Title:
Method of cooling coal fired furnace walls
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A unique method of cooling the interior wall surfaces of gas-fired or coal-fired furnace combustion chambers using carbon dioxide from stack emissions is presented. Carbon dioxide is passed through a tubular structure fixedly attached to the furnace exposed fire-box refractory brick lining heated surface. Carbon dioxide passing through the tubular structure convectively absorbs heat passing through the tube walls of the said tubular structure thereby maintaining the furnace fire-box wall structural integrity at a safe operating temperature. The carbon dioxide exits the tubular structure at an elevated temperature and is collected in a thermally insulated collector manifold for catalytic reaction with high temperature steam and further processing.



Inventors:
Mcwhorter, Edward Milton (Citrus Heights, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/287096
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
11/28/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
122/138
International Classes:
F22B7/04; F23M9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RINEHART, KENNETH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edward, Mcwhorter M. (6931 Greenbrook Circle, Citrus Heights, CA, 95621, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. The use of gaseous carbon dioxide as a coolant media in a furnace fire-box, a refractory brick structure lining the interior surfaces of the said furnace fire-box, a plurality of ceramic pieces mounted on the vertical surfaces of said refractory brick structure, said ceramic pieces holding and providing support and spacing for a plurality of vertically aligned cooling tubes, gaseous carbon dioxide coolant flowing through said cooling tubes, said cooling tubes in communication with a manifold, said carbon dioxide flowing in said cooling tubes exiting the said furnace fire-box passing into said manifold.

2. A furnace fire-box, said fire-box being lined with a refractory brick structure, a plurality of ceramic pieces mounted on the vertical surfaces of said refractory brick structure, said ceramic pieces holding and providing support and spacing for a plurality of cooling tubes, water entering said cooling tubes at the lower end of the said fire-box and exiting the said fire-box at the upper end, said ceramic pieces also holding and supporting a second row of cooling tubes at alternate positions between said water cooling tubes, carbon dioxide coolant flowing in the said second row of cooling tubes, said second row of tubes in communication with a thermally insulated manifold, said carbon dioxide flowing in said second row of cooling tubes exiting said furnace fire-box and passed into said thermally insulated manifold.

3. Claim 2 in which the said water cooling tubes and said carbon dioxide cooling tubes are supported at their upper ends by a ceramic mounting and at their lower ends by a lower ceramic mounting.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCES

The invention relates to my copending application Coal Flue Gas Scrubber, Ser. No. 11/075,218 filed Mar. 09, 2005 relative to the collection and processing of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired furnaces.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention disclosure describes an improved method of heat transfer that will become necessary to satisfy the additional cooling requirements of environmentally compatible coal-fired furnaces. In most coal-fired furnace designs combustion temperature, depending on fire-box pressure variations, range between 4000° F. and 5000° F. The exposed surfaces of the fire-box wall comprised of refractory ceramic coatings or ceramic tile coatings are used to protect the thermal integrity of the refractory brick internal structural support and lining. Most refractories are compounded for high temperature strength and are poor thermal insulators and require structural backside air cooling passages or water screens to lower the heat transfer rate from the 2000° F. to 2800° F. hot gas wall temperature necessary to assure a practical working gradient across the furnace wall of the heat transferred to the outer steel enclosure and support structure. The invention proposes the use of carbon dioxide as a coolant gas passing through high temperature cooling tubes fixedly attached to the internal exposed surfaces of the refractory brick structure. The coolant carbon dioxide will be obtained from sequestered flue-gas emissions in a gas scrubber described in the cross-reference. The high temperature of the carbon dioxide coolant circulating in vertically spaced cooling tubes lining the fire-box walls exits the furnace at an elevated thermal condition which is maintained in a thermally insulated manifolding facilitating cost efficient low temperature catalytic conversion into a synthetic by-product.

Coal-fired steam generating boilers and furnace refractories have been developed to a very high degree of durability and efficiency since the inception of the electrical generating plant at the turn of the 20th. century. However, with the dwindling supply of cheap natural gas and heavy fuel oils, many of these early types of steam generating boiler systems are being converted to coal-fired systems which produce much higher quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other harmful emissions such as mercury (Hg), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). This difficulty chronicles in a lesser degree, the greater future concern of the planned increased construction of new coal-fired environmentally friendly systems necessary to keep up with the increasing world demand for electrical power both in the United States and abroad.

The combustion of 1 ton of coal produces 3 tons of CO2 which at the anticipated increase will have a detrimental impact on the world's environment to the extent that it now raises concern of the possibility of creating climate change.

The present invention relates to the cooling of furnace walls and provides the necessary means of conditioning and converting large quantities of CO2 in the production of synthetic gas or other useful products.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a method of cooling gas-fired or coal-fired furnace fire-box walls using gaseous carbon dioxide sequestered from the furnace stack combustion products as described in the cross-reference.

It is the primary purpose of this invention to provide a novel manner of cooling furnace fire-box walls using gaseous carbon dioxide sequestered from the furnace stack combustion products during a preceding process scrubber operation as described in the cross-reference.

It is another object of the invention to provide a means of facilitating the disposal of carbon dioxide by enhancing the means of its high temperature conversion to synthetic gas.

It is yet another object of the invention to decrease carbon dioxide emissions of coal-fired furnaces into the atmosphere.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top-view cross-section of a portion of a furnace wall illustrating the use of carbon dioxide cooling tubes mounted on the interior hot gas surface.

FIG. 2 is a top-view cross-section of a portion of a furnace wall similar to that shown in FIG. 1 showing a different method of cooling using alternate water and carbon dioxide cooling tubes.

FIG. 3 is a side-view cross-section of a vertical portion of a furnace wall, also showing the associated burner equipment and employing a slightly different method of attachment of the said carbon dioxide and said water cooling tubes of FIG. 2 to the furnace refractory brick structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Gaseous carbon dioxide is circulated through a tubular circuit lining the refractory brick surface of a furnace fire box. Carbon dioxide passing through the tubular structure convectively absorbs heat passing through the tube walls thereby maintaining the fire-box wall refractory brick structure at a safe operating temperature.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a portion of a furnace fire-box wall shown in cross-section. The said fire-box comprises a heavy sheet metal enclosure 1 and supporting steel beam structure 2. The said metal enclosure 1 is loosely held away from the interior refractory brick structure 3 by hangers 4 and provides an insulating air-space 5 between metal enclosure 1 and elevated back surface temperatures of the refractory brick structure 3. The refractory brick 3 heat input interface surface x-x 6 lined with a series of overlapping metal plates 7 which are loosely in contact with the refractory brick structure 3 on one side and slidably attached to ceramic pieces 8 on the opposite side. Ceramic pieces 8 provide spacing and support for cooling tubes 9 in communication with the combustion flame and hot gases. While the method of construction of the wall components shown in FIG. 1 for this particular application are unique and most generally known to those skilled-in-the-art, the novelty most apparent in the design is the use of carbon dioxide 10 from stack emissions as a fire-box regenerative cooling fluid in cooling tubes 9.

Because carbon dioxide 10 is not as efficient as water as a coolant media, the cooling tubes 9 must operate at a higher temperature and therefore are of seamless construction using materials having high temperature properties such as low-carbon steels, or from steel alloys of molybdenum, chromium, nickel, columbium, or titanium.

Turning now to FIG. 2 which comprise the same outer structural elements as FIG. 1 and therefore are similarly numbered as metal enclosure 1, steel beam structure 2, refractory brick structure 3, hangers 4, insulating air-space S, refractory interface x-x, and metal plates 7. FIG. 2 differs from FIG. 1 in the method of cooling which uses both water and carbon dioxide as cooling mediums. In FIG. 2, water cooling tubes 11 are supported by a plurality of ceramic pieces 12 which are in slidable contact with metal plates 7. Ceramic pieces 12 also provide spacing and support for carbon dioxide cooling tube 13.

Referring now to FIG. 3 which is a portion of a vertical side-view of the furnace fire-box shown in cross-section. The metal enclosure 1, beam structure 2 refracting brick structure 3, hangers 4, and air-space 5 are the same, as those shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 and serve the same purpose. The method of mounting the said water coolant tube 11 and said carbon dioxide tube 13 of FIG. 2 is different in FIG. 3. In FIG. 3 water coolant tubes 14 and carbon dioxide coolant tubes 17 are mounted at their lower ends in lower ceramic mounting 22 and at their upper ends by upper ceramic mounting 24. Coolant water is supplied to water cooling tube 14 at inlet 15 and passes along the interior wall surface of refractory brick structure 3 and exits the water coolant system at outlet 16. Carbon dioxide 10 coolant enters cooling tube 17 at inlet 18 and passes along the interior wall surfaces of refractory brick structure 3 and is spaced in alternate manner between water tubes 14 and exits the furnace at outlet 19. Carbon dioxide 10 outlet 19 is in communication with insulated hot gas manifold 20. Hot gas manifold 20 is thermally insulated by thermal covering 21 as an energy efficiency measure for further downstream treatment which does not comprise a feature of this disclosure.

Numbered Elements

  • 1. metal enclosure 17. CO2 cooling tube
  • 2. beam structure 18. CO2 inlet
  • 3. refractory brick 19. CO2 outlet
  • 4. hangers 20. manifold
  • 5. air-space 21. thermal covering
  • 6. x-x interface 22. lower ceramic mounting
  • 7. metal plates 23. metering valve
  • 8. ceramic pieces 24. upper ceramic mounting
  • 9. cooling tubes 25. primary air duct
  • 10. carbon dioxide 26. secondary air duct manifold
  • 11. water cooling tubes 27. secondary air duct
  • 12. ceramic pieces 28. secondary air duct inlet
  • 13. CO2 cooling tubes 29. secondary air duct
  • 14. water cooling tube 30. ceramic valve housing
  • 15. water inlet 31. facility foundation
  • 16. water outlet