Breathing a Little Easier in Michigan

Consumers Energy recently completed a $2 billion investment to improve Michigan’s air quality that spanned more than decade.

We’ve installed Air Quality Control Systems (AQCS) at our Campbell generating plant, near Holland, and Karn generating plant, near Bay City. Coupled with the closure of our seven oldest coal units, the new systems will help reduce criteria air pollutants by 90 percent.

Karn-Air-Quality
The massive Air Quality Control System (AQCS) attached to the Campbell generating plant’s Unit 3 sits on a footprint nearly as large as the plant itself. Flue gas created by burning coal to generate electricity is cleaned as it travels through each component before exiting the plant stack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Investing in AQCS technology helps filter and capture pollutants before they escape the stacks at our Campbell and Karn generating plants. The flue gas created by burning coal to generate electricity is cleaned as it travels through each component before exiting the plant stack. Massive emissions control systems are comprised of a series of components:

  • Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to lower NOx. SCR reduces nitrogen oxide emissions, which can mix with other airborne summertime compounds to create smog.
  • Spray dry absorber (SDA) technology to reduce SO2. When flue gas enters the SDA, an atomizer spinning at 12,000 revolutions per minute sprays lime “slurry” to trigger a chemical reaction that breaks down SO2, which along with NOx causes acid The coal ash is recycled to reuse the lime as much as possible.
  • Pulse jet fabric filters to combat emissions of particulate matter. This functions much like a giant home vacuum cleaner with thousands of large bags (28,000 in the case of Campbell’s Unit 3) to filter out small particles from the flue gas.
  • Activated carbon injection (ACI) to control mercury. ACI involves the injection of powdered activated carbon into flue gas upstream of an air pollution control device.
  • Dry sorbent injection (DSI) to reduce SO2. DSI systems inject sorbents, insoluble materials capable of absorbing other materials, into the flue gas to remove SO2 and acid gases.
Karn-Clean-Air-Team
Chris Nagel, left, Brett Bittenbender and Paul Gire stand in front of the Air Quality Control System attached to Campbell’s Unit 3, which is capable of producing more than 800 megawatts of electricity.
800 megawatts of electricity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability, including ways we are transitioning to cleaner fuels to drive lower emissions, at ConsumersEnergy.com/sustainability.