.6 Trillion Investment in New Coal-fired Power Plants over the Next Decade

Asian countries will rely on coal for new electricity generation over the next decade. Total investment in new coal–fired power plants will be $1.6 trillion dollars. More than 800,000 MW of new facilities will be placed into operation. By contrast, the U.S. will reduce its capacity from 280,000 MW to 230,000 MW. These are the latest forecasts in N043 Fossil and Nuclear Power Generation: World Analysis and Forecastpublished by The McIlvaine Company.

The rationale used for the Asian coal-fired power plant construction is that there are greater health as well as economic benefits for this investment.  Large new power plants emit only a fraction of the pollutants which an equivalent number of crude wood or coal burning stoves would emit.   Electrification and health are linked in many ways.  Renewables may be the optimum choice in the future but coal is the one source which is available and affordable.

The retirement of coal-fired power plants in the U.S. and Europe will be considerably less than the new power plant construction elsewhere. However, the total world air emissions from coal-fired power plants are likely to be reduced. Modern air pollution control equipment can reduce pollutants by 99 percent.  Asian countries are retrofitting this technology on existing power plants as well as utilizing it on all new power plants.

China is leading the way. It has very stringent regulations for particulate, NOx, SOx and has even now regulated mercury emissions. China is also leading the research to extract rare earths from coal flyash. If flyash becomes the main source of rare earths, there will be very substantial reductions in energy costs associated with rare earth production.

There are many new routes for efficiency improvement at existing coal-fired power plants.  Plants which most efficiently utilize waste steam for co-generation are twice as efficient as plants which do not co-generate.  Great Rivers Energy has set the example in the U.S.  Waste steam supplies the Blue Flint ethanol plant with all its energy needs.

Coal-fired power plants can be designed to be cleaner than wind or solar.  A coal-fired power plant which cogenerates and uses oxy combustion and CO2 sequestration would actually reduce greenhouse gases.  Since all the flue gas is stored underground, there are no air emissions. The steam used for cogeneration eliminates the CO2 which would have otherwise been created at the ethanol or other receiving facility.  So there are no pollutants being discharged and there is a net greenhouse gas reduction.

For more information on N043 Fossil and Nuclear Power Generation: World Analysis and Forecast, click on:

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                MAY 2015

$25 Billion Annual Market for Coal-fired Power Plant Air Pollution Upgrades

Thousands of coal-fired power plants around the world will need to upgrade or replace air pollution control equipment in the coming years.  This will result in an annual expenditure of over $25 billion.  This does not include consumables such as dust bags or reagents (lime, ammonia, etc.).  This conclusion was reached by aggregating information contained in a number of McIlvaine Company reports. (

Major markets will be the U.S., Europe and China. However, there will be significant expenditures in Russia, Chile, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia.  The drivers will be:

  • New environmental regulations
  • Age and deterioration of existing air pollution control systems
  • Efficiency improvements
  • Availability of new technology

China will be the largest market due to its extensive fleet of coal-fired boilers, new tough regulations, and corrosion issues at existing power plants.  Over 100,000 MW of FGD systems will be upgraded.  Many of the existing precipitators will be upgraded or replaced with fabric filters.  In some cases, wet electrostatic precipitators will be placed downstream of existing scrubbers.

The U.S. has just implemented new air toxic rules.  The enforcement of ambient air quality rules in the individual states may result in the Los Angeles level of stringency.  Because it is impossible to site a new power plant, owners are upgrading old power plants. The cost of an upgrade is likely to be more than the air pollution control investment at a new power plant.

Europe is maintaining a base fleet of coal-fired power plants.  It continues to tighten emission limits. So upgrades are periodically required.  Russia, Chile and South Africa are among the countries which are tightening particulate limits and forcing power plants to install fabric filters.  Removal of the precipitator internals and their replacement with bags is becoming increasingly common.

There are NOx upgrades and replacements taking place in the U.S., China, Taiwan, Japan and Europe.  These are forecast in: N035 NOx Control World Market 

FGD upgrades and retrofits are also being undertaken in the same countries plus a few others.  The revenues for these upgrades are forecasted in: N027 FGD Market and Strategies   

The impact of new regulations impacting the use of fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators is analyzed in:   N021 World Fabric Filter and Element Market and N018 Electrostatic Precipitator World Market

The U.S. and China are leading the way in mercury control for coal-fired power plants. Many countries require mercury control at waste incinerators.  This market is analyzed in: N056 Mercury Air Reduction Market

New continuous emissions monitoring and process control systems are replacing older ones at coal-fired power plants around the world.  Many countries now require mass particulate monitoring to replace the older opacity measurement systems.  This opportunity is analyzed in: N031 Air and Water Monitoring: World Market

All the specific projects are tracked at: 42EI Utility Tracking System

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    MAY 2015

Thousands of Air Pollution Control Projects at Chinese Coal-fired Power Plants

China is no longer building one new 1000 MW coal-fired power plant per week.  The program has slowed to only about 500 MW per week.  However, tighter regulations are forcing upgrades at most power plants.  Datang just announced that it will upgrade ten plants this year.

New national and local regulations are approaching and surpassing the stringency of regulations in the most advanced countries.  The result is that there are thousands of individual projects underway. These projects are tracked in Chinese Utility Plans published by the McIlvaine Company.

Many of the projects involve reduction in particulate emissions. Ninety-five percent of the coal-fired boilers in China utilize dry electrostatic precipitators for capture of fine dust.  Most will not meet the new standards. Options include:

  • Upgrade the existing precipitator with more efficient internals.
  • Expand the size of the existing precipitator.
  • Replace the internals with filter bags.
  • Add a wet electrostatic precipitator.

Where a plant also has to remove more NOx and SO2, there are additional options:

  • Combine a dry scrubber with a fabric filter to capture both dust and acid gases.
  • Install ceramic catalytic filters with dry sorbent injection.

Plants in certain cities and provinces have to meet stringent limits on dust, SO2, NOx and mercury.  Wet precipitators have been selected by several plants in these zones. Several are combining activated carbon injection and dry scrubbing.

More of the engineering and process design is being undertaken by Chinese companies.  Only two large system suppliers are operating from foreign locations. Some international suppliers have very active Chinese subsidiaries which function as Chinese companies and even export air pollution control equipment to other countries in Asia.

Some home grown Chinese companies have developed enough expertise to export to other countries. The most notable activity has been the sale of hybrid precipitators to India.  These units have precipitator fields and then filter bags.  China has also developed the largest catalyst manufacturing capacity of any country.

For more information on 42EIC Chinese Utility Plans, click on: