Ordinary power plants are famously choosy eaters. They pick one diet, say coal, natural gas or oil, and stick with it. But some of GE’s large frame gas turbines are omnivores with no such dilemma. They gobble up pretty much everything that comes down their nozzles, including industrial refuse like blast furnace gas and other dirty low quality fuel.
Since waste is free, this fuel makes cheap electricity, lowers emissions and benefits the environment. Steel mills, refineries, and other customers around the world have embraced the technology designed and manufactured by American workers in Greenville, South Carolina, and Schenectady, New York. Today, a fleet of 47 GE large frame turbines that burn a diet of “low calorific” fuel serve in more than a dozen countries and produce 4 gigawatts of electricity.
At the Wuhan Iron& Steel (Group) Company (WISCO) in China, two massive GE 9E Heavy Duty Gas Turbines burning waste coke oven and blast furnace gases produce 1 billion kilowatts hours of electrical power, enough to make 20 million tons of steel and kick enough electricity back to the City of Wuhan to power 260,000 homes. The technology also scrubs 2 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and saves WISCO $32 million in annual operational expenses. Talk about a free lunch!