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Products and solutions, 2011-03-08, 11:38 AM

Uhde Services to start supplying fluidised-bed dryers RWE Power acquires in Uhde Services another partner

Uhde Services of Haltern, Germany, has signed a framework agreement with RWE Power for use of the fluidised-bed lignite drying technology with internal waste heat utilisation. Uhde Services will thus join Linde KCA Dresden (Linde Group) as the second supplier of this technology developed by RWE Power.

“We are pleased to have acquired in Uhde Services, an associate of Uhde GmbH, a renowned partner who has extensive experience in coal preparation technology and international expertise in the construction of chemical and coal gasification plants. It is a major step towards the global marketing of our fluidised–bed technology developed in Niederaussem, Germany,” stressed Dr. Johannes Heithoff, Head of Research and Development at RWE Power. “The aim is to use this technology in the future at lignite-fired power stations as well as for coal gasification and liquefaction projects. Electricity, and also synthesis gas, can be produced more energy efficiently with far fewer CO2 emissions using the fluidised-bed drying process.”

“Uhde Services welcomes a long-term partnership with RWE. By pooling the experience and expertise of the two companies, it will be possible to provide even better, custom-tailored large-scale industrial solutions for greener CO2 reduction in future,” said Dr. Dirk Sunderer, Managing Director of Uhde Services GmbH. Uhde Services focuses on providing services for steelworks, power stations, petroleum refineries and the chemical and petrochemical industries. Throughout the world the company develops tailored solutions in such fields as plant modernisation and output optimisation, maintenance and repair, compliance with environmental standards and enhancing the cost effectiveness and productivity of industrial facilities.

The fluidised-bed drying technology developed by RWE Power is protected by nineteen international patents. Use of the technology will enable the efficiency of future lignite-fired power stations to be increased by approximately ten percent to over 47 percent. Producing the same amount of electricity at a modern 1,000 megawatt power station will thus result in CO2 emissions being slashed by several hundred thousand tonnes a year. Uhde is one of the world’s leading suppliers of coal gasification technologies and also took over the HTW gasification process originally developed by RWE Power only a few months ago. In combination with fluidised-bed dryers, the company can thus offer an integrated process chain for efficient coal gasification. Fluidised-bed dryers are also essential for the gasification of lignite for the production of fuels or chemical products. The technology reduces the water content of the raw lignite from over 55 percent to around 12 percent. The crucial advantage is that unlike the alternative drying process using flue gas at a temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius, the drying process in fluidised-bed dryers takes place at a temperature of 110 degrees, which is much more energetically favourable. Also, the heat used to dry the coal is largely recovered and reutilised.

In February 2009 RWE Power commissioned a prototype fluidised-bed dryer the world’s largest lignite dryer in Niederaussem, Germany. It produces 110 tonnes of dry lignite an hour up to 30 percent of the total coal required by the lignite-fired power station block with optimised plant technology in the same town, which, with an efficiency rating of over 43 percent, is currently the most efficient of its kind in the world. Use of the prototype dryer cuts CO2 emissions by more than 250,000 tonnes a year. RWE Power has invested 50 million euros in the project.

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