Kraton Polymers permits coal-to-gas conversion at Ohio plant

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public hearing on Dec. 19 about a draft air permit-to-install (PTI) issued to Kraton Polymers U.S. LLC to replace two existing coal-fired boilers with two new boilers at Kraton’s Belpre, Ohio, facility.

Kraton proposes to fire the new boilers with natural gas, distillate oil and naphtha (a flammable liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is often used as a solvent for various chemical industries). Before issuing the draft air permit, the Ohio EPA reviewed the company’s application to ensure that emissions would comply with federal and state air pollution control standards, laws and regulations. The draft air permit establishes emission limits to protect public health and the environment.

The permit would allow facility-wide emissions to change. Net emissions would substantially decrease for NOx, SO2 and particulate matter. Also, there would be a significant net emissions increase in carbon monoxide (CO). The proposed allowable air emissions rate for carbon monoxide under the draft permit is 163.6 tons per year. This would require the facility to implement best available control technologies and comply with stringent hourly carbon monoxide emissions limitations.

Ohio EPA will also consider written comments on the draft air permit received through Dec. 21.

“Kraton Polymers U.S. LLC is an existing thermoplastic elastomer manufacturing facility located at 2419 State Route 618 in Belpre, Ohio (Washington County),” said a permit document. “The facility is considered a major [prevention of significant deterioration] source for NOx, SO2, CO2e, and particulate matter and is subject to Title V operating permit requirements. In addition, Kraton Polymers is currently operating as a major source of [hazardous air pollutant] emissions. The emissions units covered by this PTI are two new 249 million BTU/hour boilers (emissions units B010 and B011) that will combust natural gas, distillate oil, and up to 54.8 million BTU/hour of Belpre naphtha. These new boilers are replacing two existing boilers (EUs B005 and B007) that combust coal, distillate oil and Belpre naphtha. In addition to providing steam for manufacturing operations, the existing coal-fired boilers are used to destroy [volatile organic compounds] emissions from the G1 finishing end front-end dryer (EU P004). Because the company is undertaking a project to install a new regenerative thermal oxidizer to control the VOC emissions from that process, Kraton is not planning to combust these emissions in the new replacement boilers. However, the change will result in increases in CO and NOx emissions, those emissions increases have been considered in the netting evaluation presented below.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.