Coal-Fired Power Plants (CFPPs)
Why Use Gasification? What are the Benefits?
The most significant advantage gasification has over conventional coal to steam power plants is increased thermal efficiency. More power is produced per ton of coal consumed. The thermal efficiency in a conventional pulverized coal plant is 33-40%, but an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant can achieve 42-50% efficiency. This means less coal consumed to produce the same amount of power. With less coal consumed, there is less solid waste and lower emissions. The syngas produced from a gasifier unit can be burned in a gas turbine for electricity generation or used as a fuel in other applications such as hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. Benefits of IGCC plants include the following:
- An IGCC power plant produces only about half the solid wastes as that of a conventional coal power plant.
- The solid wastes include slag or sand-like materials that are inert and can actually be marketed as construction materials.
- The plant can use a variety of fuels including low ranked coal, heavy oils, petroleum cokes, biomass, and even waste.
- IGCC plants use 20-50% less water compared to a conventional coal power station, which is important due to the decreasing availability of water sources for power production.
- IGCC plants remove about 95% of the sulfur emissions and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are below 50ppm. Most of the CO2 can be captured from IGCC, making the technology suitable for carbon dioxide storage.