This project will demonstrate an application of a CoalTek, Inc. (CoalTek) proprietary microwave process for treating energy feedstock materials. The process combines coal and biomass to produce an economically viable and suitable single-stream feedstock for co-gasification. Phase I of the project will focus on microwave processing, batch-scale production, and laboratory characterizations of briquettes with the objective to identify the combinations of biomass and coal types that provide the most suitable briquetted product for co-gasification. Phase II will use a larger scale, continuous mode process to (1) demonstrate the performance of the co-briquetted fuels during co-gasification in two different pilot-plant designs, i.e., fixed-bed and fluidized-bed gasifiers, and (2) enable realistic cost estimates for the construction and operation of a commercial-scale biomass-coal briquetting plant based on CoalTek's proprietary microwave process.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to supporting research focused on making use of the nation's coal and biomass resources. The Coal and Coal Biomass to Liquids (C&CBTL) Technology Program at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is developing advanced technologies to remove technical barriers that will foster the commercial adoption of coal and coal/biomass gasification technologies for the production of affordable hydrogen and liquid fuels (such as gasoline, diesel, aviation, and military fuels). The hydrogen can be used in advanced systems for efficient power generation produced with near-zero emissions and with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The synthesis gas (syngas) produced by the gasification of coal and coal/biomass mixtures can be converted by chemical processes to generate clean liquid hydrocarbon fuels. To successfully complete the development of C&CBTL technologies from the present state to the point of commercial readiness, the C&CBTL Program efforts are focused on two Key Technologies: (1) Coal/Biomass Feed and Gasification, and (2) Advanced Fuels Synthesis.
The Coal/Biomass Feed and Gasification Key Technology is advancing scientific knowledge of the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels from coal and/or coal-biomass mixtures. Activities support research for handling and processing of coal/biomass mixtures, ensuring those mixtures are compatible with feed delivery systems, identifying potential impacts on downstream components, catalyst and reactor optimization, and characterizing the range of products and product quality.
This CoalTek Inc. project will demonstrate the use of a microwave process which combines coal and biomass to produce a suitable single-stream feedstock pellet for co-gasification. The impact of this project will be to develop a cost-effective gasification-based CBTL process to produce renewable liquid fuels that will provide diversity of fuel supply and energy security while resulting in lower future capital and operating costs. Specifically, this project will focus on (1) microwave processing of batch-scale production and laboratory characterizations of briquette formulations to determine the most suitable briquetted product for co-gasification; (2) use a larger scale, continuous process to demonstrate the performance of the co-briquetted fuels during co-gasification in two different pilot-plant designs, and (3) enable realistic cost estimates of a commercial-scale of the microwave process as a part of a CBTL system.
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