ACTI In The News Bezel
Stationary system designed to reduce rail and port emissions

by Bill Siuru

A California Air Resources Board study showed that moving locomotives account for 50% of the exhaust emissions generated in the Roseville, Calif., rail yard, the largest service and maintenance rail yard in the western part of the United States. Idling locomotives contribute another 45% and locomotive testing accounts for the remainder according to CARB. Therefore, the clean-up of stationary locomotive exhaust in rail yards can potentially pay major benefits.

One solution designed to do this is the Advanced Locomotive Emission Control System (ALECS) that is now being tested in Union Pacific's 384 Ha, J.R. Davis Rail Yard in Roseville. The facility services more than 30,000 locomotives annually. ALECS, developed by Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc. (ACTI) adapts technology used to capture emissions from stationary industrial plants to other applications. ALECS captures and treats emissions from diesel locomotives rather than releasing them into the air. A big advantage is that ALECS can clean up emissions from existing locomotives with minimum investment and no modifications required for the locomotives themselves.

ALECS features an exhaust capture bonnet that includes flexible ducts and a hood designed to fit over and attach to the exhaust stack of locomotives that are idling or undergoing engine load tests. The bonnet allows some movement of the locomotive so that there is minimal disruption to maintenance and testing operations.

Exhaust emissions are ducted to the emissions treatment subsystem (ETS). Here, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) reactor removes nitrogen oxide (N[O.sub.x]) emissions using urea. Sulfur dioxide (S[O.sub.2]) is removed using sodium hydroxide and there are cloud chamber scrubbers for other emissions. ALECS is expected to reduce S[O.sub.2] by 99%, particulate matter (PM) by 99%, N[Osub.x] by 95% and water-soluble volatile organic compounds (VOC) by 50% from captured and treated locomotive emissions. If the demonstration proves successful and two such systems are permanently installed at the rail yard, this is expected to result in annual reductions of 102.5 tons of N[O.sub.x] and 2.2 tons of PM in the Roseville rail yard.

The demonstration system is sized to handle 12,007 cu.ft. of exhaust. This is sufficient to treat one linehaul locomotive at full power, as during engine testing, or six locomotives at idle. The ALECS can be upsized to as much as 40,011 cu.ft. capacity. In addition, the ALECS technology can be used to treat various types of internal combustion engines burning a variety of diesel fuels. The Roseville demonstration includes two different locomotive types, linehaul and switcher. If proven effective in the demonstration, the system could be used more extensively at the Roseville facility or similar railroad operations throughout the country.

The demonstration is a joint effort that includes the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc., Union Pacific Railroad, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, South Coast Air Quality Management District, the City of Roseville and the California Air Resources Board.

Following the Roseville demonstration project, the system will be reconfigured as an Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System (AMECS) at the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif. Here, it will demonstrate its effectiveness in capturing and treating emissions from ships loading and unloading cargo in port. The capacity of the system will remain the same and the main differences will be for the emission capture system that is attached to the ship's smokestack. The same ETS unit will be used.

Bill Siuru, PhD, PE, is a Diesel Progress field editor based in Temecula, Calif.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Diesel & Gas Turbine Publications
COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group

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