Combustion Control

If your power plant is operating below its peak efficiency, that means wasted potential. CORMETECH can make sure your facility is running how it should.

Burner Tuning 
CORMETECH conducts an array of operational tests from spatial gaseous analysis to fly ash carbon analysis to gain a complete understanding of boiler operation. If the boiler is not properly calibrated, it often shows up as a local carbon monoxide spike in our testing equipment. This may be because of windbox restrictions, overfire air duct restrictions, or fuel distribution problems. After looking at the data, CORMETECH decides on the best course of action to bring a boiler up to spec.

And our services are capable of powerful results: in the past, CORMETECH has brought power plants into compliance with EPA regulations without the installation of new hardware or impact on daily operation.


More and more plants are using biomass combustion, either to meet renewable goals or reduce emissions. Since biomass is more unpredictable than traditional fossil fuels – having variable moisture content, heat content and composition – it presents new challenges to plant operators. CORMETECH has designed and installed combustion modifications for plants upgrading their biomass capacity, varying the mixture of their combusted fuels, or outright switching to sustainable fuels. Our experience includes:

  • Retrofitting NOx control systems to coal/wood-fired boilers
  • Combustion modifications to a bark-burning stoker boiler
  • Computer simulations modeling the combustion of biomass, coal and natural gas in a rotary kiln

Pulverizer Tuning

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) reports that an average of 1% of plant availability is lost because of pulverizer-related problems. CORMETECH provides full-service tuning to minimize the amount of down-time caused by the pulverizer.

CORMETECH uses a RotorProbe to obtain pulverized coal samples from the coal pipes leaving the mill. The fineness of the coal is determined in the lab using various mesh sizes, which are displayed on Rosin Ramlier plots. Ideally, coal should be pulverized enough so that a minimum of 70% passes through 200 mesh.

The data below show that Mill 3 mill does not achieve 70% passing through 200 mesh. This low performance could result in increased fly ash carbon, decreased ESP performance, and decreased boiler efficiency.

Air Heater Efficiency

The air heater is a boiler component that increases efficiency by recovering heat from the flue gas exiting the boiler. Since heat is a valuable source of energy in a power plant, it can be very economical to reuse it. Air heater performance can have a great impact on boiler operating economics. Over time efficiency losses can increase as fouling and deposits build inside the air heater or as air leakage develops. CORMETECH has the proper equipment and know-how to assess air heater performance and efficiency. Heat transfer performance can also determine air heater efficiency. This is assessed by measuring temperatures at both air inlet and outlet as well as gas inlet and outlet (see graph below).

CORMETECH's goal in completing these services is to maximize combustion efficiency and optimize operation.