NEWS RELEASE                                                                                   May 2023

Forecasting AWE Systems is Essential for Product Forecasting

Mcilvaine is now offering forecasts for the entire range of AWE systems and products. One of the reasons is that each choice impacts others. Another is that system forecasts need to be long range and shape the product forecasts.

An example is SO2 removal systems for coal fired power plants. Presently there are dozens of system options which will affect the markets for the following products.

Products Used in SO2 Removal Systems



Belt Filters


Mist Eliminators


Ball Mills



Ammonium Sulfate


CO2 Scrubbers



Pneumatic Conveyors

Spray Dryers


The system choice shapes the product selection, but the reverse is also true. Spray towers for large SO2 systems can require 400,000 gpm of abrasive and corrosive slurry. Only a handful of companies make 50,000 gpm pumps. So, 8 would be needed plus spares. This is an incentive to choose turbulent scrubbers which require only half as much slurry. However, this choice increases the fan energy requirement.

Another option is to use lime instead of limestone as a reagent. The operating cost due to the price of lime is higher but the capital cost is reduced with smaller scrubbers, pumps, valves, filters etc. A recent discovery is that lime gypsum (as opposed to limestone) is whiter and can be used for purposes other than wallboard and higher prices achieved.

Another option is dry scrubbing using a spray drier and fabric filters. About 5% of the worlds FGD systems are dry. Incentives include lower costs and water saving. The negatives are the use of lime and the unsuitability of the product for wallboard.

A new development is bioenergy and carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS). The 4000 MW Drax station in the UK now uses wood pellets imported from the U.S. Pellets replaced coal as the boiler fuel. Drax has wet spray towers which are being retained. New CO2 scrubbers are being added. A pipeline is being built to sequester the CO2 into the depths of the North Sea.

Environmentalists are using Drax as the prime example of carbon negative technology. If coal plants around the world switched to this approach, we would be reducing the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Coal plant developers in Asia need to think through their choice of SO2 removal systems based on the potential to switch to BECCS in the future.

Another discovery is that by using pre scrubbers to capture HCl and particulate rare earths can be recovered very economically.

SO2 capture is just one example of the many system options which shape product choices. Some even elevate the product into a process system. Homogenization of various foods is rapidly gaining popularity. One option is a combination of pumps and valves rather than traditional mixers. So, simultaneous analysis of the system and product markets is important.