A “Slow” Gasifier for IGCC Uses Low Quality Coal
Here’s an interesting variation of the gasification technology that is able to utilize low-quality coal for gasification-based (IGCC) power plants. (Source: Technology Review)
This will soon be tried at a coal-power plant in the industrial boomtown of Dongguan in southeast China’s Pearl River Delta. Its developers, Atlanta-based utility Southern Company and Houston-based engineering firm KBR, announced the licensing deal with Dongguan Power and Chemical Company this month.
This technology uses a transport gasifier to turn cheap, low-quality coal per hour into a clean-burning gas. Conventional gasifiers have temperatures around 1,500 ºC. Such high temps, melt ash and other mineral contaminants in the coal, forming a glassy slag that eventually damages the reactors.
Dongguan’s gasifier will sidestep those issues by operating at just 925 ºC to 980 ºC, below the contaminant melting temperature. Coal nevertheless gasifies completely at these lower temperatures. How? Because it spends twice as long in the new process. Looks like a simple adaptation!
The specific technology is an adaptation of the fluidized catalytic cracking.
The technology is attractive to Dongguan Power because it can use coal that is cheaper and less desirable.