Charah Environmental and UK CAER Build Gasification Char Processing Plant

August 2, 2002 - (Lexington, KY) - A $1.9Million gasification residue processing plant was designed by Charah Environmental of Madisonville, Ky. and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and has been implemented in central FL to make useful products out of gasification char. It is the first U.S. gasifier byproduct processing plant in use. The plant began operating last winter and will have eliminated approximately 200,000 tons of waste by January of next year. This will result in the utility landfilling less than one-third of the amount formerly stored.

The Polk Station power plant in Mulberry, FL is an IGCC plant. The initials stand for Integrate Gas Combined Cycle plant. This technology, while almost eliminating emissions, produces an ash-rich slag after the coal is gasified. Like many power plants, the Polk Station was running out of space in its landfill. Classification studies preformed by CAER researcher Jack Groppo, showed that the waste material contained a high carbon fraction that could be re-burned in a TECO-owned plant in Tampa. The processing plant that Charah built is a first of its kind and could be used in the future for other slagging IGCC plants.

TECO, the Tampa Electric Company that owns the Polk Station, contacted Charah Environmental about the problem. CHARAH offers total ash management to the electric utility industry. Through innovative marketing and technology, the company specializes in ways to solve ash disposal problems. Charles Price, CHARAH President,says, " we have worked with the CAER researchers before and know they are leaders in ash related research and understand how to work with industry ".

Dr. Groppo designed a flow sheet which was put into action as a processing plant. The design separates the byproducts into three products with different purposes. The first product is the "slag," which is above 20 mesh. This wet bottom-slag is a glass-like substance, which is used in blasting grit and as roofing granuales. The second product is a minus 20+200 mesh fuel. All of this is being re-burned at the nearby sister plant. The third contains minus 200 mesh fines. Currently the first two products are marketed, and the fines are disposed. However, UK researchers are investigating methods by which the fine material could be used as well. Tampa Electric's Polk Power Station is a 250-MW, state-of-the-art integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant that produces enough electricity to serve 56,000 homes. The facility began operation in the fall of 1996 with $120-million in funding through the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Coal Technology Program to demonstrate the integration of technology. Mark Hornick, General Manager at Polk Power Station says, "Polk Power Station continues to demonstrate the benefits of coal gasification as a clean source of power for the communities we serve."

This project is a successful industrial and academic cooperative endeavor to solve a problem of the utility industry. Its success has led to funding from the Consortium for Premium Carbon Products from Coal (CPCPC) for $70,000 along with a $10,000 contribution from Charah for UK researchers at the CAER to assess the use of recovered carbon from pulverized coal combustion (PCC) and IGCC power plants as potentially marketable value-added carbon materials.


Date of News Release: August 2, 2002

Additional Information: Marybeth McAlister Phone: 859-257-0224.


Copyright © 1995-2003
Center for Applied Energy Research
University of Kentucky
All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate or mirror this site