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Research Papers: Nuclear Power

System Analysis of Nuclear-Assisted Syngas Production From Coal

[+] Author and Article Information
E. A. Harvego, M. G. McKellar, J. E. O’Brien

 Idaho National Laboratory, 2525 North Fremont Avenue, MS 3885, Idaho Falls, ID 83415

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 131(4), 042901 (Apr 14, 2009) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3095805 History: Received October 21, 2008; Revised November 10, 2008; Published April 14, 2009

A system analysis has been performed to assess the efficiency and carbon utilization of a nuclear-assisted coal gasification process. The nuclear reactor is a high-temperature helium-cooled reactor that is used primarily to provide power for hydrogen production via high-temperature electrolysis. The supplemental hydrogen is mixed with the outlet stream from an oxygen-blown coal gasifier to produce a hydrogen-rich gas mixture, allowing most of the carbon dioxide to be converted into carbon monoxide, with enough excess hydrogen to produce a syngas product stream with a hydrogen/carbon monoxide molar ratio of about 2:1. Oxygen for the gasifier is also provided by the high-temperature electrolysis process. The results of the analysis predict 90.5% carbon utilization with a syngas production efficiency (defined as the ratio of the heating value of the produced syngas to the sum of the heating value of the coal plus the high-temperature reactor heat input) of 64.4% at a gasifier temperature of 1866 K for the high-moisture-content lignite coal considered. Usage of lower moisture coals such as bituminous can yield carbon utilization approaching 100% and 70% syngas production efficiency.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Process flow diagram for helium-cooled reactor/direct Brayton/HTE syngas production plant

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Figure 2

Syngas production efficiency and carbon utilization as a function of gasification temperature

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Figure 3

Carbon utilization and syngas production efficiency as a function of coal moisture content

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Figure 4

Gasifier and syngas temperatures as a function of coal moisture content

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Figure 5

Coal and syngas mass flow rates as a function of coal moisture content

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