Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants offer the opportunity to burn coal in an environmentally sound manner at a competitive cost of output energy. Advanced simplified IGCC systems have been identified which offer reduced fuel system capital costs and complexity as well as improved thermal efficiency of coal to fuel conversion. These systems, however, must utilize hot gas cleanup devices to remove particulates, alkali metals, and sulfur to permit utilization of the product fuel gas in a gas turbine. Technology and component development are underway to prepare the hot fuel gas cleanup and gas turbine systems for subsequent integration and verification testing at pilot scale.
An experimental testing program is underway to address fuel system and gas turbine components technology for a simplified IGCC configuration. Gas turbine nozzle sectors have been adapted for installation in a turbine simulator for development testing. A low-Btu gas combustor installed upstream of the nozzle sectors is utilized to burn a hot coal gas. Modifications have been made to an existing pilot scale coal gasifier to deliver 1000°F low-Btu coal gas to the gas turbine combustor after partial cleanup by a hot cyclone to remove particulate matter carried over from the coal gasifier. The results from this experimental program will resolve technical issues related to corrosion, deposition and erosion phenomena related to fuel quality, turbine inlet temperature, and nozzle metal surface temperature.