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Modeling the Performance and Emissions of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Based Lurgi Ammonia Synthesis System

Modeling the Performance and Emissions of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Based Lurgi Ammonia Synthesis System

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03/18/2014

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ABSTRACTXIE, CHI.
Modeling the Performance and Emissions of Integrated GasificationCombined Cycle based Lurgi Ammonia Synthesis System. (Under the Direction of H.Chris Frey)To evaluate the risks and potential pay-offs of a new technology, the IntegratedGasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), a systematic approach for assessment needs to bedeveloped. Characterization of the performance and emissions of the technology needs tobe made comparable to conventional and other advanced alternatives. The current studydeals with the development of models for estimating energy consumption and emission of a polygeneration IGCC based Lurgi ammonia synthesis process.Polygeneration IGCC is a multipurpose technology for waste control and co-production of energy and chemicals. The processes involved in IGCC include partialoxidation of carbonaceous materials to produce a synthesis gas (syngas) containing CO,H
2
and hydrocarbons, for example, methane. After gas cooling and cleaning, the purifiedsyngas can be used to produce chemicals such as methanol, ammonia, hydrogen etc., ordrive a gas turbine to generate electric power after further gas saturation. The hightemperature and pressure steam recovered from the system can also produce electricpower, and the tailgas recover from desulfurization can be treated in Claus plant toproduce sulfur.This research modeled the Lurgi ammonia synthesis process that will be integratedwith a British Gas/Lurgi (BGL) Slagging gasifer-based IGCC system in ASPEN Plus,which is a powerful and versatile unit process simulation software. The Lurgi ammoniasynthesis technology is based on partial oxidation of solid feedstock such as coal, or solidwaste if incorporated with a more robust gasifier design. The liquid nitrogen wash,Rectisol process and recycle gas reforming and shifting make the Lurgi ammonia systemcapable to process different types of incoming syngas with significant amount of impurities. The ASPEN Plus performance model calculates mass and energy balances for
 
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the entire ammonia system. For validation, the model was calibrated to the best availablereference.After setting up the design basis of Lurgi ammonia synthesis system, a case studywas performed based on 1000 lbmol clean syngas input for ammonia synthesis. The cleansyngas was produced from gasification on American Waste Fuel, which is an American75/25 percent mixture of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and Pittsburgh No. 8 Bituminouscoal. Based on the results from the case study, prediction on the performance andemissions of the ammonia model integrated with the IGCC system was performed, and thetotal power consumption of the base system was compared with the reference data formodel verification. Then, sensitivity analyses on properties of incoming syngas, hydrogento nitrogen ratio, purge gas recycle ratio and flow rate of incoming syngas were performedon the calibrated base case model to identify the key variables affecting the system-wideperformance and emissions significantly and how. These sensitivity analyses can also beused to test the robustness of the model, which is critical for integration with the IGCCsystem.Based on the pre-assessment of the performance of the base case ammonia modelintegrated with the IGCC system, an IGCC system with about 447429 lb/hr of AmericanWaste Fuel input can at least support an ammonia plant with 31979 lb/hr of ammoniaproduction. But the typical yield of ammonia that can be supported by a calibrated IGCCsystem firing 287775 lb/hr of Pittsburgh No. 8 coal and without methanol production isabout 1700 short tons/day.Through the sensitivity analyses, Operation near the stoichiometric point of theammonia synthesis reaction was found to be the best choice from the perspective of electric energy consumption. Higher purge gas recycle ratios can better the conversion of ammonia, and reduce electric power, net steam consumption and emissions. Differentfeedstock had no obvious effect on the total electric power consumption of this ammoniasystem, but the composition of CO, CH
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and sulfur influence the steam consumption andemissions substantially. In order to make the model converge faster and more normally at
 
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different flow rates of incoming syngas, some of the design specification boundaries werechanged.In the future, when the ammonia model is integrated with the IGCC system inASPEN Plus, the fate of steam, purge gas, ammonia and sulfur emissions should beconsidered. In addition, a conventional ammonia model based on steam reforming of natural gas needs to be developed for Life Cycle Assessment, and Life Cycle Indexesshould be compared between the conventional and Lurgi’s ammonia synthesis processesto assess any advantages and disadvantages. Probability analysis methods such as MonteCarlo method or Orthogonal Latin Square experiment design should be introduced tooptimize the model performanc, to identify which model parameters most affectperformance and to quantify the uncertainty and variability associated with the model.

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