ATHENS, Ohio -- After shutting down the coal boiler on July 10 for construction purposes, the Ohio University's Lausche Heating Plant will begin burning coal again on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
The coal burning process will begin around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and may cause some smoking from the smoke stack. The smoke during the start-up period will contain a fly ash residue, which may fall in the area surrounding the heat plant depending on weather conditions.
After an estimated two-to-four-hour warm-up period that will increase the coal boiler temperature to more than 300 degrees, which is typical of this process, the smoke from the boiler will pass through the newly constructed bag house at the plant, which operates like a vacuum cleaner bag. The bag house will then filter the particulates out of the smoke before it leaves the smoke stack.
The coal boiler temperature must be more than 300 degrees before the smoke is passed through the bag house to avoid shortening the lifespan of the bag house.
The conversion from natural gas back to coal will save the University money, because the cost of coal can be four to five times less expensive than natural gas.
The heating plant's coal boilers were shut down on July 10 to accommodate the installation of a new bag house and a state-of-the-art multi-pollutant flue gas treatment process. The innovative process will be ready for testing in late November and will allow Ohio University to continue to burn Ohio's high-sulfur coal using the patented sulfur dioxide absorbing material called Fluesorbent. The completion of this project will enable the University to exceed current and future proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for sulfur and particulate pollutants.
"The fact that the heating plant will begin burning coal again moves Ohio University one step closer to having a state-of-the-art flue gas treatment system," said Ohio University Associate Vice President for Facilities and Auxiliaries Sherwood Wilson. "When we begin burning coal again on Tuesday, Lausche Heating Plant will be more environment friendly than it ever has been."
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