A ruling earlier this month by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that said power plants must implement new emissions controls with any plant upgrades that would increase emissions, regardless of the cost of the upgrade, will significantly bolster demand for flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems, according to a report by The McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com). The study, titled FGD World Markets, predicts FGD expenditures between 2006-2020 will reach $37 billion dollars in the United States.

FGD investment is expected to be higher in China, reaching $40 billion, though expenditures per megawatt will be considerably less than in the United States. Markets in other Asian countries are also expected to generate large expenditures. India is expanding electrical capacity rapidly, notes McIlvaine, while Indonesia, Vietnam, and other developing Asian countries plan to install pollution control equipment on each new coal-fired plant.

According to McIlvaine, wet limestone will be the most prominent desulfurization method. In 2009 McIlvaine forecasts that $4.7 billion will be spent worldwide for wet limestone systems, whereas only $292 million will be spent for wet lime systems. Two prominent dry technologies, spray dryers and circulating dry scrubbers (CDS), are expected to account for only $551 million. Other approaches resulting in fertilizer or sulfuric acid are expected to account for only $164 million out of the $5.7 billion total market.

System Type 2009 (millions of $)

Spray Dryer
Wet Lime
Wet Limestone