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Mr. NELSEN. In listening to the discussion relative to electric engines, being a little bit of a mechanic myself, I know that there are certainly some limitations on an electric automobile because of fuel supply but certainly, we would like to see the Department exciting the automobile industry into action and I think for us to assume that the experimental process would be developed by your Department would be perhaps a fond wish but I think the stimulation would come from there. In the areas of air pollution and other areas, there is where the real effort I think must be and then the stimulation of the automobile industry. I think great advances have been made in the construction of automobiles and even in the crankcase ventilation that now goes through the carburators again.
We see many old automobiles on the street that are emitting a blue smoke behind. This is something that is a wornout engine of course. I must want to make the point. I think the point is well taken but the great emphasis must be in the automobile industry because they have the facilities of research.
The stimulation must come from your Department and from the Congress.
Mr. Rogers of Florida. I might say too, that although I agree, a great a deal has been done so much more can be done. You get behind one of these buses, even new ones, and I don't think much has been done there. I would hope that you would give a great deal of attention to that as well. It is my understanding that there have been batteries now invented which have long, long life so that it is not a question of a battery running out any more.
I think the possibility of an electric motor might have great promise. So I would hope that this would be encouraged.
Dr. PRINDLE. I think Mr. Nelsen has made the very good point and I think the committee has made the very good point that obviously this is a Federal-industrial relationship that has to be developed and obviously, this is one that does take time and effort on both our sides.
I think we can develop this. I might mention that one of the techniques that we used to try to accomplish the stimulation and cooperation are in the national conferences. We will be holding another one this year in December which we hope will involve all the segments of the public and the industry and attempt to bring out these questions and these problems so that we can bring them into discussion and effect this approach.
Mr. NELSEN. I noted that in your testimony you did refer to the diesel engine. I quite agree. It is very uncomfortable.
Mr. JARMAN. We have had the first bell for a quorum but let me ask one question. Dr. Prindle, in your statement, you made reference to the Federal Government having initiated several interstate abatement actions. What type? What examples ?
Dr. PRINDLE. These are under the terms of course of the act. Mr. MacKenzie has the details of these.
Mr. MacKENZIE. The abatement actions to which reference is made, Mr. Chairman, are those which are concerned with interstate pollution, pollution which arises in one State and adversely affects health or welfare of people in another.
Nine such actions have been initiated under the terms of the Clean Air Act since the authority was first enacted. Three of these were at the requests of Governors of the States involved and the other six were
initiated by the Secretary of our Department. I will be glad to put into the record a listing of these if you would like to have them.
(The information requested follows:) Abatement Actions Initiated Under the Clean Air Act (as of September 29, 1966)
Initiated by1. Shelbyville, Del., Bishop, Md.
Governor. 2. Shoreham, Vt., Ticonderoga, N.Y.
Do. 3. New York-New Jersey metropolitan area..
Do. 4. Steubenville, Ohio, Weirton and Wheeling, W. Va- Secretary, HEW. 5. Clarkston, Wash., Lewiston, Idaho-
Do. 6. Parkersburg, W. Va., Marietta, Ohio_
Do. 7. Kansas City, Mo., Kans--
Do. 8. Ironton, Ohio, Huntington, W. Va., Ashland, Ky-- Do. 9. District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland metropolitan area--
Do. Mr. ROGERS of Florida. Is it not true that the Secretary can call the conference and make some suggestion and then if they are not carried out, can call on injunction procedures?
Mr. MacKENZIE. It is a fairly involved procedure.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. But anyhow, we have enforcement here. As I recall it was put in the act.
Mr. MacKENZIE. It has to go through essentially three steps, conference, public hearing, and eventually court action if necessary.
Mr. JARMAN. Thank you very much, gentlemen, for an able presentation.
At this time, without objection, I wish to insert in the record a letter from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to Mr. Staggers, chairman of the full committee, outlining programs underway and in prospect for reducing sulfur oxide emissions from combustion sources. (The letter referred to follows:) DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
Washington, D.C., July 27, 1966. Hon. HARLEY 0. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in further response to your letter of June 10, 1966, requesting that you be advised as to the steps this Department has taken to implement Sections 103(a) (4) and 103(a) (5) (B) of the Clean Air Act, our plans in this area, and other pertinent information.
Our response, “Programs Under Way and in Prospect for Reducing Sulfur Oxide Emissions from Combustion Sources,” is included herewith as Attachment A.
We trust that this information will assist your Committee in carrying out its responsibility in this area, which, as you note, is of such vital concern to the Nation. Sincerely yours,
WILBUR J. COHEN,
Under Secretary. ATTACHMENT A
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE PROGRAMS UNDERWAY AND
IN PROSPECT FOR REDUCING SULFUR OXIDE EMISSIONS FROM COMBUSTION
The problem of sulfur oxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels is one of growing international significance, with which more and more industrial nations are demonstrating serious concern. This problem, with its serious implications for human health, is today a matter of common knowledge. The
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is taking the lead in research and development designed to reduce these emissions. Although, within the United States, some research is being supported by the fuel, chemical, and utility industries, and the Office of Coal Research of the Department of the Interior, the major effort is being provided by our Department through the Public Health Service's Division of Air Pollution. This involves in-bouse research, non-Federal and interdepartmental contracts (notably with Interior's Bureau of Mines), and grant programs.
The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is keenly aware of the broad economic implications of this public health problem and is putting top emphasis on the search for low-cost techniques for dealing with it. The Department's research efforts to control sulfur dioxide emissions are primarily devoted to carrying out two directives from Congress : Removal of Sulfur from Flue Gas, 103(a) (5) (B) in the Clean Air Act, and Removal of Sulfur from Fuels, 103 (a) (4) of that Act. These authorities were first specifically reflected in the FY 1965 program, and the additional directives in the 1965 Amendments were programmed for the ensuing Fiscal Year, 1967. Progress in these two areas is covered below, in sections B and C respectively. However, our total program is not limited to these areas; other facets of the problem which are being actively explored by the Department are reported in brief in section D, Other Efforts to Attack the Sulfur Problem. Tentative Cost Etsimates are discussed in section E.
B. REMOVAL OF SULFUR FROM FLUE GAS
Section 103 (a) (5) (B) of the Clean Air Act is directed toward the development of improved low-cost techniques designed to reduce emissions of oxides of sulfur produced by the combustion of sulfur-containing fuels. Considerable effort has been devoted to this objective, and some progress has been made.
There is available, in the metallurgical and chemical industries, a considerable technology for the removal of relatively high concentrations of sulfur oxides from flue gases. The application of this technology to the relatively low concentrations found in powerplant flue gases has not proved feasible_hence the present worldwide search for applicable processes.
The pioneer full-scale installations of plants for this purpose were in England, where Thames River water was used to wash the sulfur oxides from flue gas. Based upon this and other experience with wet processes, the British now recommend against flue gas washing, with the result that most of the processes now under investigation around the world are dry, or, if wet, involve reversible chemical reactions and do not leave a sulfurous discharge to a stream.
In Germany, the emphasis is on a process that uses activated carbon to absorb the sulfur oxides from the flue gas. In Japan, one process under development first catalytically converts sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid and then to ammonium sulfate; another process chemically reacts the sulfur oxides into a regenerable manganese sulfate. In Czechoslovakia, an ammoniacal washing process, which yields ammonium sulfate as the end product, is under consideration. In all these countries, as well as in the United States, there is interest in processes that blow alkaline materials into the furnace, because, of all current processes, this is the one most applicable to existing installations.
In the United States, a number of promising processes are now in the proposal stage. There are, however, only two American processes which have reached the pilot-plant stage: the catalytic conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid, and the reversible absorption of sulfur dioxide by alkalized alumina. The former process has been developed by private industry, the latter by DHEW-funded research in the Department of the Interior.
The control method of injecting alkaline materials into furnaces to react with sulfur oxides to produce a solid which subsequently can be removed by electrostatic precipitation or filtration is of immediate application in existing powerplants. Consequently, under a contract with Battelle Memorial Instiute, a fundamenal study of sulfur fixation by lime and magnesia is under way to elucidate the thermodynamics and kinetics of the reactions involved. Past efforts to remove SO, from combustion gases by reacting the So, with alkaline materials such as limestone and dolomite have been handicapped by our inability to inject these materials into power boiler systems with assurance of good reaction efficiency.
As mentioned above, this Department has transferred funds to the Bureau of Mines of the Department of the Interior for the development of the alkalized alumina process for scrubbing sulfur dioxide from stack gases and recovering the sulfur in elemental or acid form. Process cost estimates have been developed for the alkalized alumina, catalytic oxidation, and activated carbon proceses for removing sulfur oxides from flue gases.
In-house work has proceeded along more basic lines. Researchers have sought more reactive absorbents for scrubbing stack gases. They have initiated programs to achieve reduction in emissions of pollutants through the use of fuel additives and combustion process modifications.
Engineering evaluations of many removal processes have been made to select candidate methods for early process development and prototype demonstration.
In 1967, the operation of a larger, continuous alkalized alumina pilot plant will provide more reliable data on the performance and life of the absorbent and will reveal the parameters affecting SO, removal over a prolonged, continuous period. Work will begin on the preparation of absorbents which will resist attrition and lead to longer life and cheaper operation. New and more efficient methods of regenerating the absorbent will be investigated. More efficient regeneration leads to smaller equipment designs and results in lower capital plant costs.
Work related to the activated carbon process will be tailored to improve the reaction rate of the sulfur oxides with the carbon, to improve the combustion resistance of the carbon, and to develop improved nonthermal regeneration methods for "spent” carbon. Success in any of these areas will lower operating costs of the process.
In the catalytic oxidation process, the key to economic operation lies in the recovery of the acid in a concentration of commercial value and at a high enough temperature to prevent corrosion of process equipment. We will, therefore, investigate the feasibility of various high-temperature acid recovery systems and also perform related equipment-corrosion testing.
In both the United States and Japan, processes employing manganese oxide as the absorbent are being considered for removing sulfur oxides from stack gases. The difference in the processes lies in the method of regeneration of the absorbent. In the Japanese process, the absorbent is regenerated chemically to form calcium sulfate. The American process regenerates the absorbent electrolytically and yields a dilute sulfuric acid. Both of these products are of lower commercial value in this country than other possible sulfurous end products. Therefore, the economics of these processes would be improved if regeneration systems were devised to yield more desirable products at lower costs. A project for FY 1967 is designed to find such means of regeneration.
The time-temperature-rate relationship of various types of alkaline additives, and the effect of the method of their preparation on their activity, will be determined. Field trials of the most successful activated material are planned in prototype equipment.
The present needs are to move the more promising processes from the proposal to the pilot-plant stage; and to move the more promising pilot-stage processes to the demonstration-plant stage.
In addition to this Federal research on sulfur removal from flue gas, there is a substantial industrial effort which includes several of the processes noted above as being in the proposal stage and the above-noted pilot plant for catalytic conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid. Also, the American Petroleum Institute is supporting a literature survey of flue gas desulfurization processes, and the Electrical Research Council and National Coal Association are jointly supporting work on the alkaline injection and alkalized alumina processes previously described.
C. REMOVAL OF SULFUR FROM FUELS Section 103(a) (4) of the Clean Air Act relates to the initiation and conduct of programs of research directed toward the development of improved, low-cost techniques for extracting sulfur from fuels.
Residual fuel oil and coal present the major problems in this area. The technology of the removal of sulfur from oil and gas is well known and extensively utilized in producing the almost-sulfur-free gas, gasolines, lubricating oils, and light fuel oils that constitute the bulk of the products of the oil and gas industry the world over.
Although an equivalent technology exists for desulfurizing residual fuel oil, its cost, as a percentage of the selling price of the product, has been so high as to discourage its employment. New American refineries avoid the problem by producing no residual fuel oil; they produce instead liquid and gaseous products in the almost-sulfur-free category, and a high-sulfur-content solid residue, petroleum coke. However, since this option is not attractive to refineries in countries which lack our demand for gasoline and light fuel oil, and which export highsulfur residual fuel oil to the United States, and since older domestic refineries still produce this product, there is still need for research to develop lower-cost methods of desufurizing heavy fuel oil.
A start has been made with respect to this problem. Under a (ontract, the Bechtel Corporation investigated the cost of reducing the sulfur content of certain residual fuel oils to one percent. The most important conclusion from this study was that the manufacture of low-sulfur residual fuel oil from highsulfur crudes requires an incentive pricing of 40 to 65 cents per barrel above fuel oil produced without sulfur restriction. This cost is increased about 20 percent if applied to an existing refinery. Further alternatives in the refining operation are being explored to lower, as cheaply as possible, the sulfur content of residual oil to 0.5 percent.
The technology of the removal of sulfur from coal is not well developed. It is known that coal-washing processes which lower the ash content of coal also lower its sulfur content to the extent that sulfur is associated with relatively large pieces of ash-substance. However, the bulk of the sulfur is more intimately associated with the coal substance and is released only by grinding and extraction processes which are presently relatively expensive. Research is needed both to lower the cost of these processes and to seek new ones. For years the needs for low-sulfur-content coal have been met from naturally occurring low-sulfur-content seams. Incentives for the development of coal desulfurization processes are of recent origin, too recent for a significant research effort to have developed.
Studies of the forms and the washability of sulfur in American coal used in powerplants have been undertaken by contract. Analyses of the ability of various commercial processes used in coal preparation to remove sulfur are being examined to determine feasibilities and costs of the processes for particular coals which are utilizable in powerplants. Preliminary studies of new processes have been conducted which may have potential value for use in sulfur removal from coal; these processes include air elutriation, thermomagnetic or electrostatic forces, and corona discharge.
Besides the Federal research effort in this area, there is also an industrial effort. The American Petroleum Institute is supporting a study to determine the estimated cost of desulfurizing Caribbean residual fuel oil and is assembling data on petroleum industry expenditures for fuel oil desulfurization, and the Electric Research Council and the National Coal Association are jointly sponsoring research on the removal of pyritic sulfur from coal.
D. OTHER EFFORTS TO ATTACK THE SULFUR PROBLEM
Basic and necessary though it is to carry out the two specific dirertives from Congress which are aimed at conrtolling emissions of sulfur compounds to the atmosphere through removal of sulfur from fuels and stack gases, these are by no means the only responsibilities of the Denartment of Health Education, and Welfare in connection with sulfurous air pollutants. Other related efforts under way or planned by the Department can be catalogued in four groups: (1) determining overall research needs and priorities: (2) research on alternatives to desulfurization of fuel and flue gas; (3) necessary studies of factors other than control and (4) sunnlementary programs which can aid in SO, control.
(1) Determining Overall Research Needs and Priorities.- This is a continuing study for which the need is obvious if we are to avoid premature and arbitrary