Project No: FE0012062
Performer: Aerojet Rocketdyne


Jenny Tennant
Technology Manager
Gasification Systems
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS B17
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4830

Dave Lyons
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS PO3B
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4379

Alan Darby

Principal Investigator
Aerojet Rocketdyne
6633 Canoga Avenue
Canoga Park, CA 91309-7922
(818) 586-0975

Award Date:  10/01/2013
Project Date:  09/30/2016

DOE Share: $5,428,067.00
Performer Share: $2,326,315.00
Total Award Value: $7,754,382.00

Performer website: Aerojet Rocketdyne -

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems

Dry Solids Pump Coal Feed Technology Program

Project Description

The objective of this Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne project is to develop fuel feed technology for high-pressure gasifiers that will result in significantly lower-cost coal gasification plant construction and/or operation for power production with carbon capture. Aerojet Rocketdyne will conduct dry solids pump (DSP) feed system test operations at 400 tons per day (up to 600 tons per day [tpd]), collect and analyze the resultant data, and develop and update the models needed to prepare a conceptual design of a 1000 tpd DSP operation. This project will provide researchers with the test data, analytical models, and operational experience needed to confidently design a 1000 tpd high-pressure DSP system.

Pump Installation

Program Background and Project Benefits

This project will develope a high-pressure dry feed pump for gasification processes to enable feeding of low-rank coal by constructing, operating, and testing a pre-commercial-scale prototype (600 tons per day at a pressure gradient of 1,000 psi). Novel dry feed technologies have the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of gasification in two ways; enabling slurry-fed gasifiers to run effectively on low rank coal, and enabling dry-fed gasifiers to run at high pressure. This would increase the efficiency of the gasifier and reduce plant capital, maintenance, and operating costs, resulting in less than half the life-cycle cost (capital and operating combined) of the state-of-the-art dry solids lock hopper feed system, and is also expected to perform with at least twice the mechanical efficiency of conventional feed systems.

Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

Aerojet Rocketdyne will prepare the DSP and test facility for testing at a pump capacity of 400 tpd (up to 600 tpd) and discharge pressure of 1200 psi. Project personnel will conduct scraper upgrade optimization and demonstration testing using Illinois #6 coal and design, fabricate, and test component hardware in small-scale component test rigs and/or the DSP. Selected coal will be tested in the DSP and the data analyzed and analytical tools and models updated to support a techno-economic analysis (TEA). A conceptual design of a 1000 tpd high pressure DSP system will be created based on operations performed using the 400 tpd (up to 600 tpd) DSP, analysis of associated test data, and the updated models. The TEA will be used to quantify the benefits of DSP technology by comparing a DSP-integrated plant configuration to a reference case baseline exhibiting conventional technology (i.e., lock hopper feed system). The TEA focus is on integrated gasification and combined cycle power generation with ninety-percent carbon capture.

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment identifies the current state of readiness of the key technologies being developed under the DOE’s Clean Coal Research Program. This project has not been assessed.

The TRL assessment process and its results including definition and description of the levels may be found in the "2012 Technology Readiness Assessment-Analysis of Active Research Portfolio"


In February 2014, the project team completed prototype DSP diagnostic testing. The prototype DSP is now being setup to test at higher pressures between the March to July 2014 timeframe. The Principal Investigator reports that the biggest change is improved operation of the pump, and some minor changes to the scraper so that operations can reach towards 300 psi operating pressures.