Use of lower grade coals in IGCC plants with carbon capture for the co-production of hydrogen and electricity

This paper investigates the potential use of lower grade coals in an IGCC-CCS plant that generates electricity and produces hydrogen simultaneously with carbon dioxide capture and storage. The paper underlines one of the main advantages of gasification technology, namely the possibility to process lower grade coals, which are more widely available than the high-grade coals normally used in European power plants. Based on a proposed plant concept that generates about 400 MW net electricity with a flexible output of 0–50 MWth hydrogen and a carbon capture rate of at least 90%, the paper develops fuel selection criteria for coal fluxing and blending of various types of coal for optimizing plant performance e.g. oxygen consumption, hydrogen production potential, specific syngas energy production per tonne of oxygen consumed, etc. These performance indicators were calculated for a number of case studies through process flow simulations. The main conclusion is that blending of coal types of higher and lower grade is more beneficial in terms of operation and cost performance than fluxing high-grade coals.