Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Coal gasification -- myths, challenges and opportunities

18.02.2008
PNNL uses technology to advance the understanding of clean coal

There is a growing consensus that increased demand for electricity will cement coal’s place in the energy portfolio for years to come. In fact, more than half of the electricity produced in the United States comes from coal. With demand for electricity expected to double by 2050 and renewable resources still years away from offsetting increased demand, it is clear -- coal is here to stay.

But can ‘dirty’ coal be used cleanly" The answer may be a resounding yes if gasification becomes common place, researchers said today at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston.

“Coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen and other valuable energy products,” said George Muntean, staff scientist at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, during his presentation at the AAAS symposium entitled “Coal Gasification, Myths, Challenges and Opportunities.”

PNNL scientists organized the symposium to provide an overview of how coal gasification can help meet the growing demand for clean energy.

“Gasification provides significant economic and environmental benefits to conventional coal power plants,” Muntean said. Rather than burning coal directly, gasification breaks down coal into its basic chemical constituents using high temperature and pressure. Because of this, carbon dioxide can be captured from a gas stream far more easily than from the smokestacks of a conventional coal plant.

“If we plan to use our domestic supply of coal to produce energy, and do so in a way that does not intensify atmospheric CO2 concentrations, gasification is critical," Muntean said. "It has the potential to enable carbon capture and sequestration technologies and play an important role in securing domestic sources of transportation fuels.”

Many experts predict that coal gasification will be at the heart of clean coal technology if current lifespan and economic challenges are addressed. One significant challenge is the historically short lifespan of refractories, which are used to line and protect the inside of a gasifier. Currently, refractories have a lifespan of 12 to 16 months. The relining of a gasifier costs approximately $1 million and requires three to six weeks of downtime.

“Gasification happens in an extreme environment so the lifespan of refractories is historically low,” said S.K. Sundaram, PNNL staff scientist. “Refractory lifespan must be increased before we can realize the promise of clean coal.”

During the symposium, S.K Sundaram highlighted two advanced gasifier models developed at PNNL that provide a scientific understanding on when and why refractories fail at such high rates. The data collected from these models could enable advanced or alternative gasification technologies to be produced. Use of these models could extend refractory lifespans by 3 years.

“Advances in modeling will help us better understand some of the key challenges associated with coal gasification – refractory durability and lifespan,” Sundaram said. “This will help reduce the capital costs of operating a coal gasifier.”

During the symposium, researchers at PNNL also highlighted advances in millimeter wave technology that could be used for real-time measurement of critical parameters (temperature, slag viscosity, refractory corrosion) inside a gasifier. The millimeter wave technology, developed at PNNL, has been used for a number of different applications, from airport security to custom fit clothing. Although in the early stages of development for this application, the technology shows promise to increase the efficiency and safety of coal gasifiers.

“Advances in gasification will help us meet demand for clean energy worldwide,” Sundaram said. “Science and technology are paving the way for cleaner coal for future generations.”

Christy Lambert | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pnl.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor
22.02.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

nachricht Positrons as a new tool for lithium ion battery research: Holes in the electrode
22.02.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>