Project No: FE0012500
Performer: Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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

Jason Hissam
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS P03D
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-0286

Ahmed Ghoniem
Principal Investigator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307

Award Date:  01/01/2014
Project Date:  05/31/2015

DOE Share: $500,000.00
Performer Share: $239,509.00
Total Award Value: $739,509.00

Performer website: Massachusetts Institute of Technology -

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems

Coal - Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Slurry Feeding System for Pressurized Gasifiers

Project Description

This project will develop and assess a slurry feeding system based on a suspension of coal in liquid CO2 that can be pumped into a high-pressure gasifier. The advantages of this solution are that CO2 has a low heat capacity, a low heat of vaporization and low viscosity. Thus, the liquid CO2 imposes a much smaller thermal load on the gasifier relative to a water slurry, and has the potential to improve the efficiency and economics of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants with carbon capture and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal fired power plants.

Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle with Coal CO2 Slurry Feeding System

Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle with Coal CO2 Slurry Feeding System
(click to enlarge)

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 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 EOR. 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.

Feed systems research is underway to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency, through design and advanced plant integration, of fuel and oxygen feed to commercial gasifiers. High-pressure solid feed systems will expand the use of our nation's Western low-cost, low-rank coals for high-pressure gasifiers (currently limited to more expensive fuel), enable co-feeding of coal with other advantageous fuels (such as biomass), and encourage higher pressure (and therefore more efficient) operation of dry feed gasifiers. ITM technology will lower the cost of oxygen production through reduced capital costs, and result in more efficient IGCC power plants through turbine integration, as compared to today's commercially available, energy intensive technology for oxygen production—cryogenic air separation.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology project is developing and assessing a coal-CO2 slurry feeding system. As opposed to conventional coal-water slurry feeding, the coal-CO2 slurry feeding approach avoids the thermal efficiency loss incurred by addition of slurry water, particularly when feeding low-rank coals already high in moisture content, and allows high-pressure operation while avoiding the high capital cost and limited pressure range of dry coal feeding using lock-hopper technology. This new coal feeding method has the potential to improve the efficiency and economics of coal-based power generation with carbon capture and reduce the costs of converting coal to gasoline and diesel fuels.

Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

This project will encompass two integrated threads of research. The first thread will develop a model of the phase inversion coal feeding process based on literature data and theory regarding the thermodynamic and rate processes. The second thread will examine how the CO2 slurry preparation and feeding system will impact the overall processes including the gasifier and downstream operations. Techno-economic evaluations of the integrated processes of the feeding system in the context of an IGCC process and the innovative Allam Cycle process for power generation will be performed.

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".