AmerenUE''s Labadie Plant in Missouri has earned the top spot among U.S. coal-fired power plants as the nation''s lowest emitter of nitrogen oxide (Nox), according to 1999 EPA data on electric utility plant Nox emissions.
Nox emissions can contribute to ozone formation under certain summertime hot weather conditions. Reductions of Nox can help to lower ozone levels and improve air quality.
To reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from its power plants, AmerenUE companies have spent more than $300 million since the early 1990s.
AmerenUE invested in low-Nox burner technology at its Labadie, Meramec and Rush Island Plants in the metropolitan St. Louis area.
At Labadie Plant, the company installed computerized controls that monitor hundreds of variables on a nearly continuous basis and make fine adjustments to the air and fuel.
In St. Charles County, AmerenUE''s Sioux Plant pioneered the use of a staged combustion/overfire air system that reduces Nox cost-effectively in a cyclone boiler plant, which can''t use standard low-Nox burner technology.
That technology allowed Sioux Unit 2 to become the lowest emitting cyclone boiler in the nation.
Three AmerenUE plants received the 1998 Missouri Governor''s Pollution Prevention Award for voluntarily and aggressively reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 50 percent below the Clean Air Act requirements.
Systemwide, since 1990 Ameren plants have reduced their Nox emission rate by more than 50 percent and their sulfur dioxide rate by more than 70 percent.
by Virginia Sutcliffe