Cornerstone - Autumn 2014 - (Page 55)
Distributed Power With Advanced
Clean Coal Gasification Technology
By Carrie Lalou
Vice President of Business Development,
Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.
ne major barrier for clean coal gasification technologies
being implemented into conventional energy sectors
has been the perception that a large capital investment
is required to move away from a natural gas or oil feedstock to
a solid feedstock such as coal or biomass, and the conversion
thereof. Historically, this has marginally been the case in some
places where gasification projects have been implemented to
"fuel" chemical, power, fertilizer, and other energy projects.
However, projects that can take advantage of the optimal
"integration" of gasification and downstream processing technologies and maximize capital effectiveness and efficiency can
reap great benefits from gasification technologies. In cases
where the lowest cost feedstocks can be used and feedstock
flexibility is maximized, again without overspending capital,
the projects' return on investment can be further enhanced.
During the last few decades, many well-established gasification companies have attempted to improve integration with
downstream technologies, yielding mixed results. In some
instances, the optimized plant configuration resulted in significant cost savings-giving the project a reduced cost of
production for its end product. In other instances, the integration was so complex that significant additional capital
was required to realize such optimization and the technical
difficulties encountered during startup and operation had a
negative impact on the project and its economic performance.
Synthesis Energy Systems (SES) has developed, demonstrated,
and deployed its advanced fluidized bed SES Gasification
Technology, which is able to cleanly convert low-grade, lowcost coal, coal wastes, and biomass into multiple high-value
end products without the same level of capital investment
required for most gasification projects. Based on the fuel flexibility and lower upfront costs, SES' fluidized bed gasification
technology has been breaking barriers to enter markets previously not considered feasible for smaller-scale gasification
projects. The products at such facilities include direct reduced
iron steel, transportation fuels, chemicals, fertilizers, coalderived synthetic natural gas, and power generation-the one
market segment where it has been most difficult for gasification to succeed economically.
"Fluidized bed gasification
technology has been breaking
barriers to enter markets previously
not considered feasible for smallerscale gasification projects."
HISTORICAL IGCC IMPLEMENTATION
The first integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) facility
using coal as feedstock was constructed in the early 1980s in
California using General Electric (formerly Texaco) gasification
technology in combination with GE's heavy-duty gas turbines.
It was funded partially by the U.S. Department of Energy as a
proof-of-concept. At the time of project initiation, the 1970s
oil crisis was in full swing, and there was a mandate from
the U.S. government to develop homegrown technologies to
replace dependence on imported energy sources, especially
oil, in an environmentally friendly manner.
SES' Zao Zhuang New Gas Company Joint Venture Plant that
produces methanol from coal-Shandong Province, China
(SES ~98% ownership)
Under the Cool Water Coal Gasification Program, an IGCC
plant was constructed in Southern California and operated
from 1984 to 1989 on four types of bituminous coals using
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cornerstone - Autumn 2014
From the Editor: Increased Understanding of Gasifcation
Cover Story: Gasification Can Help Meet the World's Growing Demand for Cleaner Energy and Products
The Drivers and Status of the Texas Clean Energy Project
Carbon Pollution Standards for New and Existing Power Plants and Their Impact on Carbon Capture and Storage
Developing High-Efficiency, Low-Carbon, Clean Coal in China
A Coal-Based Strategy to Reduce Europe's Dependence on Russian Energy Imports
The Reliability and Resilience of the U.S. Existing Coal Fleet
Improving the Case for Gasification
The Shell Coal Gasification Process for Reliable Chamicals, Power, and Liquids Production
Distribution Power With Advanced Clean Coal Gasification Technology
Moving Forward With the Huaneng GreenGen IGCC Demonstration
The Benefits and Challenges Associated With Coal in South Africa
Cornerstone - Autumn 2014
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