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Johnsen Chemicals’ combustion catalyst boosts fuel efficiency and reduces pollution

Published 22 Mar 2023 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read

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Quick information

  • Available

At a glance

  • Affordable and easy to install
  • Cuts fuel consumption and emissions considerably
  • Reduces need for slag removal in waste-to-energy plants

Johnsen Chemicals’ Sootaway is a non-hazardous combustion catalyst which reduces air pollution by improving the efficiency of all solid fuels – coal, biomass and waste.

Coal accounts for almost 40 per cent of electricity generation and more than 40 per cent of energy-related CO₂ emissions globally. It is expected to remain the single largest source of power supply for years to come.

Use of biomass and waste for power generation will continue to increase on a wide scale. However, power plants burning solid fuel, especially older ones, are inefficient, with incomplete combustion leading to heat loss, slagging and emissions of polluting gases.

To keep air pollution from exceeding legal levels, older power plants may have to retrofit a flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) and deNOx unit – which is costly, space-consuming and may take years to install.

Non-hazardous catalyst for high fuel efficiency

Sootaway from Johnsen Chemicals is a combustion catalyst that mitigates some of the challenges facing coal, biomass and waste-to-energy power plants.

During the easy application process, fuel is weighed on the conveyer belt and 1 gram of catalyst is sprayed over 1 kilogram of fuel.

Sootaway enables complete combustion, increasing utilisation of the calorific value of the fuel by up to 90 per cent. It also enables more stable fuel burning, reducing the amount of unburned slag by up to 23 per cent.

Sootaway significantly lowers emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO₂) and particulate matter (PM), reducing air pollution by up to 50 per cent.

Concrete benefits

The Sootaway system is simple and inexpensive to retrofit. It does not require extra space and can be operational in four weeks.

As Sootaway increases fuel efficiency, it also reduces fuel consumption. The reduction in slag build-up will increase heat transfer and particularly benefit waste-to-energy and biomass power plants by extending the time between shutdowns to remove slag.

Market potential

Coal power generation is expected to increase in China and India. China’s average capacity for coal power is 1 000 000 MWh, and Johnsen Chemicals estimates that 75 per cent of older plants could benefit from Sootaway. According to the IEA India 2020 Energy Policy Review, older coal power plants will have to retrofit modern technology to comply with environmental standards.

Eastern Europe still relies on coal power, and Sootaway could help older plants to meet EU emission standards. When it comes to waste-to-energy plants, expansion is planned in China, Europe and India.

In 2020 Sootaway is scheduled to be delivered to power plants and waste-to-energy plants in India, Poland and the US.

Leif Vebenstad


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