Together with the AWS Corporation in Italy, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund AB has developed a new type of wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) for the removal of dust, droplets and fine (submicron) particles (< 1µm) from flue gases.

In the spring of 2011, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund AB installed a pilot plant at the Renova waste incineration installation in Sävenäs, Gothenburg. Our goal was to optimize WESP technology in terms of energy consumption and effective dust removal. Following an evaluation of the test results we are able to declare that our project expectations were met and development goals achieved. We have determined that:

  • WESP technology works well at pilot scale with flue gases from a full-scale waste incineration installation.
  • Removal of fine particles was very effective
  • WESP technology provides low energy consumption compared to other dust separation methods such as baghouse filters or venturis.

Dust removal efficiency was measured under a number of different operational conditions. Dust measurement and continuous particle size distribution measurements showed

  • an outgoing dust concentration of <0.3 mg/Nm3, d.g.
  • a typical removal ratio of 99%

The pilot test was conducted in 2011 and was financed in part by the Swedish Thermal Engineering Research Association and Waste Refinery. Download the report from the link on the right.


In recent years, emissions of fine particles have received increased attention due to the health problems they cause. Fine particles penetrate deep into the lungs and other body tissues and cause the premature deaths of many people. Accordingly, improved dust removal at incinerator installations are an important issue for tomorrow's sustainable energy systems. It is also likely that standards for particle emissions from waste incineration will become more stringent in the future.