This work analyzes the efficiency and economic performance of different configurations of a coal-fed Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell (IGFC) plant with CO2 capture. Our analysis evaluates novel configurations, providing a detailed economic assessment for each case.

The plants studied here are based on a pressurized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) based power cycle integrated with a Shell coal gasifier. The design variations focus on syngas cleaning and pre-processing upstream of the SOFC power island. In particular, we have designed, simulated and optimized three main system configurations; two with a partial methanation process upstream of the SOFC (‘TREMP’ and ‘HICOM’ cases, respectively) and one without (‘DIRECT’ case). Depending on the specific plant layout, carbon capture is accomplished either before or after the SOFC power island, or both.

The best performance, both thermodynamic and economic, was achieved by the HICOM case, whose coal-to-electricity conversion efficiency is 50.6% (lower heating value basis). In addition to outperforming the other IGFC configurations analysed, compared to a conventional IGCC-CCS plant, the ‘HICOM’ case produced over 20% reduction in the levelized-cost-of-electricity (LCOE) delivered by the power plant.

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