Project No: FE0012122
Performer: Gas Technology Institute


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

K. David Lyons
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS P03D
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4379

David Rue
Principal Investigator
Gas Technology Institute
1700 South Mount Prospect Rd
Des Plaines, IL 60018-1804
(847) 768-0508

Award Date:  10/01/2013
Project Date:  03/31/2015

DOE Share: $800,040.00
Performer Share: $200,133.00
Total Award Value: $1,000,173.00

Performer website: Gas Technology Institute -

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems

Hybrid Molten Bed Gasifier for High Hydrogen (H2) Syngas Production

Project Description

The research team will evaluate and test a hybrid molten bed (HMB) gasification process for producing synthesis gas (syngas) from a coal/natural gas feed. The HMB gasification process potentially offers several benefits over conventional gasifiers including higher efficiency, higher yield of electricity or diesel fuel, lower cost of electricity or diesel, lower costs for carbon capture, and lower capital costs due to simpler plant layout. The project team will conduct techno-economic analyses for plants based on conventional slagging gasification and the HMB gasification process for producing both power and diesel fuel with carbon capture.

Program Background and Project Benefits

Gasification is used to convert a solid feedstock, such as coal, petcoke, or biomass, into a gaseous form, referred to as synthesis gas or syngas, which is primarily hydrogen and carbon monoxide. With gasification-based technologies, pollutants can be captured and disposed of or converted to useful products. Gasification can generate clean power by adding steam to the syngas in a water-gas-shift (WGS) reactor to convert the carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide (CO2) and to produce additional hydrogen. The hydrogen and CO2 are separated—the hydrogen is used to make power and the CO2 is sent to storage, converted to useful products or used for enhanced oil recovery. In addition to efficiently producing electric power, a wide range of transportation fuels and chemicals can be produced from the cleaned syngas, thereby providing the flexibility needed to capitalize on the changing economic market. As a result, gasification provides a flexible technology option for using domestically available resources while meeting future environmental emission standards. Polygeneration plants that produce multiple products are uniquely possible with gasification technologies. The Gasification Systems program is developing technologies in three key areas to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of producing syngas: (1) Feed Systems, (2) Gasifier Optimization and Plant Supporting Systems, and (3) Syngas Processing Systems.

Gasifier Optimization and Plant Supporting System technologies under development are targeted at increasing gasifier availability and efficiency, improving performance, and reducing the capital and operating costs of advanced gasification plants. Ongoing R&D projects are developing more durable refractory materials, creating models to better understand the kinetics and particulate behavior of fuel inside a gasifier, and developing practical solutions to mitigate the plugging and fouling of syngas coolers. Future work will focus on the development of cutting edge gasifier technologies, which will start with multiple competing concepts and continue with support of the most aggressive and successful technologies being developed, both in the Gasification Systems program and other DOE programs, to reduce the cost of coal gasification. Future work will also aim to reduce the amount of water used in gasification plants and integrate technologies throughout the plant and beyond in a holistic approach to increase efficiency and reduce costs (e.g., the optimization of gasification plants to sell CO2 for EOR applications).

This Gas Technology Institute project is conducting techno-economic evaluations and laboratory testing of a hybrid molten bed (HMB) gasification process with coal and natural gas co-feeding to produce syngas with high hydrogen to carbon dioxide ratio. HMB gasification has the potential for improvement in operational performance and reliability of advanced coal-based power and liquid fuels generation compared to conventional gasification processes. Lowered cost and increased performance of high hydrogen syngas production would enable liquid fuels production or power generation with decreased cost and lower environmental emissions.

Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

The project includes three major activities. First, the HMB gasifier will be modeled to determine performance, syngas yield, and syngas composition data needed for the techno-economic analyses in both integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and Fischer Tropsch (FT) diesel configurations. Second, the HMB gasification process will be tested, and the performance and product syngas data needed to support the techno-economic analysis and to provide support for the next stage of HMB gasification process development will be collected. Finally, techno-economic analyses will be performed for an IGCC plant with carbon capture and an FT plant with carbon capture using both a conventional slagging gasifier and the HMB gasifier. Analyses will include baseline cases and parametric calculations to develop optimized HMB plant configurations.

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".