Project No: FE0012136
Performer: Ohio State University


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

Steven Richardson
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS P03D
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4185

Liang-Shih Fan
Principal Investigator
The Ohio State University
421B Koffolt Laboratories
140 W Nineteenth Ave
Columbus, OH 43210 
(614) 688-3262

Award Date:  10/01/2013
Project Date:  09/30/2014

DOE Share: $954,428.00
Performer Share: $249,321.00
Total Award Value: $1,203,749.00

Performer website: Ohio State University -

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems

Chemical Looping Gasification for Hydrogen Enhanced Syngas Production in the Reaction Mixture Carbon Dioxide Capture

Project Description

The objective of this project is to further demonstrate the technical and economic advantages of chemical looping gasification (CLG) for power generation and for synthesis of transportation fuels and other high value chemicals from coal. Specifically, the research team aims to (1) improve oxygen carrier performance, (2) demonstrate at bench-scale that the CLG process can achieve greater than 98 percent coal conversion, (3) demonstrate the effects and fates of contaminants, (4) develop a sub-pilot-scale cold-flow model, and (5) provide a comparative techno-economic analysis that establishes the feasibility and attractiveness of the CLG system.

Bench Scale Unit Setup

Bench Scale Unit Setup

Program Background and Project Benefits

In general, 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 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.

Syngas processing research and development underway emphasizes technologies that can be efficiently integrated into the plant, optimized with the temperature and pressure requirements of other systems, and meet product delivery specifications. A major cost element in gasification plants is converting raw syngas into a pure and specific gas used to create the plant's target product suite. High-hydrogen, low-methane, ultraclean syngas is versatile and can be used for power production with CO2 capture, fuels or chemicals production, and for many polygeneration applications. The technologies being developed are focused on high-efficiency processes that operate at moderate to high temperatures and clean syngas of all contaminants to the extremely low levels needed for chemical production—often significantly lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required levels for power plants.

This Ohio State University project will further demonstrate the technical and economic advantages of a chemical looping gasification (CLG) process in context of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and coal-to-liquid plants. Project objectives are to 1) improve oxygen carrier performance, 2) demonstrate the CLG process at bench-scale to achieve greater than 98% coal conversion, 3) identify the effects and fates of sulfur, nitrogen, and other trace contaminants, 4) model cold-flow at sub-pilot scale, and 5) perform a comparative techno-economic analysis that validates the feasibility and attractiveness of the CLG system. Commercialized CLG technology is expected to improve the efficiency of coal-based gasification systems for both electricity generation and liquid fuels production while minimizing their carbon footprints.

MIT Technology Review A Cleaner Way to Use Coal provides more background on coal gasification chemical looping.

Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

The goal of this project is to improve the current oxygen carrier particle performance and CLG reactor system design for the coal to liquid (CTL) processes. Improvements in the oxygen carrier particle reactivity, selectivity, and recyclability will be made via modification of particle composition and synthesis methods. The optimum particle performance and optimum operating conditions for the reducer and oxidizer such as the temperature, gasification enhancer type, and flow rate will be identified in Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and small fixed bed studies. The bench scale demonstration will be conducted with both working and improved particles. Different ranks of coal such as bituminous, sub-bituminous, and lignite will be tested. Fates of sulfur, nitrogen and ash will be determined. Sub-pilot cold flow model studies will be conducted to de-risk the unknowns of the hydrodynamics for future scale-up developments. Different CLG systems will be designed to optimize the CTL processes. Comprehensive Aspen Plus process simulations and economic analyses will be completed based on the project results. The techno-economic analysis will be conducted to evaluate plant efficiency, cost and environmental performance of adopting CLG technology into a commercial scale methanol and/or Fischer-Tropsch diesel production plant. It is expected that the optimal CLG process will be selected and ready for further scale up upon completion of the proposed one-year project.

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".