Tunable Diode Laser Sensors to Monitor Temperature and Gas Composition in High Temperature Coal Gasifiers


Illustration of the potential locations of gas sensors<br/>for control of a combined cycle power plant
Illustration of the potential locations of gas sensors
for control of a combined cycle power plant
Stanford University
Website:  Stanford University
Award Number:  FE0001180
Project Duration:  10/01/2009 – 09/30/2014
Total Award Value:  $1,409,821
DOE Share:  $1,127,856
Performer Share:  $281,965
Technology Area:  Plant Optimization Technologies
Key Technology:  Sensors and Controls
Location:  Stanford, California

Project Description

The objective of this project is to design, build, and test a tunable diode laser sensor capable of measuring gas concentrations and temperature in a gasification system. Two crucial sensors needs for the production and utilization of syngas have been identified: (1) to control the temperature of the gasifier by adjusting feed rates of fuel and oxygen to the gasifier and (2) to control the air dilution at the intake to the gas turbine. To address these needs, the laser-based sensor will be capable of measuring H2O, CO, CO2, and CH4 concentrations in the high-temperature, high-pressure gasifier environment. The CH4 concentration in the output syngas stream serves as a surrogate monitor of gasifier temperature. CO and CO2 concentrations have the potential to be used as a control variable for the gasifier and the subsequent utilization (e.g., gas turbine) of the syngas. Measuring water vapor absorption of laser light is used for real-time in situ temperature sensing.

Project Benefits

This project will develop advanced gas measurement sensor devices. More accurate measurement of the conditions inside the harsh environments of a gasifier will help better control their operation. These advancements will permit integrated and optimized operation of complex power systems with higher efficiency and lower emissions.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Charles E. Miller: charles.miller@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Robert Romanosky: robert.romanosky@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Ronald Hanson: Rkhanson@stanford.edu

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