The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is taking comment until Nov. 20 on a draft air permit approval for State University of New York-Binghamton to add new emissions controls on a campus heating plan.
“This permit authorizes the construction and operation of an electrostatic precipitator on Units 2 and 3, and modifications of the furnaces on Units 2 and 3,” said the notice about units currently allowed to burn wood and coal.
The university’s Central Heating Plant (CHP) is equipped with three 100-million BTU/hr and one 50-million BTU/hr vibra-grate stokers which can fire coal, wood, natural gas and air-propane (synthesized gas). The CHP provides high temperature hot water (HTHW) to about 65% of the building space on campus for heating, domestic hot water production and one absorption chiller (summer only).
Adjacent to the Central Heating Plant is a propane storage facility and air-propane production plant. Five 30,000-capacity gallon tanks are typically filled to 85% level for campus back-up fuel supply. Air propane plant is used to mix air and propane to simulate the heating value of natural gas. A 50 million BTU/hr flare was installed to burn off the gas during system start-up. This flare has not been in use since the university piped the start-up waste gas to the high temperature hot water generators for beneficial use. Two propane ring burners each rated at 2.24 million BTU/hr are used in the winter to vaporize liquid propane for synthetic gas production.