Advancing Coal Catalytic Gasification to Promote Optimum Syngas Production Email Page
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Performer:  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Location:  Blacksburg, Virginia
Project Duration:  10/01/2014 – 07/31/2017 Award Number:  FE0024013
Technology Area:  Gasification Systems Total Award Value:  $625,388
Key Technology:  Novel Technologies to Advance Conventional Gasification DOE Share:  $499,999
Performer Share:  $125,389

A schematic to couple MFN and<br/>OpenFOAM with the reaction module (MCHARS)
A schematic to couple MFN and
OpenFOAM with the reaction module (MCHARS)

Project Description

A collaborative effort among Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Northeastern University, the University of Delaware, and Utah State University will provide research and development of catalysts to improve operation of coal gasifiers. The work involves experiments, kinetic modeling, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that will address and make recommendations for advanced catalytic gasification of coal and coal-biomass mixtures. The novel approach of this project will be the use of red mud catalyst with sub-bituminous coal to effectively gasify coal and produce a cleaner syngas with elevated levels of hydrogen without the negative by-products of methane, sulfur compounds, and chlorine. The outcome of this work will be the characterization of the chemical kinetics and reaction mechanisms and the development of a set of models that can be integrated into MFIX, OpenFOAM and other CFD modeling environments. Most importantly, this work will demonstrate advancements in catalytic gasification of low-rank coal that will promote optimum syngas composition for polygeneration of electricity and other fuels or chemicals.

Project Benefits

The Virginia Tech-led project brings together basic and applied research for transformational concepts in coal gasification. These efforts will target improved use of fossil fuels, in particular low-rank coal, by using suitable catalysts to advance gasification and create cleaner synthesis gas. The current needs are to control and minimize methane concentrations formed during coal gasification. Doing so will facilitate better use of power plants for polygeneration applications. Furthermore, employing an optimal catalyst can improve the use of coal and provide a more economical gasification process, as well as reduce methane production. Adding small fractions of biomass feedstock will also help increase hydrogen content for quality syngas suitable for hydrocarbon synthesis.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Jason Lewis:
Technology Manager K David Lyons:
Principal Investigator Francine Battaglia: