By Nick Gilbert
On June 20, 2012, the advantages of pressurized oxy-combustion (POXC) technology will be presented at the “Cutting Edge Coal Utilization Showcase”. The presentation will be given by the Unity Power Alliance’s (UPA) Managing Director, Robert Marrs. The Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) is sponsoring this exhibition.
UPA is a partnership between Italy-based ITEA and Massachusetts-based ThermoEnergy.
According to Marrs, the POXC technology has the potential to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) under pressure and offers zero emissions. Total efficiency of this technology is greater than 35%, which offers a net water neutral water solution and removes the harmful constituents of fly ash.
Marrs added that UPA will use the patented flameless ISOTHERM Pwr technology of ITEA. This patented technology has been proven at a 15 MW plant in Singapore and a 5 MW plant in Italy. Accomplishment of a 50 MW pilot plant and a 320 MWe unit will be supported by the amalgamation of ITEA’s lower pressure oxy-combustion technology and ThermoEnergy's high pressure oxy-combustion technology.
Almost 100% of CO2, along with Hg, NOx, Sox and PM related to traditional coal power plants are captured under pressure by means of this POXC technology. OPEX ad CAPEX costs are significantly eliminated, as the system needs no wide flue gas recycling (FGR) treatment related to atmospheric oxy-combustion systems, added Marrs.
Marrs observed that low-grade coals like lignite and sub-bituminous are cost-effective to use, as the latent heat of vaporization is captured by high pressure process.
A flexible “boiler” system is another technology from ENEL and ITEA, wherein the facility can ramp up the load factor from 10% to 100% in 30 minutes, enabling coal plants to be integrated into power grids together with variable supply characteristics.
Marrs noted that the POXC technology may go beyond all the objectives set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and can be implemented readily on a 50 MW pilot scale facility.