IEP - Coal Utilization By-Products - Utilization Projects
Feasibility of Utilizing Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
Byproducts for Novel Material Development
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plants produce a large volume of solid byproducts, just like pulverized coal combustion (PCC) plants. It is estimated that a 425 net MW IGCC plant burning 10% ash coal will produce about 450 to 500 tons per day of solid byproducts. These can be separated into two fractions: coarse vitreous fraction (FRIT) and fine carbonaceous fine fraction (CFF). The CFF fraction, with high heating value is generally recycled through the gasifer to improve coal utilization. The FRIT fraction may be used as abrasive, cement-concrete applications, or as road sub base material. The physical and chemical properties of such solid byproducts are different from fly ash and bottom ash produced from PCC plants. Therefore, development of gasification byproducts utilization strategies that are economic and environmentally sound is essential for commercialization of IGCC technology.
This project is performing an exploratory study for utilizing IGCC solid byproducts to develop value- added novel materials beyond already explored cement- concrete applications. Specific objectives include: (1) Characterize different fractions of gasification byproducts from the Polk Power plant from a materials development point of view. These characterization studies were to include thermal, physical and chemical analyses; (2) Based on the data from (1) above, identify at least two novel applications for "medium-volume utilization" of one or more fractions of gasification byproducts; and (3) Perform laboratory studies on a limited scale to develop and characterize novel materials for applications identified above.
The studies indicate that the vitrified coarse fraction (FRIT) of IGCC byproducts has properties very similar to glass and has potential for development of inexpensive glass fibers, and associated materials such as rock wool, substrates for solar energy absorption, obscuring material for military applications, and decorative tiles for external surfaces of buildings. Most operators currently recycle the fines fraction (with much higher heating value) into the gasifier. The ash content of this carbonaceous fraction eventually gets converted to FRIT fraction during the recycle gasification step. The results of this project suggest that focused development studies could be undertaken to develop two materials with medium to large volume utilization potential: (1) substrates for solar energy absorption; and (2) obscurance material for military applications. These are new markets with significant potential.