The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected five projects, totalling nearly $12 million, that target cost-effective technologies to improve the performance and economics of near-zero emission, coal-based power generation systems. Developed for the Office of Fossil Energy’s Advanced Research programme, the projects focus on identifying technologies that address physical, chemical, biological and thermodynamic constraints in the cross cutting technology areas of instrumentation, sensors and control systems, materials, and computational energy sciences. DOE is providing more than $9.3 million in funding while industry is contributing more than $2.3 million. The projects range from 24 to 36 months in duration.
The research will continue to emphasize US energy goals addressing global climate change, enhancing energy security, ushering in a hydrogen economy, and building the FutureGen plant. Cumulatively, the results will meet the efforts to develop the power generation systems of the future. The projects are as noted below.
ALSTOM Power of Windsor, Connecticut will develop computational process models and a process dynamic simulator to investigate and develop advanced sensing and control systems for hybrid combustion-gasification chemical looping. The work hopes to achieve a more reliable, economical and emissions-optimized future plant process. (DOE share: $1,198,998; industry share: $299,750; duration: 24 months).
Babcock & Wilcox of Barberton, Ohio will develop comprehensive modelling focused on predicting the corrosion rates of boiler tubes under low-NOx corrosion. Eight common coals will be tested and the intention is to accurately estimate the corrosion rates of boiler tubes using different variables including chemicals and temperature. (DOE share: $2,103,543; industry share: $525,884; duration: 36 months).
General Electric of Niskayuna, NewYork will perform computer modelling research focused specifically on coal gasification plants and will install and develop a harsh environment sensor package at Tampa Electric’s Polk power station. The collected temperature data will be used for model validation. (DOE share: $2,427,588; industry share: $606,897; duration: 36 months).
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California will develop advanced nanostructure coatings to significantly improve corrosion and erosion performance of tubing used in boiler applications. The coatings will undergo testing in simulated boiler environments using coals from three different regions. EPRI’s partners include the Southwest Research Institute, Foster Wheeler North America and Applied Films. (DOE share: $1,994,828; industry share: $498,708; duration: 36 months).
University of Colorado at Boulder will develop a gas-solid model, using new methodologies tailored to polydisperse systems, targeted specifically at materials with differences in size and/or density. Novel aspects include incorporating the effects of random particle motion between systems. (DOE share: $1,594,175; industry share: $402,995; duration: 36 months).
Meanwhile, America’s Coal Utilization Research Council, Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute are partnering to host a two-day forum in Washington, D.C., February 5-6, which the National Mining Association (NAM) is also supporting. The aim is to bring together global experts to examine national, regional and global challenges to the development and use of new coal technologies designed to more cleanly generate electricity from coal in the 21st century. NMA says the forum will offer participants “the chance to engage in roundtable discussions with leading coal technology experts to discuss meeting the ever-increasing demand for electricity in a world marked by growing concern for the environmental implications of energy production.”
Industry representatives and government officials from the world’s major coal-using regions have been invited to participate and will examine a number of critical subjects, including the technologies needed to meet rising energy demand; whether sufficient funding, national will, and public support exists to develop technologies to meet the environmental challenges for long-term coal use; and whether adequate understanding and co-operation among industries and governments exists to ensure the accelerated development and adoption of clean coal technologies.
More details, along with registration information can be found at: www.coal.org