Firm eyes China as start to cleaner air for world

The privately-held company, called Lextran, has begun installing its technology.

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August 23, 2011 03:59
2 minute read.
Chinese flag

Chinese flag 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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An Israeli company is aiming to clean the world’s air of dangerous emissions, starting first by deploying its technology in the largely coal-powered country of China.

The privately-held company, called Lextran, has begun installing its technology – which reduces the presence of nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury from boiler emissions – at a 280- megawatt coal-fired steel plant in the large Asian nation, the company announced on Sunday.

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While Lextran already set up a smaller emission control system in a 20-megawatt coalfired heating boiler at Beijing’s international airport earlier this year and on a heavy fuel oil plant in Romania, the current project is the first of its magnitude for the company, according to executive director Dr. Yuval Davidor.

“When you burn coal as you burn any fossil fuel, you have the fumes and gases and everything that comes out of it,” Davidor told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, noting that while the current focus is on coal, the company’s technology can be used in conjunction with any fossil fuel.

“Coal has all the rubbish that exists on the periodic table.”

As rules about emission levels have become stricter in governments all around the world, companies have begun to employ filtration systems to reduce the presence of individual toxins with existing apparatuses, but Davidor explained that Lextran’s mechanism eliminates three different chemicals in one device, making the process less cumbersome and costly.

During the process, the sulfur dioxide and mercury are eliminated nearly entirely from emissions, while the removal of nitrous oxides exceeds the demands of industry standards, he said.

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“These are the ones that have regulations against them – these are the known villains,” Davidor added.

The entirely liquid system is sprayed down the tower through which gas emissions are rising, and as the droplets come into contact with the toxins, they convert them into safer substances through complex chemical reactions, which fall to the floor for safe collection, according to Davidor.

Nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxides transform to nitrogen and sulfur respectively, both of which are used in fertilizers, and the mercury must be disposed in storage facilities made up of substances like concrete, which effectively separate the dangerous chemical from organic catalysts, Davidor said.

While Lextran is happy to sell its technology in any country, China is a particularly strategic place to begin, as it “is the largest coal-burning country or territory,” according to Davidor.

“You have enormous coal usage in many different forms,” he said. “Not only do they use a lot of coal, but they are also late in coming to the game of protecting the environment they are not a mature industry in this respect. There is a lot of room to sell [the product].”

Israel, he explained, is not of interest to the Israeli-based company as apart from Israel Electric Corporation, no one really uses coal.

But for Davidor, the hope is that his company’s technology and others like it, which “deal directly with cleaning mother earth, removing toxins from earth,” will create “an export industry out of Israel that cleans toxins around the globe.”

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