NEWS RELEASE                                                                                        MAY 2012

NOx Control Equipment and Consumables Revenues Will be $6.8 billion This Year 

Revenues for suppliers of stationary NOx control systems, catalysts and reagents will exceed $6.8 billion in 2012. The biggest markets for new systems are in Asia whereas the greatest purchases of catalysts and reagents are in the U.S. and Europe. This is the conclusion reached in the McIlvaine report, NOx Control World Markets.

Stationary  NOx Control Revenues 2012

($ Millions)

SCR systems


Catalyst new


Catalyst regenerated






China has already passed all other countries except the U.S. in terms of investment in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems.  At the rate it is installing additional units it will surpass the U.S. in 2014.  However, since catalyst life is more than three years, it will be 2020 before China is also the largest catalyst consumer.

The largest investment in NOx control is for SCR for coal-fired power plants.  Gas turbines also utilize SCR but there are fewer MW of capacity equipped with SCR.  Also, the cost is lower due to the spacing in the body of the catalyst.  Because of the dust in coal-fired power plants, the catalyst has larger openings and is more expensive.

The European and U.S. experience relative to catalyst life is somewhat different.  Replacement is more frequent in the U.S. due to poisoning and plugging. However, a substantial industry has been created to renovate or regenerate used catalyst.

There are some surprises relative to reagent choices.  The low cost but potentially less safe anhydrous ammonia is the most popular choice in Europe. While it is also popular in the U.S., there have been a number of plants who have opted for aqueous ammonia. Another U.S. development is the purchase of solid urea which is converted to ammonia onsite.  China has also favored this more costly but safer approach.

Catalysts are being re-designed to address two pollutants in addition to NOx.  The older catalysts convert 1 percent of the SO2 in the flue gas to SO3, which can result in “blue haze” at the stack.  This harmful conversion can be reduced by different catalyst formulations. Catalysts also have the potential to oxidize mercury to a soluble form for downstream capture in wet scrubbers.  Many purchasers are willing to pay considerably more for their catalysts in order to minimize all three pollutant emissions.

In addition to the power industry there are a number of other smaller applications for stationary NOx control units.  Cement plants are major NOx emitters. Many waste-to-energy plants are fitted with either selective catalytic reduction or selective non–catalytic reduction systems.

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