Major power supplier DTE Energy is a company that takes its clean-energy commitment seriously. As part of its $600 million DTE Energy Monroe Scrubber Project, a clean coal initiative, DTE Energy is installing two flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) systems, or “scrubbers.” The scrubbers run limestone or a similar substance into the coal combustion gases, or “flue gases,” to clean the nitric oxide and sulfuric acid out before the gases go into the atmosphere. The scrubbers lower sulfur dioxide emissions by 97 percent and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mercury emissions are also reduced between 75 to 90 percent. Piping contractor URS is participating in construction of the DTE Energy Monroe Scrubber Project, which will use a total of $1.5 million worth of piping. The project is progressing in three phases, and during the first phase, URS learned a valuable lesson: It’s hard to seal fiberglass piping in the cold. – See more at:

A sticky challenge Because of the corrosive properties of the chemicals running through the pipes, steel would wear too quickly. So instead of steel, the scrubber pipeline must be constructed of fiberglass; fiberglass is as strong as steel, but resistant to corrosion. However, URS initially had difficulty joining the fiberglass pipes. The traditional method of joining fiberglass piping is to use adhesive, but Michigan’s freezing temperatures were slowing the chemical process of adhesion dramatically. It cost extra time and money to bring in various rudimentary drying technologies, such as heat blankets or industrial blow dryers. In addition, the poorly cured adhesive tended to peel away over time, causing joins to fail and requiring expensive repairs. When URS started on phase two of the scrubber project, the URS Project Manager asked The Macomb Group to help them find a better way to join the fiberglass piping. Just what the doctor ordered As luck would have it, The Macomb Group had just discovered Victaulic’s new 296A Aluminum Coupling, designed for use with 1- to 12-inch fiberglass reinforced vinyl ester and epoxy resin piping. Victaulic’s aluminum coupling system is a rigid connection that maintains existing support requirements and can be installed in inclement weather including rain, wind, humidity, cold, heat, and in shade or sunlight. Using a rubber gasket and aluminum collar, the coupling system needs no adhesive. Similar designs are commonly used to join steel piping; however, this is the first design that can be applied to fiberglass. Teamwork yields success URS was impressed with the innovative solution, but needed to get it approved by the engineering team at DTE Energy. Marc Robertson with Victaulic and Chuck Raymond with The Macomb Group met with Rick Kennedy and other team members at DTE Energy Warren Service Center to explain the value of the solution. Once DTE Energy’s engineers saw how the coupling would solve the issues of joint connections, the product was approved for use on the second phase of the scrubber project. The Macomb Group also worked with Industrial Fiberglass Services in Dayton, Ohio, to manufacture fiberglass piping to the specifications needed to ensure perfect cohesion with the new aluminum couplings. After a year’s worth of testing, designing, training, and installing, URS is pleased to say that the second phase of the DTE Energy Monroe Scrubber Project with the use of the innovative couplings was a complete success. Because of The Macomb Group’s ingenuity, delivery of an innovative product, and outstanding customer service, DTE Energy is using fiberglass piping and the Victaulic Aluminum Coupling for another project at a different location. The Macomb Group is proud to offer our customers quality products. To learn more, contact us by email at or by phone at 888-756-4110. – See more at: