Gasification Systems - Gasifier Optimization and Plant Supporting Systems
Mitigation of Syngas Cooler Plugging and Fouling
Reaction Engineering International
Project Number: DE-FE0007952
Reaction Engineering International (REI) is working to develop practical solutions to mitigate the plugging and fouling of syngas coolers (SC) – fire tube heat exchangers located between the coal gasifier and the combustion turbine. Syngas coolers used in Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plants offer high efficiency, but their reliability is generally lower than other process equipment in the gasification island. The principle downtime events associated with syngas coolers are typically a result of ash deposits that: form on (wall) surfaces upstream of the syngas cooler, break loose, and then lodge in the tubes; or form on the fireside surface of the syngas cooler tubes that lead to fouling and reduced heat transfer. Both ash deposit mechanisms result in reduced equipment life and increased maintenance costs.
REI is investigating deposition, plugging, and fouling in the syngas cooler and evaluating alternative process conditions and equipment designs to mitigate fouling and plugging using a combination of the following:
- Laboratory-scale experiments that use an Impinging-jet to evaluate deposit strength for a range of temperatures, surface materials, and fuel properties.
- Modeling calculations to assist in test design and data interpretation.
- Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling to investigate fouling and plugging of the SC and evaluate potential design/process changes to mitigate fouling and plugging of the SC.
- Field test at an IGCC plant for validation of the selected technology.
Improving availability and reliability of the syngas cooler will improve the availability of the overall IGCC plant and thereby reduce the cost of electricity.
|From left to right: Laminar Entrained Flow Reactor, Pilot Scale Entrained Flow Reactor, Syngas Cooler CFD Model