In the search for a more efficient, less costly, and more environmentally responsible method for generating electrical power from coal, research and development has turned to advanced pressurized fluidized bed combustion (PFBC) and coal gasification technologies. A logical extension of this work is the second-generation PFBC plant, which incorporates key components of each of these technologies. In this new type of plant, coal is devolatilized/carbonized before it is injected into the PFB combustor bed, and the low-Btu fuel gas produced by this process is burned in a gas turbine topping combustor. By integrating coal carbonization with PFB coal/char combustion, gas turbine inlet temperatures higher than 1149°C (2100°F) can be achieved. The carbonizer, PFB combustor, and particulate-capturing hot gas cleanup systems operate at 871°C (1600°F), permitting sulfur capture by lime-based sorbents and minimizing the release of coal contaminants to the gases.
This paper presents the performance and economics of this new type of plant and provides a brief overview of the pilot plant test programs being conducted to support its development.