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Electric Utilities: P2 Opportunities
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Reasons for Change
P2 Opportunities
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

American Public Power Association
The service organization for the nation's more than 2,000 community based, locally controlled, not f...

Case Studies
Case studies utilizing life cycle assessments as a management tool for incorporation into current LC...

Cleaner and Greener Program for schools and families
Cleaner and Greener Environment is a program of Leonardo Academy, a 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofi...

Green-e is a voluntary certification program for renewable electricity products. The Green-e Program...

Joint Pollution Prevention Initiatives
LCRA/TNRCC joint pollution prevention initiatives

Krylon Paint Source Reduction Case Study
This project involves the reduction of Krylon paint usage through the implementation of inventory co...

Non Hazardous Fluorescent Lighting
This project involves the reduction in hazardous fluorescent lamps generated during electrical relam...

Renewable technologies and energy efficiency
Visit this DOE site to find a comprehensive source of information on renewable technologies and ener...

Reverse Osmosis Primary and Secondary water Treatment Case Study
This project primarily involved the reduction of raw materials and labor used to regenerate resin b...

Source Reduction / Waste Minimization Case Studies at LCRA
This project involves the reduction of disposable "Chemtec" shop rags at SGP through employee awaren...

The Hidden Cost of Fossil Fuels
Discusses some of the costs of fossil fuels that are typically not accounted for.

A pollution prevention case study involving the field encapsulation of lead based paint.


Coal is considered the primary energy source (fuel) used for power generation. This mainly because coal is inexpensive for a generator to purchase. However, the combustion of coal for power generation has led to serious concerns regarding the environmental impact (acid rain, etc.) it causes, and, in addition, the health risks it poses to the general populace.

Over the years, the electric utility industry has developed and implemented new technologies and practices that, when employed, have shown a significant reduction in waste generation. Below are a few suggestions, or examples, of existing P2 opportunities for the electric utility industry.


  • Use coal quality data provided by mines to affect purchasing decisions
  • Use Coal cleaning technologies
  • Coal gasification
  • Consider Alternative Fuels
    • natural gas
    • biosolids
    • burning tires
    • petroleum coke
    • municipal trash
  • Co-firing with cleaner fuels (natural gas, biosolids)
  • Replacement/Use of Synthetic Coal

  • Just in Time coal delivery systems
  • Dry coal storage silos

During the combustion process:

  • Use of predictive operating modeling systems (mill bias, precipitators, etc)
  • Low NOx burners
  • Heat rate improvements
    • steam reuse
    • boiler
    • blowdown reus
  • Pump low-pressure heater drains forward

  • Use process modeling techniques (minimize throttle losses by using variable throttle pressure and

    variable valve position to assure operation at "best valve point" throughout the load range.
  • Add subcooler to lowest pressure forward heater drains.
  • Build new boilers using fluidized bed/coal gasifcation

  • New operating control systems

  • Post Combustion activities

    • Increase FGD removal efficiency - Eliminate/reduce the FGD bypass damper to route more flue gas through the scrubber
    • Install mercury reduction technology prior to ESP (activated carbon, catalyst)
    • Install pulse-jet bag house following ESP
    • Install SCR/SNCR for Hg and NOx reduction

    • Improve ESP removal efficiency

    • Quenching of flue gas with water/steam (enhance adsorption to ash)

    • Improve salability of coal combustion by-products (new uses for bottom ash)

    • Improve salability of FGD sludge (reduce chlorides in FGD)

    • Remove air pre-heater and economizer ash from bottom ash

    • Install dry ash handling system

    • Increase FGD particle size to improve leaching (agitator replacement)

    • Improve ash marketing activities

    • Install flue gas reheaters (use exhaust from gas turbines)

    • Install submerged scraper conveyors, and use vacuum pumps to pull ash to stack out

    Ancillary Processes

    • Construction of an additional cooling reservoir
    • Addition of cooling towers
    • Reduce station service load (efficient electric motors, lighting, etc)
    • Use of light sensors to reduce hours of operation
    • Use of energy conservation procedures
    • Use of high heat/superconductor electric motors
    • Use of fuel cell to offset station service

    • Better measurement/estimation methods

    • Perform research and development (join EPRI)
    • Use of renewable energy to reduce station service (solar panels, wind energy)
    • Product substitution (i.e. Chlorine)
    • Improved predictive maintenance activities Energy efficient transformers (amorphous core)


    External processes can have a profound effect on releases of constituents from electric generating stations. Due to future deregulation activities, electric generating stations will have little influence over these processes.

    • Reduction of line loss (line resistance, etc)
    • Reduce core losses from transformers (amorphous core transformers)
    • Superconductive transmission wires
    • Customer energy conservation programs
    • Distributed generation


    The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

    The Electric Utilities Topic Hub™ was developed by:

    Southwest Network for Zero Waste
    Southwest Network for Zero Waste
    Contact email:

    Hub Last Updated: 3/5/2009