Coal-fired power plants have traditionally operated with stack temperatures in the 300°F range to minimize fouling and corrosion problems due to sulfuric acid condensation and to provide a buoyancy force to assist in the transport of flue gas up the stack. However, as an alternative, there would be benefits to cooling the flue gas to temperatures below the water vapor and acid dew points, while capturing the condensed water vapor. This paper describes experimental results from a DOE and industry-funded project to develop condensing heat exchangers for application to coal-fired power plants. A system of condensing heat exchangers was designed, fabricated and tested using slip streams of boiler flue gas and experiments were performed to measure the effects of process parameters on rates of heat transfer and water vapor condensation. In addition, measurements were made to characterize the acid concentrations in the condensed water which collected on the heat exchanger tubes and to quantify the effects of the heat exchangers on flue gas mercury concentrations.

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