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Wright-Patterson AFB’s Coal-to-Natural-Gas Boiler Conversion

David Bohn

David Bohn is a Redding, CT-based industrial equipment executive who has served as the president of the Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation (PUMC) since 1995. Under David Bohn’s direction, the Preferred Special Combustion Engineering division of the PUMC completed a highly successful coal-to-natural-gas boiler conversion project on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Greene County, Ohio.

By 2012, Wright-Patterson’s central heating plants required a major overhaul to bring them into compliance with new MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) emission limits for boilers according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Wright-Patterson’s exiting steam plant infrastructure consisted of two 80,000 PPH natural-gas-fired package boilers and three coal-fired boilers that dated to 1979. To supply hot water throughout the base, it used one 80 MMBtu-output natural-gas-fired high-temperature-hot-water generator (HTHWG) and three coal-fired HTHWGs.

To bring these systems up to modern standards, the PUMC converted two coal-fired boilers and two coal-fired HTHWGs and slated the rest of the units for demolition. At the end of this extensive project, the newly converted boilers and HTHWGs employed natural-gas-fired low-nitrogen-oxide burners with a maximum allowable emission rate of 0.1 pound-per-million BTUs for nitrogen oxide and 0.1 pound-per-million BTUs for carbon monoxide.

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