Conversion of coal to carbon-free energy carriers, and electricity, with capture and storage may have the potential to satisfy at a comparatively low cost much of the energy requirements in a carbon-constrained world. In a set of recent studies, we have assessed the thermodynamic and economic performance of numerous coal-to- plants that employ -blown, entrained-flow gasification and sour water-gas shift (WGS) reactors, examining the effects of system pressure, syngas cooling via quench versus heat exchangers, “conventional” separation via pressure swing adsorption versus novel membrane-based approaches, and various gas turbine technologies for generating coproduct electricity. This study focuses on the synergy between separation membrane reactors (HSMRs) and syngas cooling with radiant and convective heat exchangers; such “syngas coolers” invariably boost system efficiency over that obtained with quench-cooled gasification. Conventional separation requires a relatively high steam-to-carbon ratio (S/C) to achieve a high level of production, and thus is well matched to relatively inefficient quench cooling. In contrast, HSMRs shift the WGS equilibrium by continuously extracting reaction product , thereby allowing a much lower S/C ratio and consequently a higher degree of heat recovery and (potentially) system efficiency. We first present a parametric analysis illuminating the interaction between the syngas coolers, high temperature WGS reactor, and HSMR. We then compare the performance and cost of six different plant configurations, highlighting (1) the relative merits of the two syngas cooling methods in membrane-based systems, and (2) the comparative performance of conventional versus HSMR-based separation in plants with syngas coolers.
Carbon-Free Hydrogen and Electricity From Coal: Options for Syngas Cooling in Systems Using a Hydrogen Separation Membrane Reactor
De Lorenzo, L., Kreutz, T. G., Chiesa, P., and Williams, R. H. (March 28, 2008). "Carbon-Free Hydrogen and Electricity From Coal: Options for Syngas Cooling in Systems Using a Hydrogen Separation Membrane Reactor." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. May 2008; 130(3): 031401. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2795763
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