CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems


Benefits of Integrating Aerojet Rocketdyne and RTI Advanced Gasification Technologies for Hydrogen-Rich Syngas Production


Performer: Research Triangle Institute (RTI)

Project No: FE0012066


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 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.

Research Triangle Institute will assess the potential for integration of advanced technologies to substantially reduce capital and production costs for hydrogen-rich syngas with near-zero emissions from coal gasification for power production with carbon capture and for coal-to-liquids (specifically methanol) with carbon capture. Specifically, integrated technologies considered in the analysis will include those already tested successfully at pilot-scale – Aerojet Rocketdyne (formerly Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne) gasifier (including advances in dry solids feed systems) and RTI warm gas cleanup -- with a new and innovative water-gas-shift technology, to show how multiple advanced technologies will leverage each other for significant cost and efficiency gains.

The study Advanced Gasifier Pilot Plant Concept Definition prepared by Aerojet Rocketdyne (formerly Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne) developed a concept for a gasification pilot plant incorporating advanced technologies. The current project will further assess the potential of incorporation of advanced technologies including RTI warm gas cleanup and advances in dry solids feed systems.


Project Details