Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bloom Energy 7.8 Pounds SO2 Per Year????

The final final permit issued by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) on July 9, 2014 states that the 27 megawatts of Bloom Boxes in the coastal zone will emit no more than 0.0039 tons per rolling 12 month period of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) into the air.  This equals 7.8 pounds per year of SO2.

When the DNREC issued the final final permit to cover up the final permit that was already issued six months earlier they stated (falsely I might say) that the maximum usage of natural gas in the same 12 month rolling period would be  1,516 million cubic feet.  I say this is false accounting as the state calculated the natural gas used in a year based on 100% capacity factor for the power station and no power station on God’s green earth has 100% capacity factor.  The real capacity factor as reported by Bloom is only 84%.  Now let’s do some basic engineering.

A hundred cubic feet of natural gas has a mass of approximately 4.14 pounds.  Therefore 1,516 million cubic feet of natural gas has an approximate mass of 62,762,400 pounds.  The amount of sulfur in 7.8 pounds of SO2 is 3.9 pounds.  Dividing 3.9 pounds by 62,762,400 pounds we have the concentration of sulfur in natural gas at 62.14 parts per billion.  This applies if the heat rate of the Bloom Coffins is the maximum of 6.6 million BTU per mwh that Bloom assured under penalty of perjury in their permit application.  However, we know Bloom is now using 7.39 million BTUs per mwh.   In this case the concentration of Sulfur in the gas is a maximum of 55.5 parts per billion.

The incoming gas from the pipeline system in Delaware has a maximum sulfur content of 2 grains of sulfur per 100 cubic feet.  There are 7,000 grains in a pound and performing the algebra, the pipeline gas has a concentration of sulfur of 69,013 parts per billion.  Therefore the desulfurization system that Bloom claims removes sulfur in the pipeline natural gas before it enters the fuel cell stack has to reduce the concentration from a maximum of 69,013 parts per billion to only 55.5 parts per billion for Bloom to meet the permitted SO2 air emissions. 

This is pretty much impossible from a chemical engineering perspective.  In the highly unlikely event that Bloom does meet the sulfur limitation in the air they will have even more massive amounts of solid waste that contain sulfur and are hazardous if the use their patented desulfurization technology.  In the Bloom permit application their VP Mr. Brockenborough referred to the possibility that the desulfurization sorbent filter could achieve a sulfur concentration in the gas of 1 part per million which equals 1,000 parts per billion.  This is the more probable case and in this scenario the SO2 emissions into the air in the coastal zone are approximately 18 times the maximum permitted level. 

It looks like Bloom and DNREC have three problems. 

First the unpermitted solid waste with sulfur that is never mentioned in the O’Mara (DNREC) report;  

Second the use of more than the permitted amount of natural gas per mwh; and  

Third as much as 18 times the permitted quantity of SO2 emitted into the air. 

I say three strikes you are out and it is time to shut down the Red Lion power station in the pristine coastal zone of Delaware and get back the $149 million Bloom extracted from taxpayers and ratepayers for their dirty, unreliable, and bloody expensive power.