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IEACCC/139

Polygeneration from coal

AUTHOR: Paul Baruya
DATE: October 2008
PAGES: 96

ABSTRACT:
The development prospects and current situation of coal-based polygeneration projects are reviewed. A polygeneration plant is defined as one that exports electricity and one or more other products. Manufacturing two or more products can exploit synergies between the constituent processes (thereby increasing overall plant efficiency), increase operational flexibility, and offer economic advantages.

Manufacturing two or more products can exploit synergies between the constituent processes (thereby increasing overall plant efficiency), increase operational flexibility, and offer economic advantages. Polygeneration is achieved via coal gasification that produces syngas. The report begins by outlining the technologies for the production (entrained, fluidised and moving bed gasifiers) and cleaning of the syngas, before describing the production of electricity, hydrogen, SNG, ammonia, Fischer-Tropsch liquids, methanol and dimethyl ether from the syngas. The economics of the coproduction of electricity and these products is discussed in general terms.

Environmental aspects of these plants, including air emissions, CO2 capture and storage, water usage and solid wastes, are examined. Polygeneration plants have the potential to be low emission plants. Polygeneration projects in Australia, China, Japan, Europe, Canada and the USA, that are in the public domain, are then described. Opportunities for polygeneration plants exist in countries and areas where there are ample coal reserves or where there is an existing coal import infrastructure, good CO2 utilisation or storage options, and a market for the electricity and coproducts.