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Integration of Gas Switching Combustion and Membrane Reactors for Exceeding 50% Efficiency in Flexible IGCC Plants with Near-zero CO2 Emissions


Thermal power plants face substantial challenges to remain competitive in energy systems with high shares of variable renewables, especially inflexible integrated gasification combined cycles (IGCC). This study addresses this challenge through the integration of Gas Switching Combustion (GSC) and Membrane Assisted Water Gas Shift (MAWGS) reactors in an IGCC plant for flexible electricity and/or H2 production with inherent CO2 capture. When electricity prices are high, H2 from the MAWGS reactor is used for added firing after the GSC reactors to reach the high turbine inlet temperature of the H-class gas turbine. In periods of low electricity prices, the turbine operates at 10% of its rated power to satisfy the internal electricity demand, while a large portion of the syngas heating value is extracted as H2 in the MAWGS reactor and sold to the market. This product flexibility allows the inflexible process units such as gasification, gas treating, air separation unit and CO2 compression, transport, and storage to operate continuously, while the plant supplies variable power output. Two configurations of the GSC-MAWGS plant are presented. The base configuration achieves 47.2% electric efficiency and 56.6% equivalent hydrogen production efficiency with 94.8–95.6% CO2 capture. An advanced scheme using the GSC reduction gases for coal-water slurry preheating and pre-gasification reached an electric efficiency of 50.3%, hydrogen efficiency of 62.4%, and CO2 capture ratio of 98.1–99.5%. The efficiency is 8.4%-points higher than the pre-combustion CO2 capture benchmark and only 1.9%-points below the unabated IGCC benchmark.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Italy ; Norway ; Spain

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