Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) -
Demonstration of a Coal-Based Transport Gasifier
Performer: Southern Company
Project No: FC26-06NT42391
Program Background and Project Benefits
Coal is an abundant and indigenous energy resource and currently supplies almost 38 percent of the United States’ electric power. Demand for electricity, vital to the nation’s economy and global competitiveness, is projected to increase by almost 28 percent by 2040. The continued use of coal is essential for providing an energy supply that supports sustainable economic growth. Unfortunately, nearly half of the nation’s electric power generating infrastructure is more than 30 years old and in need of substantial refurbishment or replacement. Additional capacity must also be put in service to keep pace with the nation’s ever-growing demand for electricity. It is in the public interest to upgrade the nation’s energy infrastructure with the latest and most advanced viable technologies to achieve greater efficiencies, environmental performance, and cost-competitiveness.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy, through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, is charged with the implementation of the DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). The intent behind the CCPI is to leverage public and private investment to secure low-cost energy production and protect the environment. The goal of this program is to demonstrate a new generation of innovative coal-utilization technologies in a series of projects carried out across the country. These demonstrations are conducted on a commercial scale to prove the technical feasibility of the technologies and to provide technical and financial information for future applications. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Southern Company Services a cooperative agreement under the CCPI Round 2 Program to provide direct financial support for the development and deployment of the Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIGTM) technology that is being utilized by the project.
The TRIGTM technology offers a simpler and more robust method for generating power from low-rank coal than other alternatives. It is unique among coal gasification technologies in that it is cost-effective when using both low rank coals and coals with high moisture or ash content. These coals make up half of the proved reserves in the U.S. and throughout the world. Moreover, the transport gasifier is capable of both air- and oxygen-blown operation. This inherent flexibility will allow future applications of this technology to be readily adapted to other applications beyond power generation, such as the production of chemicals used in industrial operations.
Moreover, the inclusion of CO2 control as part of the project is critical to the future deployment of coal-based power generation in both the United States and the world. Installation of advanced power generation facilities is an important part of the strategy to become energy independent.
The primary objective of this project is to demonstrate the operation of a commercial-scale, air-blown transport gasifier technology and integrate it with a combined-cycle island. Other objectives of the project include (1) operating an advanced syngas cleanup system that includes sulfur removal and recovery; high temperature, high-pressure particulate filtration; and ammonia recovery and mercury removal; (2) low cost, and low emissions of the IGCC in commercial operating mode; and (3) operating an integrated CO2 capture and compression system with the intent to capture and geologically sequester 65 percent of the CO2 via enhanced oil recovery.