Transport Reactor Integrated Gasification (TRIG™), originally developed by Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) based on the company's fluidized catalytic cracking technology, has been enhanced through extensive testing by Southern Company at the Power Systems Development Facility in cooperation with NETL. Testing corroborated that the gasifier effectively handles low-rank coals (e.g., Powder River Basin lignite), which account for half of the worldwide coal reserves but are often considered uneconomic as energy sources due to high moisture and ash contents.
Research in this area has focused on the development of gasification performance prediction models to reduce uncertainties associated with the use of low-rank coals and co-feeds, including biomass. The development of a hierarchy of co-feed TRIG models with uncertainty quantification provides a practical framework for quantifying various types of uncertainties and assessing the impact of their propagation through computer models of the physical system. Reducing the uncertainty of using these feeds enables gasification designers and operators, leading to greater use of these resources.
Dry coal feeding, which would allow efficient use of low-rank high moisture coals like lignite in high pressure gasification, is among the most important recent examples of NETL-supported R&D in the area of low-rank coal optimization.