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Coal-Fired MHD

AUTHOR: G. F. Morrison
DATE: April 1988

This report reviews the status and prospects of coal-fired agnetohydrodyanmics (MHD). A brief description of the MHD process and its claimed advantages is followed by a review of national research programmes. The development status of the individual components which make up a MHD system is presented prior to an assessment of the economics. It is concluded that whilst no insurmountable technical problems have been identified in the development of MHD there remains much development work, particularly on materials. The feasibility of generating electricity from early commercial plants at efficiencies of about 40% and with low emissions has been demonstrated. However, the economics of such processes are not favourable when compared with other advanced coal-based generating systems. While advanced MHD systems promise improved efficiencies and economics, they are based on as yet unproven heat exchanger technology.