CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems


Recovery Act: Development of Ion-Transport Membrane Oxygen Technology for Integration in IGCC and Other Advanced Power Generation Systems


Performer: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Project No: FC26-98FT40343


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.

This Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. project focuses on increasing the efficiency and reducing the capital cost of oxygen (O2) production through development and demonstration of ion transport membrane (ITM) technology.  ITM uses mixed ion and electron conducting materials to produce high temperature/high purity O2 at significantly lower capital than state-of-the-art cryogenic O2 production systems. Specifically, this project will demonstrate a pilot-scale ITM O2 production system, and construct a facility capable of producing the complex modules at a commercially relevant rate.

Air Products and Chemicals also developed a reaction-driven process (Phase IV) under a now complete Congressionally Directed Project. Reaction-driven ITMs are a special class of ceramic oxygen ion transport membranes, which use a driving force for the separation by reacting the permeated oxygen with a fuel. Prior work, under a separate DOE Cooperative Agreement, DE-FC26-97FT96052, developed and evaluated Reaction-driven ITMs, using natural gas, the results of this research effort are documented in the project final report, Air Products and Chemicals. Engineering Development Of Ceramic Membrane Reactor System For Converting Natural Gas To Hydrogen and Synthesis Gas For Liquid Transportation Fuels, 2008.


Project Details