CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems


Advanced Reactor Design for Integrated WGS/Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture


Performer: TDA Research Inc.

Project No: FE0012048


Program Background and Project Benefits

Gasification is used to convert a solid feedstock, such as coal, petcoke, or biomass, into a gaseous form, referred to as synthesis gas or syngas, which is primarily hydrogen and carbon monoxide. With gasification-based technologies, pollutants can be captured and disposed of or converted to useful products. Gasification can generate clean power by adding steam to the syngas in a WGS reactor to convert the carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide (CO2) and to produce additional hydrogen. The hydrogen and CO2 are separated—the hydrogen is used to make power and the CO2 is sent to storage, converted to useful products or used for enhanced oil recovery. In addition to efficiently producing electric power, a wide range of transportation fuels and chemicals can be produced from the cleaned syngas, thereby providing the flexibility needed to capitalize on the changing economic market. As a result, gasification provides a flexible technology option for using domestically available resources while meeting future environmental emission standards. Polygeneration plants that produce multiple products are uniquely possible with gasification technologies. The Gasification Systems program is developing technologies in three key areas to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of producing syngas: (1) Feed Systems, (2) Gasifier Optimization and Plant Supporting Systems, and (3) Syngas Processing Systems.

Syngas processing research and development underway emphasizes technologies that can be efficiently integrated into the plant, optimized with the temperature and pressure requirements of other systems, and meet product delivery specifications. A major cost element in gasification plants is converting raw syngas into a pure and specific gas used to create the plant’s target product suite. High-hydrogen, low-methane, ultraclean syngas is versatile and can be used for power production with CO2 capture, fuels or chemicals production, and for many polygeneration applications. The technologies being developed are focused on high-efficiency processes that operate at moderate to high temperatures and clean syngas of all contaminants to the extremely low levels needed for chemical production—often significantly lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required levels for power plants.

TDA Research, Inc. will develop a new high-hydrogen synthesis gas production technology and demonstrate its techno-economic viability for use in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants and coal-to-chemical plants (production of methanol, a precursor for gasoline production) that process low-rank coals and woody biomass. Specifically, the new system will use a warm gas CO2 scrubber integrated with a water-gas shift catalyst to capture greater than 90% of carbon emissions. With expected net plant efficiency 3-5% higher than plants using Selexol for CO2 capture, the technology would significantly reduce the cost of carbon capture over the current state-of-the art, reduce carbon emissions, and have favorable impact on cost of production of electricity and value-added products from coal-based gasification systems.

In a previous DOE/NETL project, TDA developed a CO2 sorbent and demonstrated its stable operation first in bench-scale tests followed by slipstream demonstrations with real coal-derived synthesis gas. Recently, in a separate DOE/NETL project, in collaboration with Phillips66 and Southern Company, the integration of the CO2 scrubber/WGS catalyst in two slipstream demonstrations at the Wabash River IGCC plant and the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) was successfully demonstrated.


Project Details