The Breen Story
Breen uses science and technology to help their customers solve their biggest challenges by developing unique and creative solutions that only Breen can imagine.
Breen serves Utility Power, Industrial, Refining and Metallurgical markets worldwide. Breen delivers innovative products for Acid Gas Management, Sorbent Injection, and combustion. In addition, Breen provides consulting, testing, and operational services.
The company was formed in 2002 to provide technology to help its customers in the fossil-fired utility power generation market solve their biggest challenge: balancing environmental concerns with economic viability.
Results of the 1990 Clean Air Act
In response to the Clean Air Act of 1990, many utilities installed SCRs (selective catalytic reduction) and Scrubbers to mitigate NOx and SOx emissions from the power plant. This capital spending was justified, in part, by the opportunity to burn low-cost, high-sulfur coal. Higher SO3 content in the flue gas was expected; what was unexpected was the total increase of 2 to 4 times as much SO3. Another complication was the formation of a higher temperature fouling condensable of Ammonium Bisulfate (AbS).
High Sulfur’s Dark Cloud
Power plants faced three big problems:
1. AbS deposits in the Air Heater created fouling, resulting in unplanned outages and cleaning costs.
2. Corrosion caused by high SO3 downstream of the Air Heater as well as reduction in ESP efficiency.
3. Blue Plumes of sulfuric acid leaving the stack creating air quality hazards.
2004 AbSensor© and DySC
Most of the industry focused on NH3 slip measurement to help solve the air heater fouling problem. Breen strongly believed that the NH3 slip was already converted to AbS and therefore focused on measuring AbS. A measurement instrument was developed in 2004 that would accurately measure AbS for protection of Air Heaters. The AbSensor© probe led to further development of the application of the EPRI thermodynamic Air Heater model, commercialized as Thermap. Next, Breen developed a Dynamic Variable Speed Controlled Air Heater sootblowing system. Known as DySC, the system was developed in collaboration with Duke Energy.
Smart Science Goes Global
A new patented Kinetic algorithm expanded the AbSensor© capacity to measure SO3 (H2SO4). It filled the need for measurement and mitigation of SO3. Utilities explored Dry Sorbent Injection of alkali for mitigation of SO3, and the AbSensor© became the preferred instrument for DSI applications. In 2009, the AbSensor© dew point monitor found further application in industrial, refining and metallurgical industries in the US and overseas. AbSensor became the universal instrument of choice for all DSI applications.
2008 Expanding Applications
Beginning in 2008-2009, Breen started exploring applications for the AbSensor dewpoint monitor in markets beyond coal-fired power utilities. Applications in CCGT-HRSG power plants, copper smelting, refinery boilers and more were developed. This expanded Breen’s reach into Industrial, refining and metallurgical industries. These applications also provided an opportunity for Breen to expand overseas.
2009 DSI/2012 ACI
In 2009, Breen began offering DSI testing services as a third-party independent provider to help customers make decisions independent of equipment and sorbent providers. As an independent DSI testing and semi-permanent system provider, Breen optimized each customer’s system as test result data was analyzed and incorporated into the design.
MATS (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards) rules led to the addition of Activated Carbon Injection to DSI. In 2012 Breen expanded their testing services to include ACI systems for Mercury capture.
2010-2012 Smart Solutions: CoFire and FLGR
Fracking and Natural Gas production resulted in lower natural gas prices in the US. CSAPR (Cross-State Air Pollution Rule) added new limits to plant emissions further limiting NOx and SOx emissions, which created tough choices for plant operators. Small plants might shut down and large plants needed to reduce Minimum Stable Load (MSL) to accommodate shifting demands and pricing. Minimum Operating Temperature (MOT) of SCRs was linked to the sulfur condensables in the flue gas requiring MSL to stay higher overnight during low power demand. This resulted in an economic penalty and operational constraints. Breen developed an Enhanced Gas Co-Firing (EGC) solution that included co-firing igniters and Fuel Lean Gas Reburn that allowed utilities to include Natural Gas in their fuel mix thereby allowing them to reduce MSL overnight, reduce the MOT constraints on SCRs as well as get additional NOx, SOx and other emissions reduction.
Enhanced Gas Co-firing delivers three clear benefits:
1. Fuel Flexibility
2. Reduced MSL
3. Reduced MOT
The bonus with EGC comes in the form of reduced NOx, SOx, CO2, Ash and Mercury.
Breen continues to work with customers in the US and around the world to provide smart solutions in manufacturing and energy. The newly developed TrueFire line of combustion products address a range of needs from Class 1 Igniters to CoFiring Igniters and High Energy Spark Igniters.
Continuing to Create Impact
Whether the need is energy generation, refining, conversion of metal to useful products, or industrial production, there is always a need for creative and unique solutions that help operators balance economic viability with environmentally friendly footprints. Breen is committed to identifying, developing and implementing these technologies around the world.