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Carbon-Free Hydrogen and Electricity From Coal: Options for Syngas Cooling in Systems Using a Hydrogen Separation Membrane Reactor

[+] Author Affiliations
Luca De Lorenzo, Thomas G. Kreutz, Robert H. Williams

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Paolo Chiesa

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Paper No. GT2005-68572, pp. 427-438; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2005: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Turbo Expo 2005
  • Reno, Nevada, USA, June 6–9, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4699-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3754-8
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Conversion of coal to carbon-free energy carriers, H2 and electricity, with CO2 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-H2 plants that employ O2 -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” H2 separation via pressure swing adsorption (PSA) versus novel membrane-based approaches, and various gas turbine technologies for generating co-product electricity. This study focuses on the synergy between H2 separation membrane reactors (HSMR) and syngas cooling with radiant and convective heat exchangers; such “syngas coolers” invariably boost system efficiency over that obtained with quench-cooled gasification. “Conventional” H2 separation requires a relatively high steam-to-carbon ratio (S/C) to achieve a high level of H2 production, and thus is well matched to relatively inefficient quench cooling. In contrast, HSMRs shift the WGS equilibrium by continuously extracting reaction product H2 , 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 H2 separation in plants with syngas coolers.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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