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POWER GENERATION FROM COAL

Ongoing Developments and Outlook

INFORMATION PAPER
KEITH BURNARD AND SANKAR BHATTACHARYA

2011

October

POWER GENERATION FROM COAL


Ongoing Developments and Outlook

INFORMATION PAPER

This information paper was prepared for the Energy Technology Policy Division and completed in August 2011.
It was completed by Keith Burnard following initial drafting by Sankar Bhattacharya. This paper reflects the views of the
International Energy Agency (IEA) Secretariat, but does not necessarily reflect those of individual IEA member countries. For
further information, please contact Keith Burnard, Energy Technology Policy Division at: keith.burnard@iea.org.

2011

October

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OECD/IEA, 2011
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OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

TableofContents
Foreword...........................................................................................................................................5
Acknowledgements..........................................................................................................................6
ExecutiveSummary..........................................................................................................................7 Page|3
Keyrecommendations.............................................................................................................10
1.DevelopmentsinProcessTechnology.......................................................................................11
Supercriticalandultrasupercriticalpulverisedcoalfiredtechnology...................................11
Thesupercriticalcycle......................................................................................................11
Currentcommercialstatus..............................................................................................11
LocationofSCandUSCunits...........................................................................................12
Costimplications..............................................................................................................14
Barrierstowidespreadadoptionofsupercriticalunits...................................................14
FurtherdevelopmentofUSCconditions.........................................................................14
ImplicationsofUSCdevelopmentsonCO2capture.........................................................15
BarrierstofurtheradvancesinUSCconditions...............................................................15
Circulatingfluidisedbedcombustiontechnology...................................................................15
BarrierstowideradoptionofCFBCtechnology..............................................................16
Integratedgasificationcombinedcycle...................................................................................16
Gasifiersystem.................................................................................................................18
Gascleaningsystem........................................................................................................19
OutlookforcoalbasedIGCC............................................................................................21
CO2capture..............................................................................................................................22
CO2captureusingoxyfueltechnology............................................................................22
CO2capturefromPCandCFBCplants.............................................................................25
CO2capturefromIGCCplants..........................................................................................25
CCSReady........................................................................................................................26
2.DevelopmentsinCoalTreatment..............................................................................................28
Coalbeneficiation....................................................................................................................28
Needforpricingincentivesforcoalbeneficiation...........................................................29
R&Dneedsforcoalbeneficiation....................................................................................29
Developmentsincoaldrying...................................................................................................29
Theneedforcoaldrying..................................................................................................30
Steamfluidisedbeddrying..............................................................................................32
Mechanicalthermalexpression(MTE)............................................................................36
R&Dneedsforcoaldrying...............................................................................................37

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

3.DevelopmentsinMajorComponents........................................................................................38
Developmentinsteamturbines..............................................................................................38
Dynamicclassifierinpulverisers......................................................................................39
Plasmaignitionsystem....................................................................................................39
Page|4 4.OutlookforDevelopment..........................................................................................................41
Plantefficiencyimprovement.................................................................................................41
Powergenerationefficiency....................................................................................................41
Outlookofongoingdevelopmentsinpowergeneration........................................................42
Keyconclusionsandthewayforward.....................................................................................44
AbbreviationsandAcronyms.........................................................................................................45
UnitsofMeasure.....................................................................................................................46
References......................................................................................................................................47
ListofFigures
Figure1LocationofadvancedPCCplantsandtheirshareincoalfiredpowergeneration...........12
Figure2CFBCscaleupchronology.................................................................................................16
Figure3MajorcomponentsofanIGCCsystemwithoutCO2capture............................................17
Figure4Schematicofoxyfueltechnology.....................................................................................23
Figure5Highashand/orhighmoisturecontainingcoalsoftentermedaslignites......................30
Figure6Illustrationofboilersizevariationwithmoisturecontentincoal....................................31
Figure7Generalschematicofsteamfluidisedbeddrying............................................................33
Figure8WTAlignitedryingincomparisonwithconventionalsystem...........................................34
Figure9WTAdemonstrationlignitedryingplantonNiederaussemK..........................................34
Figure10Aschematicofthelignitefuelenhancementsystem,whichuseswasteheatfrom
condenserwaterandfluegas..........................................................................................35
Figure11ProcessflowdiagramoftheMTEProcessthepressshowninhorizontalorientation36
Figure12Photographofthedriedproductfromthe15t/hMTERig...........................................37
Figure13Trendofheatratedevelopmentthroughadvancedturbinebladedesign....................39
Figure14Efficiencyimprovementpotentialofhardcoalfiredplants...........................................42
ListofTables
Table1Majorsupercriticalunitsrecentlycommissioned,underconstructionorplanned........13
Table2MajorcoalbasedIGCCprojectsunderconsideration.......................................................18
Table3Pilotanddemonstrationprojectsonoxyfueltechnology(withcoal)...............................24
Table4ImpactofcaptureretrofitonIGCCplantdesign................................................................26
Table5Summaryofefficiencyimprovementsthatcanbemadeinanexistingplant...................41
ListofBoxes
Box1Slidingpressureoperation....................................................................................................13
Box2Benefitsofcoalpredryinganduseoflowgradeheat.........................................................32
Box3Keydevelopmentsininstrumentationandcontrol..............................................................40

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Foreword
Coalisanimportantsourceofenergyfortheworld,particularlyforpowergeneration.Demand
for coal has grown rapidly over the last decade, outstripping that for gas, oil, nuclear and
renewable energy sources. This comes at a cost. Coal contributes to over 40% of global
anthropomorphic CO2 emissions and more than 70% of CO2 emissions that arise from power Page|5
generationareattributedtocoal.Toplayitsroleinasustainableenergyfuture,itsenvironmental
footprint needs to be reduced; using coal more efficiently is an important first step. Beyond
efficiencyimprovement,carboncaptureandstorage(CCS)mustbedeployedtomakedeepcuts
inCO2emissions.
This report focuses mainly on developments to improve the performance of coalbased power
generationtechnologies,whichshouldbeapriorityparticularlyifCCStakeslongertobecome
establishedthancurrentlyprojected.CCSisonlytoucheduponinthisreportasseveralotherIEA
publications address this topic in much more detail. The intent has been to look closely at the
major ongoing developments in process technology, plant equipment, instrumentation and
control,consideringtheirstatusandreflectingupontheirpotential.
Clean coal technologies are not as widely deployed as they should be. Improving steam
conditionshasprovidedtheopportunitytousesupercriticaltechnology.Supercriticalplantiscost
effective and is being constructed commercially in many countries, yet still almost half of coal
fired power generation plant being built is subcritical. Integrated gasification combined cycle
(IGCC) plant offers potential to produce low emissions, yet only a handful of IGCC plants have
beenconstructedinthepasttwodecades.
Theneedforenergyandtheeconomicsofproducingandsupplyingittotheenduserarecentral
considerations in power plant construction and operation. Economic and regulatory conditions
mustbemadeconsistentwiththeambitiontoachievehigherefficienciesandloweremissions.
Iampleasedtopublishthisreport,undermyauthorityasExecutiveDirector,aspartoftheIEAs
roletoadviseontechnologiesthathavearoleincontributingtoasustainableenergyfuture.The
views and recommendations expressed do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IEA
membercountries.
MariavanderHoeven
IEAExecutiveDirector

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Acknowledgements
ThisreportwaspreparedbytheInternationalEnergyAgencysEnergyTechnologyPolicyDivision.
Invaluable leadership was provided by Bo Diczfalusy, Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and
Technology,andPeterTaylor,HeadofEnergyTechnologyPolicyDivision.
Page|6

The content of the report reflects contributions from a number of individuals. Thanks go to
Sankar Bhattacharya who, before leaving the IEA in 2009, laid the foundation for the report
through his extensive research and analysis. Other IEA colleagues provided important
contributions, in particular, Kat Cheung, Carlos Fernndez Alvarez, Matthias Finkenrath and
Osamu Ito, as well as Rebecca Gaghen, Muriel Custodio, Madeleine Barry, Jane Barbire and
Betrand Sadin, Marilyn Smith and Simon Watkinson who handled the editing and publication
processes,andprovidedmuchusefuladvice.
Thanksarealsoduetothefollowingexpertsfortheirvaluableassistanceduringthepreparation
and review of this report: Burt Beasley (Australian Coal Association); Stu Dalton (EPRI); Colin
Henderson(IEACleanCoalCentreIA);TakenoriIwasaki(JPower);ChristianLelong(BHPBilliton);
HansJoachim Meier (VGB PowerTech); Kyohei Nakamura (JPower); HansWilhelm Schiffer
(RWE); Sanjay Sharma (CEA, India) and Jim Utt (Foster Wheeler). In addition, valuable support
wasreceivedfrommembersoftheIEAWorkingPartyonFossilFuels,whoprovidedmanyhelpful
comments.
Forfurtherinformationonthisdocument,contact:
KeithBurnard,IEASecretariat
Email:keith.burnard@iea.org

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

ExecutiveSummary
Coalistheworldsmostabundantandwidelydistributedfossilfuel,withglobalprovenreserves1
totallingnearly1000billiontonnes(IEA,2010a).Giventhesecharacteristics,coalhasbeenakey
componentoftheelectricitygenerationmixworldwide.Coalfuelsmorethan40%oftheworlds
electricity, though this figure is much higher in many countries, such as South Africa (93%), Page|7
Poland (92%), China (79%), India (69%) and the United States (49%). Moreover, the growing
energyneedsofthedevelopingworldarelikelytoensurethatcoalremainsakeycomponentof
the power generation mix in the foreseeable future, regardless of climate change policy (IEA,
2010a;IEA,2010b).
In coalfired power generation, efficiency is an important performance parameter. Raising
efficiencyoffersbenefitssuchas:

reduced emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), where a one percentagepoint improvement in


overallefficiencycanresultinupto3%reductioninCO2emissions;

reducedemissionsofconventionalpollutants;2and

resourcepreservationthroughreductioninconsumptionofcoal.
InthePlanofActionformulatedattheG8SummitatGleneaglesinJuly2005,Leadersstated:
We will support efforts to make electricity generation from coal and other fossil fuels
cleanerandmoreefficientbysupportingIEAworkinmajorcoalusingeconomiesto
review, assess and disseminate widely information on energy efficiency of coalfired
powerplants.
Thiscommitmentprovidedthemotivationtoidentifythemostpromisingdevelopmentsleading
to improvements in the efficiency in coalfired power plants. This reports main objective is to
review the major ongoing developments in relevant areas of process technology, equipment,
instrumentationandcontrol.
Considerable progress has been made in the development of highly efficient supercritical (SC)
and ultrasupercritical (USC) pulverised coalfired (PC) technology. While subcritical plants can
achieveefficienciesof38%to39%(LHV,net3),stateoftheartUSCplantsproduceafarsuperior
performance. USC plants operating at high steam conditions, with temperatures of 600C to
620Candpressuresover25MPa(250bar),resultindesignefficienciesof45%to46%(LHV,net)
onbituminouscoalsinsomepartsoftheworld.Unitcapacityforsuchplantshasreachedupto
1100MWe. If ongoing developments in materials are successful, the efficiency of the best PC
plants may approach 50%(LHV, net) in the next 10 to 15years. Effective policies must be
implemented to accelerate such technology developments towards demonstration and
deploymentstages.
At the same time, progress is being made in the development of circulating fluidised bed
combustion(CFBC)plants.Thesecanbetterutiliselowrankfuels,andresultinloweremissions
ofconventionalpollutants.ThefirstsupercriticalCFBCplantof460MWesizewascommissioned
atLagisza(Poland)in2009,anddesignsforlargerunitsexist.ForCFBC,therewillcontinuetobea

Provenreservesofcoalarethequantitythatcanbeeconomicallyminedusingcurrentminingtechnology.
Inthiscontext,thetermconventionalemissionsappliestosulphurdioxide(SO2),oxidesofnitrogen(NOx)andparticulates.
3
Efficiencyreportedonthebasisofafuelslowerheatingvalue(LHV)andnetelectricitysentout(net),i.e.LHV,net.
2

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significantmarket,particularlyforlowergradecoals,highsulphurcoals,opportunityfuels4and
biomass. Successful operation of the supercritical unit at Lagisza should pave the way for the
constructionofsuchunitsinothercountries,particularlyChina.
Asfarasintegratedgasificationcombinedcycle(IGCC)powergenerationisconcerned,thereare
only six coalbased units in the world. However, a small number of new projects has been
Page|8 initiatedworldwide,eachatsomestageofplanningorconstruction.Someimmediateconcerns,
suchasimprovingthecostandavailabilityofIGCC,mustbeaddressedifthetechnologyistobe
more widely deployed. Different supplier groupings have been formed partly to address these
concernsandtoprovideaviablealternativetoPCunits.Thesegroupingsareofferingreference
IGCCplantdesignsonaturnkeybasiswithguaranteesoncost,constructiontime,availabilityand
efficiency,onceadesignstudyhasbeencompleted.Concertedcooperationamongtechnology
vendorsandutilities,clarityinemissionguidelinesandincentivesfromgovernmentsarerequired
forthewiderdeploymentofIGCC.AnimportantfactoristhatIGCCiswellplacedtechnicallyto
captureCO2;thoughadditionalcostswillbesignificant,someconsidertheadditionalcostsmay
belowerthanforpulverisedcoalsystems.
Around 45% of the worlds coal is either highmoisture or highash, which often results in
inefficienciesinthepowerplantsusingthesecoals.Thereisastrongneedtodeveloplessenergy
intensive coaldrying technologies. While efforts in coal drying are progressing in Australia,
Germany and the United States, accelerating these efforts into largescale integrated
demonstration is important. There is a similar requirement to develop less energy and water
intensive technologies for coal beneficiation to reduce its ash and sulphur content. Success in
developingmoreefficientcoaldryingandbeneficiationtechnologieswillpromotethewideruse
oflowrankcoalsinbothultrasupercriticalpulverisedcoalandIGCCapplications.
Theissueofcarboncaptureandstorage(CCS),whichwillhavesignificantimpactbothonexisting
plants and on plants to be built, is briefly addressed in the report. At the current state of
technology,PCorCFBCunitsretrofittedwithCO2capturewillexperienceanefficiencylossofup
to 10percentagepoints. While the concept of CCS ready5 exists, many remaining PC plants
may be deemed as unsuitable for retrofit with CO2 capture because the units are too small
and/or too inefficient. In general, application of CO2 capture retrofit is expected to be more
favourableforplantswithahighbaselineefficiency.If40%efficiencywasconsideredacutofffor
retrofittingwithCO2capture,lessthan10%ofthecurrentworldcoalfiredcapacitywouldlend
itselftoretrofitwithCCS.Thiscalculationassumesthatretrofittotheseplantswouldbepossible
andthatacceptablegeologicalstoragelocationsforthecapturedCO2exist
Duetodecreasedefficiency,unitsretrofittedwithCCSwillloseexportablegenerationcapacity.
New capacity would likely be needed to offset this capacity loss. Based on the information on
new builds from around the world, more than 50% of new plants use either SC or USC
technology,andthenumberisgrowing.Themajorityoftheseplantswouldprobablybesuitable
for CO2 capture retrofit. It is estimated that by 2030, up to 30% of the fleet would be
retrofittable, while most of the remaining fleet may not be capture ready, and will require

Opportunityfuelsarefuelsthatarenotnormallyusedforthepurposebut,duetoparticularcircumstances,showpotential
tobeeconomicallyandenvironmentallyviableforpowergeneration.Examplestypicallyincludefuelsthatarederivedfrom
somesortofwasteorbyproduct,e.g.tyres,plasticsandmunicipalsolidwaste.
5
ACCSreadyfacilityisalargescaleindustrialorpowersourceofCO2whichcouldbeandisintendedtoberetrofittedwith
CCS technology when the necessary regulatory and economic drivers are in place. The aim of building new facilities or
modifying existing facilities to be CCS ready is to reduce the risk of carbon lockin or of being unable to fully utilise the
facilitiesinthefuturewithoutCCS(strandedassets).

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

assessment for either upgrading to higher efficiency6 or complete replacement. The operability
and flexibility of plants retrofitted for CO2 capture will need to be assessed, in particular the
dynamicperformanceduringstartup,shutdownandloadchangingconditions.
Oxyfueltechnology,whichcaninprinciplebeusedwithbothPCandCFBCunits,isundergoing
parallel development for CO2 capture. One PCbased pilot unit in Germany (30MWth), run by
Vattenfall,begancommissioningin2008andiscurrentlybeingtested.Acommercialscaleoxy Page|9
fuelcombustionplant,basedonthetestingresultsofthepilotplant,isplannedforcompletion
by2015.A30MWePCunitinAustraliaiscurrentlybeingretrofittedtouseoxyfiring.In2010,
the US Department of Energy (US DOE) announced support to repower a 200MWe unit in
Meredosia,IllinoiswithadvancedoxyfueltechnologyaspartoftheFutureGen2.0Alliance.
RegardingthechoiceofIGCC,PCandCFBC,oneissueofparticularimportanceisthemethodfor
selection of new power plants. While there are several proposals for further commercial
demonstrations of IGCC and some are being constructed, SC and USC pulverised coal plants
continue to dominate new plant orders. It is possible that IGCC, with or without CCS, may
penetratethemarketonalargescaleonlywherethecoproductionofpowerandchemicalscan
beeconomicallydemonstrated.
The main objective of this report is to summarise the major ongoing developments in process
technology, equipment, instrumentation and control that are expected to result in improved
efficiency in new coalfired plants. Key research and development (R&D) requirements for
technologiesareidentified.Barrierstothesuccessfuldemonstrationoftechnologiesandtotheir
widerdeploymentarealsoaddressed.

Incrementalincreasestotheefficiencyofanexistingcoalfiredpowerplantarepossiblebyanumberofmeans,depending
ontheparticularstatusoftheoriginalplant,bye.g.upgradingcomponents,improvingoperationalpracticesorimprovingthe
qualityofthecoal.Itshouldbenoted,however,thattogofromsubcriticaltosupercriticalsteamconditionswouldrequire
replacementoftheboilerandthesteamturbine,i.e.repoweringoftheplant.

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Keyrecommendations
Page
11

Largescalesupercriticalpulverisedcoalplantsare commerciallyavailableandcosteffective.
Strongconsiderationshouldbegiventotheintroductionofpoliciesthatmarkedlyreducethe
futureconstructionofsubcriticalplantfornewbuild.

15

FollowingthesuccessfulcommissioningofthefirstsupercriticalCFBCatLagisza(Poland),it
shouldserveasanexampleforfutureCFBCplants.Infact,bothChinaandRussianowhave
programmestoconstructsupercriticalCFBCunits.

25

Maximising plant efficiency is highly desirable when employing CCS. Efficiency gains from
upgrading subcritical units are limited. To achieve efficiencies higher than 40% (LHV, net),
operationwithsupercriticalsteamconditionsisnecessary.If,atsomefuturetime,CCSisto
beappliedtomostcoalfiredplant,policieswillneedtoaddressthestatusoflessefficient
powergeneration.

26

TheenergypenaltyassociatedwithcapturingCO2 fromacoalfiredpowerplantisabarrier
to deployment. There are prospects in the long term for reducing this energy penalty. For
IGCC, for example, there are prospects to reduce the penalty to perhaps around
4percentagepoints by use of innovative systems, such as membrane reformer reactors;
wherereforming,shiftandCO2capturewouldbecarriedoutinasinglereactor.

33

A significant part of the worlds coal reserves comprises brown coal or lignites, often
associated with high moisture content. This can lead to a penalty of between 4 and
9percentagepoints in plant efficiency. RWE employs a novel coaldrying process at
Niederaussem Unit K, where an efficiency of 43.5% (LHV, net) has been achieved.
Improvementsunderdevelopmentmayleadtoanincreaseofafurther4percentagepoints.
Thisworksetsabenchmarkforwhatmaybeachievedusinglowgradecoals.

Page|10

Recommendation

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

1.DevelopmentsinProcessTechnology
EmployingthecombustionofPCinairtoraisesteamhasbeenthemainstayofcoalbasedpower
generationworldwideforalmost100years.TheefficiencyofaPCcombustionunitdependsona
variety of factors: steam conditions, the quality of coal used, ambient conditions, plant design,
and operational and maintenance practice. A number of advanced coalfired power generation Page|11
technologies,cleanercoaltechnologies(CCTs),astheyareoftencalled,havebeenorarebeing
developed to improve thermal efficiency, to reduce and capture CO2 emissions, and to reduce
otheremissions(e.g.NOx,SO2andparticulates).
The major coalbased power generation technologies available today, and/or under
development,include:

Supercritical(SC)andultrasupercritical(USC)PCcombustion

Circulatingfluidisedbedcombustion(CFBC)

Integratedgasificationcombinedcycle(IGCC)
This section briefly reviews these CCT options for power generation and the status of
developmentsaimedatefficiencyimprovement.Italsoidentifiesbarrierstotheirdevelopments
anddeployment.Allthesetechnologiescanpotentiallybeusedwithcarboncaptureandstorage
(CCS) retrofit. A separate subsection, therefore, deals with the capture readiness of these
technologies.

Supercriticalandultrasupercriticalpulverisedcoalfired
technology
Thesupercriticalcycle
Theefficiencyofasteamcycleisinfluencedby,amongotherfactors,thepressureandsuperheat
andreheattemperaturesofthesteam.Supercriticalisathermodynamicexpressionwherethere
isnodistinctionbetweentheliquidandgaseousphase.Water/steamreachesthisstateatabout
22.1MPa (221bar) pressure. Above this operating pressure of the steam, the cycle is
supercriticalanditscyclemediumisasinglephasefluid;asaresultthereisnoneedtoseparate
waterfromsteamasintheboilerofasubcriticalcycle.Oncethroughboilersarethereforeused
inasupercriticalcycle.
Typical subcritical steam cycle operating parameters are from 150 to 180bar pressure and
between 540C and 565C temperature for superheated steam, with reheat7 to similar
temperatures.SteamcycleoperatingparametersforSCplantstypicallyare245barpressureand
540Cto570Cforsuperheatedsteam,withreheattosimilartemperatures.USCplantsoperate
atsteamtemperaturesofaround600Corhigheratpresent.Aswitchfromsubcriticaltocurrent
USCsteamconditionswouldraiseefficiencybyaround4to6percentagepoints.

Currentcommercialstatus
Forlowtomoderateashcoals,bothsupercriticalandultrasupercriticalunitsareavailablefrom
major boiler and turbine suppliers. These units run around 260bar main steam pressure and

Superheated steam is passed into the high pressure steam turbine. Exhaust steam from the high pressure steam turbine
exhaustisroutedbacktotheboilertobereheatedpriortobeingpassedagainintothesteamturbine.

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OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

steam temperatures up to 620C for reheat steam, slightly lower for main steam. For highash
coals,supercriticalunitsarebeginningtobeintroducedinIndia.OperatingexperienceatIndias
Sipat and Barh plants, and the new units to be built as part of the Ultra Mega projects, are
expectedtoopenthewayforwideruseofSCunitsinbothIndiaandothercountriesthatrelyon
highash coals for power generation, such as Bulgaria, regions of China, Poland, Romania and
Page|12 South Africa. In fact, major efforts are being made to introduce supercritical technology into
India; about 50% of the incremental coal fired capacity addition between 2012 and 2017 is
expected to comprise of supercritical units (Sharma, 2011). Being more efficient and
commerciallyavailable,itisimperativetomakesupercriticalunitsasminimumstandardinthe
nearfuturefornewbuildsandreplacements,localdemandandgridconditionspermitting.

LocationofSCandUSCunits
Supercriticaltechnologyisalreadyusedinanumberofcountriesandhasbecomethenormfor
new plants in industrialised countries. Supercritical plants are currently located in eighteen
countries,wheretheirshareincoalfiredpowergenerationinthosecountriesvaries(Figure1).
Globallybetween2004andmid2007,theshareofSCplantsincreasedfromapproximately18%
to20%(~265GW)ofcoalfiredcapacity.Thisrosetoover25%in2009andincreasedfurtheras
newSCunitswerebuiltinChina,India,SouthAfricaandRussia.NewSCplantsarebeingbuiltin
the United States for the first time since 1992. Two new units totalling 1470MWe were
commissionedin2008,an800MWeunitwascommissionedin2009,andafurther800MWeunit
wastobecommissionedin2010.

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Share of supercritical plants in coal-fired power generation, %

Figure1LocationofadvancedPCCplantsandtheirshareincoalfiredpowergeneration

Source:Unlessotherwiseindicated,materialinfiguresandtablesderivefromIEAdataandanalysis.

USCplantsareinoperationinDenmark,Germany,JapanandItaly;howevertheirshareofglobal
powergenerationisunder1%.AnumberofUSCplantsarealsobeingconstructedinChina.An
exampleistheHuanengGroupsYuhuanPowerplantinZhejiangProvince,whichisaUSCplant
with two 1000MWe units and steam parameters of 26.25MPa/600C/600C. Chinese
manufacturers are also offering USC at up to 605C, i.e. at or near stateoftheart conditions
(Minchener,2010).

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Whilethefirstgenerationofsupercriticalunitswasunder400MWeinsize,largerunitsofupto
1100MWe are progressively being built. The major units, built under construction or under
planningindifferentcountries,clearlydemonstratetheprogressiontolargerunitsizes(Table1).
Table1Majorsupercriticalunitsrecentlycommissioned,underconstructionorplanned
Australia

Kogan Creek, 2007, 750 MWe

Netherlands

Eemshaven, under construction,


2013, 2x800 MWe

Canada

Genesee Unit 3, 2005, 450 MWe

South Africa

2011-15, 6800 MWe

China

Russia

Berezovskya, 2011, 800 MWe


Novocherkasskaya, 2012, 330 MWe,
CFB
Petrovskaya, 2012-14, 3800 MWe

India

Sipat, 2007-09, 3660 MWe


Barh, 2009, 3x660 MWe
UltraMega Projects 2012,
54 000 MWe plants; unit size
660 MWe or 800 MWe

Germany

Niederaussem, 2003, 1 000 MWe,


Lignite
Walsum, 2010, 750 MWe
Neurath, under construction, 2011,
21100 MWe, largest lignite-fired
USC units
Hamm, Under construction, 2012,
2x800 MWe

Poland

Lagisza, 2009, 460 MWe, CFB


Belchatow, 2010, 833 MWe

Korea

Tangjin, 2006, 2x519 MWe


2008-10, 5500 MWe, 2 870 MWe

United States

Waigaoqiao, 2008, 21 000 MWe


Yuhuan, 2007-08, 41 000 MWe
Under construction, ~50 000 MWe
Planned by 2015 - >110 000 MWe

2008, 545 MWe, 890 MWe


Oak Grove, Texas, 2009, 800 MWe
Oak Grove, Texas, 2010, 800 MWe
Under construction, 2009-12,
6 500 MWe

Italy

Torrevaldaliga Nord, 2010,


3660 MWe
Planned by 2015, 3660 MWe

Mexico

Pacifico, 2010, 700 MWe

Note:AllarePCcombustionplantsunlessotherwisenoted.

Box1Slidingpressureoperation
Slidingpressureoperationmaintainshighefficiencyatpartloadforsupercriticalplants.Loadcycling
is often inevitable in power plant operation to meet changing grid demands. However, boiler and
turbine efficiency drops off during operation at partial loads, by as much as 2%. New supercritical
boilersaremostlycapableofslidingpressureoperation.Byadoptingtheslidingpressureoperation
with lower boiler pressures, the plant efficiency can be maintained at partial loads due to:
1)improvementofhighpressure(HP)turbineefficiency;2)reducedauxiliarypowerconsumptionby
boiler feed pumps; and3)higher steam temperatureatthe HP turbine outlet. As well as efficiency
advantages, there are otherbenefits suchas reduction in startup time, increase in loadramp rate
andanimprovedlifespanofhighpressuresteambypassvalves.

The first North American slidingpressure enabled boiler was commissioned in Genesee Unit 3,
Canada in 2005 and some of the recent units built in China are also capable of sliding pressure
operation.ItislikelythatasignificantproportionofthenewlargeunitsbuiltinChinawillbecapable
of slidingpressure operation. Loadfollowing capability of the new generation of units will reduce
coalconsumptionperunitoutputandimproveoverallefficiency.

Page|13

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Costimplications
Estimates suggest that USC plants will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 25% to 30%
comparedtothecurrentstateoftheartsubcriticalcycle(Dalton,2006).
Boilerandsteamturbinecostscanbeasmuchas40%to50%higherforaUSCplantthanfora
subcritical
plant (ETP 2008). However, the balanceofplant cost can be 13% to 16% lower,
Page|14
because of reductions in coal consumption, coal handling and flue gas handling. The total
investment cost for USC steam cycle plants can be 12% to 15% higher than the cost of a sub
criticalsteamcycle.

Barrierstowidespreadadoptionofsupercriticalunits
The first supercritical unit, Eddystone 1, was built in the United States in 1959. Originally
designedtorunat345barand650/650/650Cinadoublereheatcycle,theunitfacedproblems
oflowavailabilityresultingfrommaterialissuesandproblemsthataretypicaloffirstofitskind
developments. The unit is now operated at 243bar and 565/565C. The initial difficulties, plus
thecostsoffurtherdevelopmentandtherelativelylowpriceofcoal,resultedinalackofinterest
inSCtechnologyamongtheutilities,mostofwhichreturnedtomorereliablesubcriticalunits.
However,suchproblemsarenowlargelyeliminated.But,SCandUSCtechnologycansometimes
berejectedoroverlookedbecauseofmisguidedperceptionsthattheyarecostly,unprovenand
unsuitable for use with local coals. Consequently, many countries have preferred conventional
subcritical technology despite evidence that demonstrates that SC and USC designs are
commerciallyprovenandcompetitive,especiallywhencoalpricesarehigh,astheyhavebeenin
therecentpast.Experienceislackingonlyinthecaseofhighashcoals;butevenforsuchcoals,
there should be a gradual switch from subcritical to SC and then to USC as operational
experiencegrowsandtheinitialdifficulties,ifany,areresolved.

FurtherdevelopmentofUSCconditions
Ultrasupercriticalunitsoperatingattemperaturesof700Candhigher,andpressureinexcessof
300bar are in the development phase. They will use nickelbased superalloys for some
components in the boiler, turbine and piping. Such materials are already used in gas turbines.
However, the operating environment with flue gas from coal is different so international
programmes are seeking to develop the necessary materials and fabrication methods for use
withthesematerials(IEA,2007).Theseprogrammesare:

two ECsupported projects; i.e. AD700, which was superseded in 2004 by COMTES700. The
latterproject(Gierschner,2008)aimstoraisethemainsteamtemperatureandpressureto
700Candupto375bar,withareheattemperatureofupto720C.[Note:Duetodelaysin
technology development, the construction of a fullscale demonstration, in the form of a
500MWe unit at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, was recently postponed (Topper, 2011). Steam
conditionsweretohavebeen35MPa/700C/720C,withtheaimofachievinganefficiency
ofatleast50%LHV,assistedbycoldseawatercooling.Atthemoment,itisunclearwhen
thisdevelopmentwillberesumed.]

the US DOEled programme on Advanced materials for Ultrasupercritical boiler systems,


which aims to raise the steam temperature to 760C (1400F), and pressure up to 375bar
(Dalton,2006).

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OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

If successful, USC conditions will raise power plant efficiency to over 50% (LHV, net) with
bituminous coal, and also over 50% (LHV, net) with integrated, predrying for highmoisture
lignite.

ImplicationsofUSCdevelopmentsonCO2capture
AddingCO2capturetoapowerplantresultsinasubstantialenergypenalty.Aslargevolumesof Page|15
absorbent are required to treat the flue gas, its subsequent regeneration uses considerable
quantities of low pressure steam that would otherwise be available for power generation.
Maximising plant efficiency is, therefore, highly desirable when employing CCS: the higher the
netefficiencyofthebaseplant,thehigherwillbethenetefficiencyofthatplantwithCCS.

BarrierstofurtheradvancesinUSCconditions
The major barriers to advances in SC and USC steam cycles are therefore technical, i.e.
metallurgical and material fabrication issues. Apart from the continued development of
materials,fabricationmethodsandlongdurationtestingofmaterials,thereisclearlyaneedto
acceleratethedevelopmentandfullscaledemonstrationofadvancedUSCconditions.

Circulatingfluidisedbedcombustiontechnology
Therearetwomajorcategoriesoffluidisedbedcombustionunits:thoseoperatingwithbubbling
fluidised bed combustion (BFBC) and those with circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC).
Almost all of the recent plant additions have been CFBC units. CFBC units can tolerate a wide
varietyofcoalsandparticlesizesand,becauseoftheirlowoperatingtemperaturesandstaged
combustion,producelowlevelsofNOxrelativetoPCboilers.Theloweroperatingtemperatureis
alsoideallysuitablefortheinsitucaptureofsulphurdioxide(SO2).TheefficiencyofCFBCunitsis
similartothatofPCunits.
The largest operating subcritical CFBC unit is of 320MWe at Jacksonville, Florida. Units of a
similar size also operate in China. Total CFBC plant capacity globally is around 20GW, and is
expected to grow. Previously only available in subcritical designs, CFBC technology has now
reached an economic scale for supercritical conditions. The first supercritical CFBC unit
(460MWe,282bar/563C/582C)waslocatedatLagisza(Poland).DesignedbyFosterWheeler,
thisplantisoperatingandhasadesignefficiencyof43.3%(LHV,net)onPolishlignite.Asecond
supercritical CFBC unit, a 330MWe capacity, will be located at the Novocherkasskaya GRES
facility in Russia (Jantti et al, 2009). It was also encouraging to see that a major guideline in
Chinas11thfiveyearplanwastobuildlargescaleCFBCunits.
There has been a marked increase in the capacity of CFBC units over recent years (Figure2).
Designsforsupercriticalunitsof600MWeand800MWecapacityarenowcomplete(Utt,2011).
However, given the lower operating temperatures of CFBC units, considerable design
improvement will be required for USCs needing much higher than 600C superheat or reheat
temperatures. If such temperatures, together with a steam pressure of 28MPa, are achieved,
unitswillreachanefficiencyofover45%(LHV,net)or43%(HHV,net)forhardcoal.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure2CFBCscaleupchronology

Page|16

Source:Utt,2011.

BarrierstowideradoptionofCFBCtechnology
With around 20GW operating worldwide, CFBC units can demonstrate significant operating
experience. They have the ability to accept a variety of fuels, including a range of coals: from
lignites to anthracite, waste coal and biomass. They exhibit low emissions of conventional
pollutantsandshowpotentialtobedesignedforoxyfiring.Thoughthereisaneedforresearch,
developmentanddemonstration(RD&D)toprogresstohighersteamconditionsovertime,there
arenoobviousbarrierstoCFBCotherthanthesizeofthemarket.
R&DneedsfordevelopmentofsupercriticalCFBCtechnology
ThemajordevelopmentneedsforsupercriticalCFBCtechnologyaremostlysimilartothosefor
SCandUSCpulverisedcoalfiredtechnology.Theseare:

developmaterialswithhighertemperatureandpressureresistances;

improvefabricationtechnologyusingthesematerials;and

acceleratedemonstrationoflargeSCunits.

Integratedgasificationcombinedcycle
Coalbased IGCC uses a combination of gas and steam turbines to produce electricity. The gas
usedtofirethegasturbineisfirstmadebygasifyingorpartiallyoxidisingthecoaltoproducea
fuelgas,whichisthenfollowedbygascleaningasshowninFigure3.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure3MajorcomponentsofanIGCCsystemwithoutCO2capture

Page|17

Source:Henderson,2008.

ThemajorsubsystemswithinIGCCthathavethepotentialtoinfluencetheoverallefficiency,cost
andreliability,are:

gasifierthisaffectstheconversionofcarbonincoaltofuelgas

gascleaningsystemthisaffectstheemissionofpollutantgasesandgasesharmfultoeither
theenvironment,thegasturbineorboth;

oxygenproduction;

gasturbine;

syngascooler,heatrecoverysteamgenerator,steamturbinecycle.
Atpresent, manygasificationplants useavarietyoffuelsfor chemical production,but onlysix
coalbasedIGCCplantsareinoperation.Theseare:

BuggenumplantintheNetherlandsusingShelltechnology.253MWe(net).Startedin1994
withadryfeedO2blowngasifierand1060Cgasturbine;

ElcogasplantinPuertollano,SpainusingPrenflotechnology.300MWe(net).Startedin1998
with a dryfeed O2blown gasifier and 1120C gas turbine; the plant uses a mix of petcoke
andcoal;

NakosoplantinJapanusingMitsubishitechnology.250MWe(gross).Startedin2007witha
dryfeedairblowngasifierand1200Cgasturbine;

TampaElectricplantinFlorida,UnitedStates,usingGETechnology.250MWe(net).Started
in1996withaslurryfedO2blowngasifierand1200Cgasturbine;

SUV/EGT plant in Czech Republic. 350MWe (net). Started in 1996 using Lurgi Dry Ash
technology.

Wabash River IGCC repowering project in Indiana, United States, using EGAS technology.
262MWe(net).Startedin1995withaslurryfedO2blowngasifierand1200Cgasturbine;
Other plants are either planned or under construction in China and the United States. The net
efficiency for existing coalfired IGCC plants is around 42% (LHV, net). NUONs Shell coal
gasificationprocessbasedIGCCplantatBuggenum(theNetherlands)achievedupto43%(LHV)
on bituminous coals, which is equivalent to 41% (HHV). Commissioning began in 1993, with a
V94.2gasturbineandaturbineinlettemperaturefornaturalgasofaround1060C.Intheory,

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

anddependingonthechoiceofgasifier,amodern,hightemperature,Fclassgasturbineshould
produceanefficiencyof46%to47%net(LHV,net)or44%to45%(HHV,net)usingbituminous
coals. There are a number of major coalbased IGCC projects under consideration around the
world(Table2).Itisinterestingtonotethatthelargemajorityofprojectsarebasedonentrained
flowgasifiers.
Page|18

Table2MajorcoalbasedIGCCprojectsunderconsideration
Project

Location

Coal

Gasifier
Technology

Gas turbine
and model

Net output
(MWe)

Year

Siemens and

250 - stage 1

Late 2011

Shanghai
Electric

400 - stage 2

[Stage 1]

GreenGen

Tianjin
China

Bit

Shanghai
boiler;
dry fed O2
blown

Dongguan
Taiyangzhou

Guangdong
China

Bit

KBR Transport
Integrated
Gasification

Unknown

120 - stage 1
800 - stage 2

Late 2011
[Stage 1]

Duke Energy

Indiana
US

Bit

GE
Slurry-fed O2
blown

GE
Frame 7B

618

2012

Magnum

Eemshaven
Netherlands

Bit
Biom

Shell

1200

2012
st
[CCGT as 1
phase]

Excelsior
Energy

Minnesota
US

Lig/PetCoke

ConocoPhillips
Slurry-fed O2
blown

Siemens
2xS5000F

620

2014
[No PPA, as
yet]

Southern
Company

Mississippi
US

Lig

KBR Transport
Integrated
Gasification

2 x F Class

582

2014

Texas Clean
Energy
Project
(TCEP)

Texas
US

Sub-bit

Siemens

Siemens

380

2015

Wandoan
Power

Queensland
Australia

Bit

GE

GE

334

2016

Osaki
CoolGen

Japan

Sub-bit

Hitachi

Hitachi

140

Hydrogen
Energy
California
(HECA)

California
US

Bit/pet coke

GE

GE
Frame 7F

250

2018

American
Electric
Power

Ohio
US

Bit

GE
Slurry-fed O2
blown

GE
Frame 7B

630

[Project on
hold]

Taylorville
Energy
Center

Illinois
US

Bit

Siemens

GE

600

[Project on
hold]

Nuon

MHI
3xM701F4

2017

Gasifiersystem
TherearethreemajortypesofgasifiersuitableforIGCCapplication:

entrainedflowgasifier.Withbothdry(e.g.Shell,Siemens,Mitsubishi)andwetslurry(e.g.GE,
ConocoPhillips)feeding,theseentrainedflowgasifiersrequirefineparticlesizes,aresuitable
foralltypesofcoalsandoperateattemperaturesabovethemeltingpointofash.(Note:if
coals with a high melting point are selected, flux addition may be required to facilitate

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

melting and ash discharge). As a result, conversion of the carbon to fuel gas is nearly
complete.WiththeexceptionoftheMitsubishigasifier,theyarealloxygenblown.

gasifier. These require large particle sizes for effective fluidisation and operate at around
900C,i.e.belowthemeltingpointofash.Theyareparticularlysuitableforhighlyreactive,
noncaking coals, such as lignites. As a result of the lower operating temperatures, carbon
Page|19
conversionisoftenwithinthe80%to90%range.gasifierscanbebothairoroxygenblown.

transport gasifier. Developed by KBR, it is a hybrid between entrained flow and gasifiers. It
canhandlebothlignitesandbituminouscoals,andoperatesatslightlyhighertemperatures
thanfluidisedbedgasifiers.
Entrained flow gasification technology currently dominates; the fluidised bed and transport
gasifier types have not yet been demonstrated for commercialscale pressurised gasification
conditions.
Othertypesofnovelgasifiersproposedorunderdevelopmentinclude:

thePrattandWhitneyRocketdynegasifier,whichresultsinacostsaving,smallsizeunit;

a chemical looping gasifier that avoids the need for an energyconsuming air separation
plant;

amembranegasifier,combininggasificationandoxygenseparationinonestep.
Bothhighashandhighmoisturecoalspresentproblemsingasification.Highashcoalsproduce
excessive amounts of molten ash inside the entrained flow gasifier, which creates operational
problems and results in an efficiency penalty. These coals would be better gasified in a lower
temperature gasifier, such as the fluidised bed gasifier. To maintain fluidisation and prevent a
buildupofagglomeratingmaterial,thebedhastobedrainedofashregularly,whichalsoresults
inlossofsolidcarbonmatter.
Likewise, it is not easy to use lowgrade, highmoisture coals directly in slurryfeed entrained
gasifiers. The high porosity and oxygen content of these coals give rise to difficulties in slurry
preparation. The conventional alternative, of predrying plus conventional lockhopper based
feeding,reducesefficiency.Continuousdryfeedingsystems(solidspumps)forintroducinghigh
moisturecoalsdirectlytothegasifiercouldhelpandatthesametime,bringbenefitsinefficiency
i.e.reducedoxygendemandandreducedwearongasifierinjectors(Henderson,2008).
TheissuesofcoalgasificationingeneralandIGCCinparticularhavebeenextensivelyaddressed
intworeports(Henderson,2008;Fernando,2008).

Gascleaningsystem
Gascleaningisrequiredtoridthefuelgasofsolidandgaseouspollutants,includingtracemetals,
ammonia, sulphur gases, chlorides, and mercury, which are harmful to the gas turbine
downstream.
Gas cleaning at a high temperature, or hot gas cleaning, is preferable, as this preserves the
energy contentofthefuelgas.However,hotgascleaningona commercialscalehasyet tobe
developedforreliable,continuousoperation.
Dry scrubbing is used mainly for the control of trace metals and sulphur gases, while wet
scrubbingispreferredtocontrolammoniaandchloridespecies(Henderson,2008).

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Gasturbinesystem

Page|20

TheefficiencyofanIGCCsystemdependsontheoutputsfromthecombinedcycle,i.e.fromthe
gasturbineandfromthesteamcycle.Thepowerproducedbythegasturbinecontributesaround
60%ofthegrosselectricitygeneratedinanIGCCplant.Theefficiencyofthegasturbinedepends
onanumberoffactors,includingitsinlettemperature.
Earlydifficultieswereencounteredwiththecombustionofsyngasingasturbines.ForEuropean
IGCCs, these problems were solved by modifications to the silo combustors (Goudappel and
Berkhout,2006).TheSiemensV94.2gasturbineattheBuggenumIGCCplanthasaturbineinlet
temperatureonnaturalgasofaround1060C.
FClassturbinesoperatingwithinlettemperaturesaround1400Carecurrentlybeingusedwith
naturalgasasafuelinbothopencycleandcombinedcycleconfigurations.Examplesofthemost
advanced,partiallysteamcooledturbinedesignsthatuseevenhigherfiringtemperatures(upto
1500C)areGEsHclassturbineandtheGclassmachinesfromMHIandSiemensWestinghouse.
All major suppliers of gas turbines currently offer machines for syngas up to Fclass. Versions
based on the latest classes for natural gas will gradually be adapted for use with coalfuelled
IGCCs.Dependingonthefuel composition,forFclassgasturbinestooperate onsyngas,some
derating might be required in firing temperatures to cope with the higher steam content in
combustiongas.Inaddition,combustordesignmodificationsandaredesignoftheturbineinlet
sectionmightbeneeded,comparedtoanaturalgasfiredgasturbineforemissionscompliance,
toprovidealargergasturbineswallowingcapacity.ThoughnocoalbasedIGCCisyetoperating
on an FB or equivalent turbine, it is planned that the Duke Energy Edwardsport IGCC in the
United States, which is scheduled to start up in 2012, will have an FB turbine. Future turbine
improvements have the potential to increase IGCC efficiencies by 3 to 5percentagepoints
(Anandetal.,2006).

Gasturbinesforhighhydrogenfuels
AhighcombustiontemperatureandincreasedemissionsofNOxaretheundesirablesideeffects
of burning fuel gas containing high concentrations of hydrogen. NOx control in gas turbines is
achievedbydilutingthesyngaswithnitrogenorsteamtolimitpeakflametemperature.Thisisa
standardsafetyprocedurefordiffusioncombustors.Thisisalsothecaseforthecombustionof
high hydrogencontaining gas. A disadvantage of diffusion combustors is that they produce
considerablymoreNOxthanthepremixcombustorsusedfornaturalgasanddistillatefuelsand
this is exacerbated when burning fuel gas with high hydrogen content. This is typical of IGCC
plantswithCO2capture.
Currently, industrial gas turbines firing hydrogen at refineries use up to Eclass technology
(designedfor1100Cfiringtemperatureonnaturalgas).However,GEoffersIGCCbasedaround
theGEBechtelAlliancereferenceplantwitha7FBgasturbine(or7FSyngasturbine)thatwillbe
CO2capturereadywithoutrequiringmodificationstothehotgaspathofthegasturbine.Natural
gascombinedcycleprojectsusingmoderngasturbinesarealsobeingofferedorconstructedfor
subsequentconversiontoIGCCwithCO2capture.Temperatureswillprobablybereducedwhen
CCSisadded,atleastuntilongoingR&Dallowstheuseofhighertemperatures.
Major research programmes have resulted in improvements to gas turbines (Smith, 2009).
Notably, the Advanced Hydrogen Turbines programme and the Enhanced CO2 Capture project
(ENCAP) of the European Commission (EC) have supported gas turbine manufacturers over the
years in developing high efficiency turbines. More recently, the EC cofunded a research and
demonstration project, Low emission gas turbine technology for hydrogenrich syngas (or

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

H2IGCC),whichbeganin2009.Thisprojectisinvestigatinggasturbinetechnologiesthatenable
theburningofundilutedsyngasinIGCC.
Gas turbines firing high concentrations of hydrogen do not currently have an air extraction
capabilitytosupplyairtotheairseparationplant.Somemanufacturersareworkingtodevelop
this feature (Hannemann et al., 2005). Although air supply integration can create its own
difficulties,airextractiondoesprovideameansoflimitingthesurgeinflowthatwouldotherwise Page|21
arisefromthemuchhigherflowratewithintheturbinesectionforsyngascomparedwithhigh
calorificvaluefuels.

OutlookforcoalbasedIGCC
Aidedbyclimatechangemitigationpressuresandtechnicalandcostimprovements,IGCChasthe
potential,inthelongerterm,tocompetewithPCcombustiontechnology,thecurrentsystemof
choiceforutilities.However,theimmediatefutureofthetechnologyislesscertain.
As indicated in Table2, several IGCC projects have been proposed in Australia, China, the
European Union and the United States, with a number of other countries showing interest. Of
around25500MWIGCCprojectsproposedworldwidein2007,themajoritywerelatercancelled,
citingcostescalationsanduncertaintyinemissionregulations.Ofnoteisthat60%oftheprojects
wereintheUnitedStates,greatlyhelpedbytheprovisionsofthe2005EnergyPolicyAct.
Immediate concerns must be addressed if IGCC is to be more widely deployed. Though
proponentsofIGCCmaypointtoparticularbenefits,suchasemissionsperformanceorpotential
forpolygeneration,itisstillperceivedtohaveasofyetunquantifiedoperatingrisks.Operation
andmaintenancecostsarelesscertainastherearefewreferenceplantsandlittlepowerindustry
operatingexperience.OtherissuesincludeimprovingthecapitalcostandavailabilityofIGCCon
all coals. In response to these concerns, and to provide a viable alternative to PC combustion
units,varioussuppliergroupingshavebeenformedthatofferreferenceIGCCplantdesignsona
turnkey basis with guarantees on cost, construction time, availability and efficiency. Notable
examplesofthesegroupings,jointventuresandacquisitionsare:

GEBechtel;

SiemensFluor;

MitsubishiSiemens,forbothgasturbinesandgasifiertechnology;

ShellKruppUhdeBlack&Veatch;

SouthernKBR,fornewtechnologypitcheddirectlyatsubbituminousandlignitemarket;

ConocoPhillipsFluor;

BPRioTinto;

GEsacquisitionofStametPumps(adrysolidspumpingsystem)toextenditsofferingtohigh
moisturecoals.
Some power utilities still perceive IGCC to be complex but when CCS becomes a requirement,
usingIGCCwithPCtechnologiesmaybemoreefficientthandeployingfluegasscrubbingbased
CO2capture,asindicatedbyvariousstudies(Henderson,2009).
Concerted cooperation among technology vendors and utilities, clarity in emission guidelines
andincentivesfromgovernmentsarerequiredforwiderdeploymentofIGCC.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

R&DrequirementstoaccelerateIGCCdeployment
ThemajorandimmediateneedsforwiderdeploymentofIGCCare:

demonstrationofincreasedavailabilityandreliabilityforalltypesofcoals;

demonstrationofquenchgasifierforlowgradecoals;

Page|22

optimisation of existing and/or development of new dryfeed systems, and reliable feeding
systemsforhighmoisture,lowgradecoals;

demonstrationofreliablemultipollutantgascleanupsystemswithlowenergypenalty;

demonstration of large gas turbines within a coalfuelled IGCC plant burning fuel gas
containinghighconcentrationsofhydrogen;

onlinemonitoringofrefractorywear,syngascomposition,temperatureandslagproperties;

demonstrationofIGCCplantwithintegratedCO2capture.

CO2capture
Analysis shows that CCS is an essential component of measures designed to reduce global CO2
emissions and help avoid the most serious impacts related to climate change. Despite a great
dealofefforttodevelopreliableandeffectivecapturetechnology,atthelargescale,CCSisnot
yetcommerciallyavailableforpowergenerationapplications.Toeffectivelyaddressthehighcost
and energy penalty resulting from CO2 capture, many countries are pursuing largescale
demonstrations of CCS technology. According to a study commissioned by the Global CCS
Institute (2010), 80 largescale projects are currently at various stages of development around
theworld.
ThoughitislikelythatCCSwillbeinstalledasnewpowerplantsareintroduced,arequirement
for it to be retrofitted to existing power plant is also anticipated. It would be significantly
advantageousifnewplantscouldbeadaptedtocaptureCO2atafuturedate,i.e.beCCSready.
Movementinthisdirectionisalreadyunderway.Francepassednewlegislationin2009requiring
any new coal power station project to be CCS ready and be accompanied by a fullscale CCS
demonstration programme. Also in 2009, A Framework for the Development of Clean Coal
prohibitedtheconstructionofnewcoalfiredpowerstationswithoutthedemonstrationofCCSin
England and Wales, setting out plans for the longterm transition to clean coal. Ministers
announcedasimilarapproachinScotland.TheAustraliangovernmentwasalsorecentlyelected,
in part, on a platform proposing that approval of new coalfired power stations should be
contingentontheircapabilityofretrofitwithCCStechnologies.

CO2captureusingoxyfueltechnology
OxyfueltechnologyisbeingdevelopedforCO2capture.Inprinciple,itcanbeappliedtobothPC
combustionandCFBCunits.
Thenitrogenthatcomprisesalmost80%byvolumeoftheair,whichaidscombustioninbothPC
and CFBC boilers, dilutes the CO2 concentration in the flue gas. The stripping of CO2 from such
dilute mixtures using amines is expensive. For oxyfuel combustion, a combination of oxygen
typically of at least 95% purity and recycled flue gas is used for combustion of the coal. By
recycling the flue gas, a gas consisting mainly of CO2 and water vapour is generated. A
concentratedstreamofCO2isthenproducedthatisreadyforcapturebycondensingthewater
vapour.Therecycledfluegasbothcontrolstheflametemperatureintheboilerandcompensates

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

forthemissingnitrogen,therebyensuringthatthereisenoughgastocarrytheheatthroughthe
boiler(Figure4).
Figure4Schematicofoxyfueltechnology

Page|23

Source:Vattenfall.

Thecharacteristicsofoxyfuelcombustionwithrecycledfluegasdifferfromaircombustionina
numberofaspects,including:

The high proportions of CO2 and water vapour in the furnace gases result in higher gas
emissivity.Toattainasimilaradiabaticflametemperatureandsimilarradiativeheattransfer,
the oxygen passing through the burner is typically around 30% by volume, requiring about
60% of the flue gases to be recycled for boilers running on hard coals. These figures,
however, change somewhat with coal composition, and will be different depending on
moistureorashcontentinthecoal.

The need to supply highpurity oxygen results in a large efficiency penalty, which will be
offset only as air separation technologies become more efficient. Some efficiency gains are
possiblewithcycledesignsthatallowrecuperationofexhaustorotherlowgradeheat.

R&Dneedsfordevelopmentofoxyfueltechnology
Oxyfuel technology is currently being developed by a number of utilities and other project
proponents.Themajorandimmediatetechnicalandscientificissuesthatneedtobeaddressed
(Kather,2008)are:

Identificationofoptimumoxygenexcessandoxygenfraction;

BurnoutbehaviourofcoalsinatmospheresconsistingofCO2,H2OandO2;

FormationmechanismsofpollutantsasNOx,SO2andCO;

Reliablemixtureofoxygenwithrecycledfluegas;

Effectoffluegascompositiononheattransfer,especiallybyradiation;

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Page|24

Potential for low temperature flue gas heat utilisation at boiler exit to improve overall
efficiency;

Optimumtemperaturelevelforfluegasrecirculation;

Foulingandcorrosioninanoxyfuelenvironment;AND

Minimisationofauxiliarypowerbyintegrationofkeyelements.
It must be noted, however, that considerable progress has been made in the development of
oxyfuel technology (Davidson and Santos, 2010). As a result, the process is technically viable,
reasonably well understood, and has been demonstrated at pilot scale. It is also being
demonstratedatlargescale(30MWthorhigher)andmostoftheindividualcomponentsarein
commercialoperationattherequiredscale.

Barrierstooxyfueldevelopment
Though the major barriers appear to be technical in nature, a number of major projects have
beenundertakenorareproposed(Table3).Experienceintheconstructionandoperationofthe
projectswillprovideinvaluableinformation,whileaddressingoutstandingissues.Thoughmany
of the projects are relatively small and will not initially deploy CCS, the FutureGen 2.0 project
maystimulateinterestinlargerscaledemonstration.
Table3Pilotanddemonstrationprojectsonoxyfueltechnology(withcoal)
Project

Location

MWth

Start up

Boiler type

Main fuel

Jupiter

US

15

2007

Industrial
No flue gas
recirculation

Natural gas
Coal

B&W

US

30

2007

PC

Bituminous coal
Sub-bituminous
coal
lignite

Vattenfall

Germany

30

2008

PC

Lignite

[burner
demonstration]

UK

40

2009

PC

Coal

Pearl plant

US

66

2009

PC

Bituminous coal

Ciuden PC

Spain

20

2011

PC

Anthracite
Petroleum coke

Ciuden CFBC

Spain

30

2011

CFB

Anthracite
Petroleum coke

Callide

Australia

90

2011

PC

Bituminous coal

Jamestown

US

150

2013

CFB

Bituminous coal

Vattenfall

Germany

250

2015

PC

Lignite

FutureGen 2.0

US

~600

2016

PC

Coal

Youngdong

Korea

~300

2016

PC

Bituminous coal

OxyCoal 2

Itisimportantthatthepilotanddemonstrationprojectsreceiveregulatoryandfinancialsupport
todemonstratetheeffectivenessofthetechnologyforbothhardcoalsandlignites.

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

CO2capturefromPCandCFBCplants
AnalternativetodeployingoxyfueltechnologyforPCorCFBCplantswouldbetousechemical
solventstocapturetheCO2.ContinuingR&Dneedsforcaptureusingchemicalsolventsinclude:

Developmentofbettersolventstoresolveissuesofcorrosionandreagentloss;

Reductionofdetrimentaleffectsonefficiencyandgenerationcost;and

Developmentofmembranecontactorsandotherabsorptionsystems.
Largescale,integrateddemonstrationofCCSisrequired,includingdemonstrationsofbothnewly
constructed plant and retrofit. A number of projects have emerged and are being developed
(GlobalCCSInstitute,2011).
Therearemorethan1500GWeofexistingcoalfiredcapacityworldwide,mostlyPCunits.Atthe
current state of technology development, PC or CFBC units retrofitted with CO2 capture will
result in a loss of efficiency of up to 10percentagepoints. In fact, this efficiency penalty has
reducedsignificantlyasaresultofconcertedeffortoverthepastfiveyears.Asignificantpartof
theexistingfleetislikelytobeunsuitableforCO2captureretrofiteitherbecausetheefficiencyof
theplantistoolowand/oritscapacitytoosmall.HighefficiencyislikelytobepreferredforCO2
captureretrofit.If40%efficiencyweretobeconsideredaminimumforretrofitwithCO2capture,
less than 10% of the current world coalfired capacity would qualify. Even then, other factors
wouldneedtobeexploredtoassessaplantssuitabilityforretrofit.
AsCCSbecomesmorewidelydeployed,PCtechnologywillalsobemovingtohigherpressureand
temperaturesteamconditions,withplantstargetingsteamtemperaturesintheregionof700C
and pressures to 375bar. The energy penalty associated with CCS should become lower as
experience with the technology increases and more energy efficient capture processes are
developed.WhensubsequentlycombinedwithCO2capture,powergenerationefficiencieswith
capturewillapproachthoseofcurrentnoncaptureplants.Thecostofcaptureisalsoanticipated
toreducewithexperienceandfurtherdevelopment.
Inevitably,CO2captureincreasesthecomplexityofthepowergenerationprocess,whetheritis
added to a PC or CFBC plant. The operability and flexibility of plants with capture need to be
assessed, in particular the dynamic performance during startup, shutdown and loadchanging
conditions.

CO2capturefromIGCCplants
AnumberoffactorsneedaddressingifanIGCCplantistobemadeCCSready.Thesefactorsvary
accordingtothetypeofgasifierused,e.g.whetheritisoxygenorairblown,ordryorslurryfed.
Each plant design will require a different retrofit strategy because of the multiple options
available(Kubeketal.,2007),eachofwhichhasadifferentimpact(Table4).
ForIGCCwithCO2capture,thedustfreesyngaswouldbesenttoashiftreactortoproduceCO2
andadditionalhydrogen.TheCO2wouldbeseparatedandthehydrogenrichsyngasburntinthe
gasturbine.Interestingly,theCO2capturecouldbecombinedwithanacidgasremovalplantthat
wouldalsoremovesulphurgases.Sulphurgasescouldalternativelyberemovedbeforetheshift
reactor.AstheshiftedfuelgasisatelevatedpressureandtheCO2isinhigherconcentration(and
thereforehasahigherpartialpressure),itcanberelativelyeasilyseparatedbyphysicalmeans,
keeping cost and efficiency penalties lower compared to chemical scrubbing systems for PC
basedplants.

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PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Table4ImpactofcaptureretrofitonIGCCplantdesign
Standard provisions

Moderate provisions

Extensive provisions

Space for additional equipment,


balance of plant, and site access
at later date.

Additional air separation unit,


gasification and gas clean-up is
needed to fully load the gas turbines
when water shift is added.

Design with conversion-shift reactors,


oversized components, acid gas
removal absorber sized for shifted
syngas, but no CO2 absorber and
compressor.

Net power capacity, efficiency,


and cost penalty upon conversion
to CO2 capture.

Above additional capacity can be used


in pre-capture phase for supplemental
firing or co-production.

No need for major shutdown to


complete conversion to CO2 capture.

Page|26

Allows full gas turbine output with


hydrogen when CO2 capture is added.
Mitigates the cost and efficiency
penalty.

Capture may also be accomplished by using pressureswing adsorption or gasseparation


membranes. Hydrogen production using coal gasification is an established technology for
ammoniamanufacture,whereCO2/hydrogenseparationbyphysicalsolventscrubbingisnormal
practice.ThereareprospectsinthelongtermforreducingtheenergypenaltyforCO2capturein
IGCCtoperhapsaroundfourpercentagepointsbyuseofinnovativesystems,suchasmembrane
reformer reactors; where reforming, shift and CO2 capture would be carried out in a single
reactor.
IGCCCCS demonstration plants are emerging with funding sources from the public and private
sectors. NUON, a part of the Vattenfall Group, has constructed a CO2 capture pilot plant at its
253MWe IGCC at Buggenum (the Netherlands); the knowledge and experience gained in the
pilotwillsupportfurtherdevelopmentandimplementationatfuturedemonstrationplantsand
commercialconcepts.In2010,TampaElectricCorporationannouncedplanstopartnerwithRTI
International to construct a pilot project to demonstrate technology to capture and sequester
CO2fromTECO'sPolkCountyIGCCpowerstation.RTIwilldesign,constructandoperatethepilot
plant that will capture CO2 from a 30%side stream to demonstrate the technology. The
completionofconstructionofthispilotplantisplannedfor2013.

CCSReady
Buildingonearlierwork,aworkshopwasorganisedjointlyby theIEA,theCSLFand the Global
CCS Institute to define what is meant by CCS ready (IEA, 2010c). Held in Ottawa, Canada in
March 2010 and attended by experts representing government, industry and NGOs, an ad hoc
CCSReadyworkinggroupwasassembledtodefineandtodraftguidelinesforCCSready.Their
findingswereasfollows:
DefinitionofCCSready(CCSR)
ACCSRfacilityisalargescaleindustrialorpowersourceofCO2,whichcould,andisintendedto,
be retrofitted with CCS technology when the necessary regulatory and economic drivers are in
place.TheaimofbuildingnewfacilitiesormodifyingexistingfacilitiestobeCCSRistoreducethe
risk of carbon emission lockin or of being unable to fully utilise the facilities without CCS
(strandedassets)in thefuture.CCSR isnotaCO2mitigationoption,butawaytofacilitateCO2
mitigationinthefuture.CCSRceasestobeapplicableinjurisdictionswherethenecessarydrivers
arealreadyinplace,oroncetheycomeinplace.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

EssentialrequirementsofaCCSRfacility
Theessentialrequirementsrepresenttheminimumcriteriathatshouldbemetbeforeafacility
canbeconsideredCCSR.Theprojectdevelopershould:

Identify one or more potential storage areas, which have been appropriately assessed and
found suitable for safe geological storage of projected full lifetime volumes and rates of
Page|27
capturedCO2;

Identifyrealisticpipelineorotherroute(s)tostorageofCO2;

Carry out a sitespecific study in sufficient engineering detail to ensure the facility is
technically capable of being fully retrofitted for CO2 capture, using one or more proven or
suitablechoicesoftechnology,forwhichperformancecanbereliablyestimated;

Demonstratethatretrofittedcaptureequipmentcanbeconnectedtotheexistingequipment
effectivelywithoutanexcessiveoutageperiod,andthatsufficientspacewillbeavailableto
constructandsafelyoperateadditionalcaptureandcompressionfacilities;

Identifyotherknownfactors,includinganyadditionalwaterrequirementsthatcouldprevent
installationandoperationofCO2capture,transportandstorage,andidentifycrediblewaysin
whichtheycouldbeovercome;

Estimatethelikelycostsofretrofittingcapture,transportandstorage.

Engage in appropriate public engagement and consideration of health, safety and


environmentalissues;

ReviewCCSRstatusandreportonitperiodically.

Definitionapplication
Theseessentialrequirementsrepresenttheminimumcriteriathatshouldbemetbeforeafacility
can be considered CCSR. However, a degree of flexibility in the way jurisdictions apply the
definitionwillberequiredtorespondtoregionandsitespecificissues,andtotakeaccountof
the rapidly changing technology, policy and regulatory background to CCS and CCSR, both
globallyandlocally.Morespecificorstringentrequirementscouldbeappropriate,forinstance,in
jurisdictions where the CCSR regulator is working on the assumption that CCS will need to be
retrofittedtoaparticularfacilitywithinadefinedtimeframe.FurtherinformationonCCSRina
recent IEA publication, Carbon Capture and Storage: Model Regulatory Framework (IEA,
2010d).

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

2.DevelopmentsinCoalTreatment
It is accepted that coal treatment can bring considerable environmental benefits, including
reduced emissions of SO2, NOx, particulates and CO2, through the supply of clean coal of
consistentqualitytodownstreamutilisationprocesses.
Page|28

Coalsareextremelyheterogeneous,varyingwidelyintheircontentandpropertiesfromcountry
tocountry,minetomine,andevenfromseamtoseam.Theprincipleimpuritiesareashforming
mineralsandsulphur.Someareinterspersedthroughthecoalseam,someareintroducedbythe
mining process, and some principally organic sulphur, nitrogen and some mineral salts are
boundorganicallytothecoal.
These impurities affect the properties of the coal and the combustion process, including the
nature of the flue gas emissions and the combustion residues. The coal beneficiation or
preparationprocess,whichalsooftengoesbythetermscoalcleaningorcoalwashing,isaimed
atseparatingandremovingtheimpuritiestotheextentpossibleandeconomicallyfeasible.Coal
beneficiation aims to separate the coal from the impurities mainly by exploiting differences in
density.Physicalcoalpreparationprocessestargetinorganicimpuritiesanddonotremovethose
organically bound to the coal. Sulphur is a prime target to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions
following combustion. It is present both as an inorganic component (pyrite particles), and
organicallybound.
Coal beneficiation is in principle possible for most bituminous coals and anthracite, which
account for about twothirds of worldwide coal production. About onethird of this potential
amountispresentlywashed.Amongthelargestproducingcountries,mostcoalsfromtheUnited
States,AustraliaandSouthAfricaarealreadywashed/cleanedclosetotheeconomiclimit;while
in China, India, Russia, Poland and some smaller producing countries there is scope for the
increaseduseofcoalbeneficiation(Ghosh2007).
Lignitesandsubbituminouscoalsposeadifferentsetofproblems.Whiletheyareoftenlowin
ashandsulphur,theytendtocontainahighpercentageofmoisture,rangingfromsome20%to
60%.Thiswillcausearangeofproblemsinacoalfiredboiler,requiringmoreenergyandcausing
higher mill, coal pipe and burner maintenance requirements. Beneficiation techniques involve
dryingthesecoalsasefficientlyandcosteffectivelyaspossible.
A further issue with lowrank coal is spontaneous combustion. Susceptibility to this increases
with storage time and is inversely related to the rank of the coal and to its moisture content.
Consequently,dryingthecoalisbestdoneimmediatelypriortocombustion.

Coalbeneficiation
Anumberofcountries,notablyIndia,China,CzechRepublic,Poland,SouthAfrica,Romaniaand
Turkeyusehighashcoalsforpowergeneration(Figure5).
Duringtheminingoperation,ashandotherextraneousmatterarealsoextractedwiththecoal.
Coal beneficiation is a process that improves the quality of coal by reducing the extraneous
matter or reducing the associated ash, or both. The two basic processes of beneficiation
(Satyamurty,2007)are:

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

drydeshaling:noncoalmatterorshalycoalisremovedusingnoliquidmedia;and

wetprocess:coaliscrushedandputinaliquidmedia(usuallywater)ofadjustablespecific
gravity to separate the lighter coal (with lowash content) from heavier coal (with high ash
content).Therejectsfromthewetprocessalsocontaincarbonaceousmatter.
Someofthemajorbenefitsofcoalbeneficiationinclude:

Costsarereducedbytransportingrockovershorterdistances;

Savingsaremadeinthecapitalandoperatingcostsofthepowerplant,particularlytheboiler,
coalhandlingandashhandlingsystems;

Thecostofpowergenerationmayalsobereducedifthewashedcoalincreasestheplantload
factorandthewasheryrejectsareutilisedefficientlyinfluidisedbedboilers.

Needforpricingincentivesforcoalbeneficiation
Atpresent,coalpricingpoliciesdonotalwaysfavourcoalbeneficiation.Ifpricesweretoreflect
coal quality and the consequences and costs of pollution, it islikelythat this processwouldbe
utilised more widely. If these benefits are not reflected in the price, the coal producer or
supplierhaslessincentivetocleanthecoal.
ThesituationinIndiaisapointincase.MostofthecoalthatIndiausesforpowergenerationis
not cleaned (Satyamurthy, 2007). Studies show that even screening of the rocks that are often
included in the coal would significantly decrease the costs of coal transportation. One of the
barriers to washing is the prevailing practice in India of pricing coal on grades based on useful
heat value with wide bands, instead of a fully variable system based on the more precise
internationalpracticeofusingitsgrossorhigherheatingvalue(HHV).Ifthepriceofcoalismade
fully variable, based on its heat content measured in HHV, then the producer would be
encouragedtoundertakecoalbeneficiation(Satyamurthy,2007).CoalIndia,whichisthemajor
supplier of coal to power stations in India, currently washes less than 20% of its coal before
supplyingittopowerstations.By2012,theirtargetistowash70%ofthecoalandtowashthe
coal produced from all new coal mines (Coal India, 2008). Though it is pursuing plans to install
20further washeries, this clearly presents a major challenge for Coal India. In addition, the
GovernmentofIndiahasmandatedthatcoalshippedtopowerplantsmorethan1000kmfrom
themineshouldbewashedsothatashcontentislimitedto32%2%.Asaresult,itisprojected
thatcoalwashingwillrisefrom55milliontonsin2007to163milliontonsby2012(Deshmukh,
2008).

R&Dneedsforcoalbeneficiation
Itisimportanttodevelopnewtechnologiestomakesignificantreductionsinashcontentthrough
coal beneficiation. Increasing the yield of lowash coal and reducing the consumption of water
arethetwomajorchallengestobeovercomebythewetprocessforcoalbeneficiation.

Developmentsincoaldrying
Lowrank coals containing highmoisture (30% to 70% on asreceived weight basis) represent a
significantresourceworldwide.Anestimated45%oftheworldscoalreservesarelignites(brown
coal).Theseareinexpensive,lowinashandsulphurreserves,buthaveahighmoisturecontent
of up to 65% on an asreceived basis. Brown coal represents an important source of power

Page|29

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

generationinseveralcountries,includingAustralia,Germany,Greece,Poland,Russia,Turkeyand
theUnitedStates.
Indicative ranges of moisture content, ash content and calorific values of lignites for the major
countriesusinghighashand/orhighmoisturecoalsareshowninFigure5.
Figure5Highashand/orhighmoisturecontainingcoalsoftentermedaslignites

70
6

60
moisture content of raw coal, %

Page|30

50

4 Mj/kg

9
7
8

40

12

30

8 Mj/kg

10

12 Mj/kg

20

16 Mj/kg

11
10

20 Mj/kg

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

ash content of raw coal, %

Note:theirlocation,andcalorificvalues(LHV,MJ/kg);countrylabelsasfollows:
1: Australia; 2: Indonesia; 3: India; 4: United States (Texas, North Dakota); 5: Germany; 6: Greece; 7: Spain; 8: Poland; 9: Czech
Republic;10:China;11:Turkey;12:Romania.

Theneedforcoaldrying
Coalpredryingisanimportantsteptowardsimprovingtheefficiencyofbothexistingandnew
power plants using highmoisture coals. In general the efficiency of a unit using coal drops by
about4percentagepointsand9percentagepointswhen coalmoisture contentincreasesfrom
10%to40%and60%respectively.Apartfromefficiencyreduction,highmoistureincreasescoal
handlingfeedrate,demandsmoreauxiliarypowerforcoalhandlingsystemsandpulverisers,and
leadstohigherplantoperatingandmaintenancecosts.
Unfortunately,dryinghighmoisturecoalsincreasestheriskofspontaneouscombustion(dueto
theirhighoxygencontent,theyareusuallymorereactivethanhardcoals).Thus,inmostpower
plantsusinghighmoisturecoals,dryinghastobecarriedoutimmediatelypriortocombustion,
i.e. in and around the mill, by recirculating some of the flue gases from the upper part of the
boiler. This requires a boiler substantially larger to cope with the water vapour; the higher the
moisture content, the larger the boiler (Figure6). To handle the additional volume of water
vapour, the fan power requirement would be higher, which results in higher auxiliary power
requirements and reduced efficiency. If highmoisture coal could be predried, the boiler size
couldbesmaller;andiflowgradeorwasteheatcouldbeusedfordrying,theboilerefficiency
couldbehigheraswell.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure6Illustrationofboilersizevariationwithmoisturecontentincoal

Page|31

Source:StBakerandJuniper,1982.

Whenthenetenergyrequirementforpredryingislowrelativetotheenergyrequiredfordrying
in a conventional plant, a higher thermal efficiency is achieved. This results from using drying
technologiesthatutiliselowergradeenergyandrecovertheexhaustheatfromthedryereffluent
and/orremovethewaterwithoutevaporation,henceavoidingtheextensivelossoflatentheatin
evaporation.
Global emissions from coalbased power and heat production are around 7.5billiontCO2/yr. It
hasbeenestimatedthat,byimprovingtheaverageefficiencyoftheoperatingcoalfleetfromits
2004 level to about 42% (LHV, net), CO2 emissions would be reduced by between 1.35 and
1.7billiontCO2/year, i.e. equivalent to the total CO2 emissions of Russia in 2008. Intensive pre
drying of highmoisture coals could make a significant contribution, reducing emissions by as
muchas0.3billiontonnesCO2/year.Forsomecountries,suchasAustralia,Germany,Indonesia
andRussia,thereductionasaproportionofthenationalCO2emissionsfrompowerproduction
couldbesubstantial.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Box2Benefitsofcoalpredryinganduseoflowgradeheat

Page|32

RaisesoverallunitefficiencybyincreasingboilerefficiencytherebyreducingCO2emissions

Lowersboilersizeandunitauxiliarypowerconsumptionbyreducingtheflowratesofcoaland
fluegas.

Reduces the flue gas flow rate, due to increased boiler efficiency. Reducing this flow rate also
facilitatesadditionalSO2capturebyascrubberforcoalscontaininghighsulphur.

ReducesunitNOxemissionsbyincreasingcoalsheatingvalueandreducingtheflowratesofcoal
andprimaryairtopulverisers.

Increases mercury oxidation during the combustionprocess as a result of using drier coal. This
oxidisedmercury,whichiswatersoluble,canberemovedbythewetlimespraytowers.

Eliminatestheneedforpremiumalternativeheatsources(forexample,highpressuresteamor
additionalfuel)throughtheuseoflowgradeorwasteheat.

In the United States, 35 units, with a capacity totalling 15GW, operate using lignites with
moisture contents up to 40%; another 100GW facilities run on subbituminous Powder River
Basin coal with moderate levels of moisture. Over the next two decades, another 100GW
capacityshouldbeaddedthatwouldusehighmoisturelignites.Iftheexisting15GWcapacityis
fittedwithpredryingtoreducecoalmoistureby10percentagepoints,theCO2emissionscould
be reduced by over 10milliontonnes (Mt) annually; with the added benefits of reducing
emissions of NOx, SO2 and mercury. Drying to a lower moisture content with lowgrade heat
wouldreduceCO2emissionsevenfurther.
AsubstantialamountofR&Dworkhasbeenundertakenondryinghighmoisturecoals,notably
in Australia, Germany, Russia and the United States. Recent work on the development of pre
dryingprocessesissummarisedinthefollowingsections.

Steamfluidisedbeddrying
As already discussed, highmoisture coals are prone to spontaneous combustion when dried.
Theyshouldpreferablybedriedintheabsenceofoxygenor,alternatively,atalowoxygenlevel
at lower temperatures, i.e. less than 50C in an inert medium such as steam, which is readily
availableinapowerstation(Figure7).
In a steam fluidisedbed dryer, raw coal is fluidised by steam, and heat is supplied through
immersedtubesusinghightemperaturesteam.Usually,atemperaturegradientofaround50C
betweentheheatingsteamandthedryerbedispreferredtoensureanoptimumlevelofdrying
anddryingtime.Thismeansthatfordryingtobeaccomplishedatatmosphericpressure(around
100Csaturationtemperatureinthebed),theheatingsteamisataround5bar.Thissteamcan
potentiallybesuppliedfromlowpressureturbinesinacoalfiredplant.Steamdryingunderwent
extensivetestinganddevelopmentinGermany,andtoalesserextentAustralia,between1990
and2002(vonBargen,2007).Astandalonedryerhasbeendemonstratedat170t/hrofrawcoal
feedinGermany.

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure7Generalschematicofsteamfluidisedbeddrying

Page|33

Source:RWEPower.

Variations of the process shown in Figure7 are possible, e.g. the vapour compressor may be
completely dispensed with and the vapour either released into the atmosphere or used for
thermalrecuperation.Insuchacase,theheatingsteam,whichisintheimmersedcoil,couldbe
sourcedfromthesteamcycleoftheplant.
The volume of the dryer and the level of drying that can be achieved in a steam fluidisedbed
dryerdependonanumberoffactors,including:

Theconditionsofthesteamusedforheating;

Theparticlesizeofrawcoalfeed,whichwouldinturnaffectthedryingtime;

Thefluidisationvelocity,whichisimportanttoensureoptimalcontactbetweentheheating
steamandtheparticles.

SteamfluidisedbeddryingdevelopmentworkinGermany
Processdesignsforlignitedryingthatcanreducetheenergypenaltyareclearlydesirable.RWE
havedevelopedaproprietarydryingsystem,theWTAprocesswherebyrawcoal(upto80mm)
ismilledtoafinegrain(0mmto2mm),whichisthendriedinasteamfluidisedbed.Useoffine
grain coal for drying reduces the size and, therefore, the cost of the dryer. It also reduces the
steamrequiredtomaintainfluidisationandrequiresslightlylowersteamconditionsthanwould
bethecasefordryingcoarsercoal.Sixtysixpercentoftheresultingdriedcoalislessthan90m
particlesize,andlessthan9%greaterthan1mmparticlesize(Klutzetal.,2006).
RWE is undertaking a largescale demonstration of the WTA process at one of their coalfired
power station units, Niederaussem K. Results indicate that the unit achieves a much better
efficiencythanpreviousligniteunitsbecauseoftheefficiencymaximisingmeasuresoftheplants
BoAoroptimisedefficiencytechnologysystem(Figure8).

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure8WTAlignitedryingincomparisonwithconventionalsystem

Page|34

Source:RWEPower.

TheNiederaussemplant,where25%ofUnitKsinputfuelisbeingtreated,isdesignedtoreduce
the coalmoisturecontentfromabout50%tobetween10%and18%,priortofeedingintothe
mills (Figure9). Energy is saved by feeding only lowgrade heat (120C), in the form of low
pressuresteam,tofluidiseanddirectlydrythecoal,andbyrecoveringmuchofthelatentheat
fromtheliberatedsteamandcooledsteamfromfluidisationinafeedwaterheater.
When operating, this process should increase the efficiency of Niederaussem K by around one
percentagepoint.Whenappliedtothefullcoalflowtotheplant,itwouldbeexpectedtoraise
efficiencyby aroundfourpercentagepoints.Thiswouldraisetheefficiencyoftheoverall plant
fromitsexistingdesignefficiencyof43.2%(LHV,net),alreadyworldclassforalignitefiredpower
station, to 47.2% (LHV, net). Subject to satisfactory performance, the drying plant would be
scaleduptofitafullscalecoalfiredunit.Ithasbeenestimatedthatthefullcoalpredryingplant
wouldresultinanincrementalinvestmentcostofEUR70/kW.
Figure9WTAdemonstrationlignitedryingplantonNiederaussemK

Source:RWEPower.

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

The WTA technology is also being demonstrated at the Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria,
Australia(Innocenzi,2008).AWTAdrierisbeingretrofittedtoanexisting200MWeunittodry
50% of the original feed of highmoisture coal, with the intention of reducing the moisture
contentfromabout60%to12%.Thedriedcoalwouldthenbecofiredwith50%highmoisture
coalintotheboiler.Ifallthecoalfeedweretobepredriedfromitscurrentlevelof60%to12%,
theresultingefficiencygaincouldbeintheregionof4percentagepoints.
Page|35

FluidisedbeddryingdevelopmentatGreatRiverEnergy,NorthDakota
Typically,about45%ofthefuelheatinaconventionalpulverisedcoalfiredpowerplantislostin
the condenser and another 20% exits the stack. At Great River Energy (GRE), the lignite fuel
enhancementsystem(LFES)isbeingdemonstrated,whichuseswasteheattodryfuelbeforeitis
fed into the boiler. The process exploits this lowgrade heat, which otherwise has little use
(Figure10).
Figure10Aschematicofthelignitefuelenhancementsystem,whichuseswasteheatfromcondenser
waterandfluegas

Source:GreatRiverEnergy.

IntheLFES,lowtemperaturehotair(asopposedtosteaminWTA)fluidisesandheatsthelignite
to remove moisture. The air stream is cooled and humidified as it flows upward through the
fluidisedbed.Theamountofmoisturethatcanberemovedislimitedbythedryingcapacityof
theairstream,whichissupplementedbyaninbedhotwatercoil.
GRE tested a number of lignites in a 2t/h pilotscale dryer to evaluate the drying potential of
differentfeedstocks.Testsconfirmedtheviabilityofcoaldryingandprovidedabasisforalarger
scale demonstration under the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). The CCPIfunded project
progressed in phases (US DOE, 2008). In the first phase, a 115tonnes/h prototype capable of
dryingupto25%ofthelignitefedtoCoalCreekStations546MWUnit2wasdesigned,builtand
successfully tested. In the second phase, GRE designed four fullscale (135t/h) dryers able to
supply100%ofUnit2sfuelneeds.
Construction of the fullscale dryer and a major overhaul of the boiler, turbine, and scrubber
went ahead. The fullscale integrated fourdryer system is designed to reduce the moisture
contentofallcoalburnedat theplant by8.5 percentagepoints,from38.5%.Suchareduction

PowerGenerationfromCoal

OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

wasexpectedtoreduceNOxemissionsby10%,SO2emissionsby10%to15%,mercuryemissions
by15%to20%,andCO2emissionsby2%(GollakotaandBullinger,2007).

Mechanicalthermalexpression(MTE)
Page|36

TheMTEprocessremovesmoisturefromcoal(dewaters)withoutevaporation,buildingonwork
undertakenattheUniversityofDortmundandatDiffenbacher(Straussetal.,1999)inthelate
1990s.Itwasdemonstratedthatifcoalisheatedto150Cto200C,i.e.atsaturationpressureto
preventevaporation,thewaterincoalcanbesqueezedoutbyapplyingmechanicalpressure
(Figure11). Raising the temperature makes the coal easier to deform under compression and
makesthewatermoremobilebyreducingitsviscosityandsurfacetension.
Figure11ProcessflowdiagramoftheMTEProcessthepressshowninhorizontalorientation

Source:Nethercote,2008.

DevelopmentworkinAustralia
AsubstantialamountofR&DworkhadbeenundertakenoverthelasttwodecadesinAustralia
onMTEdewateringbythenowdisbandedCooperativeResearchCentreforCleanPowerfrom
Lignite.Thisincludedworkatbenchscale,followedbysuccessfuldevelopmentworkatthe1t/h
scale (Huynh et al., 2005; McIntosh and Huynh, 2005), which established the effect of process
variables(pressure,temperature,coaltype,durationofheatingandcompression)ontheextent
ofdewateringandthroughput.Numeroustestswerecarriedoutincontinuousandcyclingbatch
mode. With Victorian brown coals from the Latrobe Valley, it was demonstrated that
approximately 70% of the original coal water could be removed at around 200C and at
moderate compression pressures of 60 to 110bar. The throughput was found to be strongly
dependent on the compression time required to dewater the coal to a specified moisture
content and also depended on coal type. During the development process, components were
extensivelytestedandproved.A15tonne/hrigwasdesigned,constructedandoperatedatthe
Loy Yang Power (a utility) site in Victoria using funding from the Commonwealth and state
governments and the Latrobe Valley generators (Nethercote, 2008). The test plant used low
gradesteamfromthepowerstationtoheatthecoaltoapproximately200C;thecoalwasthen
squeezedinahydraulicchambertoapproximately60bar(Figure12).

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure12Photographofthedriedproductfromthe15t/hMTERig

Page|37

Source:Nethercote,2008.

AdvantagesoftheMTEprocessarenotlimitedtoefficiencyimprovementwhenthedriedcoalis
burnt,butunlikeotherdryingprocesses,theprocessalsoallowsforthecaptureoftheextracted
water. The process of removing the moisture from the coal through squeezing may also have
otherbenefits.Earlyindicationsarethattheamountofsaltleftinthedriedcoalmaybereduced
after being washed out as part of the water removal operation. This would result in reduced
foulingandmuchlongerboileroperatingtimesbetweencleans,particularlyforsaltycoals.Itis
claimedthat theuseofdriedcoalfromthe MTEprocess(Figure12)wouldreduce the physical
boilersizebyapproximately65%,andsoreducethecapitalcosts.
If the tests at the 15t/h scale are successful, it will still be necessary to scaleup the process
further to fit with large (>500MW) size boilers. There is ongoing cooperation between
government and utilities to accelerate the demonstration of the MTE process at a commercial
scale.

R&Dneedsforcoaldrying
Coalpredryingtechnologies,oncecommercialised,willmakethevastresourceoflowrankcoals
ofvaryingmoisturecontentsmuchmoreattractiveforutilisationinnewunits.Itislikelythatpre
drying would still be carried out close to the power stations to avoid problems relating to
spontaneouscombustion.
Themajorandimmediateneedsfordevelopmentofdryingare:

areliablefeedingsystemathighpressure,>25bar,forhighmoisturecoals;and

dryingoffinecoalparticlesusingwasteheatorlowgradesteam.
While both of these requirements are being addressed to varying extents, there is an urgent
need to test the technologies at fullscale on a coalfired power plant. Incentives are also
requiredtoacceleratethedevelopmentandcommercialisationofcoalpredryingtechnologiesto
fullscale.Internationalcooperationisalsoimportantamongtechnologydevelopersandutilities
thatusehighmoisturecoals.

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

3.DevelopmentsinMajorComponents
Thissectionexaminesthedevelopmentofmajorcomponentsofcoalfiredpowersystems.Apart
fromthesectiondealingwithsteamturbines,itshouldbenotedthatthecomponentsreviewed
are only relevant to PC plant, i.e. pulveriser subsystems and the ignition system. The
Page|38 developmentofmajorcomponentsrelatedtootherprocesses,e.g.foranIGCC,isdescribedin
Chapter1.

Developmentinsteamturbines
Thesteamturbineisoneofthekeycomponentsinapowerplant,andisoneoftheareaswhere
significant improvements can be made towards plant efficiency. A continual rising trend in the
efficiency of steam turbines has followed the increasing boiler capacities and the increasing
number of feed water heating and steam reheat stages. The application in recent years of
computational fluid dynamics has led to improvements in efficiency and these have also been
significantlyassistedbythefollowingmeans(Watanabeetal.,2003):

Improvement in the thermodynamic efficiency attained by increasing the temperature and


pressureatwhichheatisaddedtotheturbine.

Improvementinmechanicalefficiencyobtainedbyreducingaerodynamicsandleakagelosses
as the steam expands through the turbine. This has been achieved mainly through the
development of high performance sealing, which can significantly reduce steam leakage
throughtheglandsealsandbladetip.

Developmentofhighperformancereactionblades,impulsebladesandlowpressureblades,
thepointatwhichmostofthelossoccurs.
ThoughtheresultsshowninFigure13aresomewhatdated,theyillustrateveryclearlythetrend
of heat rate development (efficiency increase) through advanced turbine blade design
(Schaarschmidtetal.2005).Thebasesforsuchimprovementsincludednewbladedesign,aswell
assubstantialoptimisationinotherturbineareassuchassealingandcomponentsthatdetermine
flow path (e.g. valves, steam inlets and outlets). The most significant achievements of this
development were at two conventional lignitefired power plants in Germany (Boxberg and
Niederaussem).AtBoxberg,aturbineheatrateof7427kJ/kWh(kilojoules/kilowatthours)was
reached,equivalenttoaturbogeneratorefficiencyof48.5%.
The size of steam turbines has also grown considerably during these developments. For 50Hz
cycles, the limit is currently around 1100MWe turbine size. It is important to note that, in
general,thespecificcapitalandoperatingcostsofapowerstationdecreasewithincreasingunit
size,includingthesizeoftheturbines.

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure13Trendofheatratedevelopmentthroughadvancedturbinebladedesign

Page|39

Source:Schaarschmidtetal.2005.

Dynamicclassifierinpulverisers
In most utility boilers, coal particles have one or two seconds residence time for complete
burnout. Incomplete burnout results in carbon loss and, hence, in a loss of plant efficiency.
Coarse particles of coal do not burn as quickly, easily or cleanly as fine particles. As they take
longertoburn,coarseparticlesraiseaboilersaverageNOxemissionsandarealsodetrimentalto
the NOx control system. They result in agglomeration and deposition of slag,making the boiler
vulnerabletofouling.
Pulverisers traditionally had only a static classifier to screen out coarse particles. Dynamic
classifiers, however, can increase both the fineness of the particles and the capacity of the
pulveriser. Retrofitting dynamic pulverisers results in a more complete burnout of the coal
particles.Thusfar,dynamicclassifiershavebeenretrofittedtoseveralpowerstations,notablyin
theUnitedKingdom(SommerladandDugdale,2007),GermanyandChina.

Plasmaignitionsystem
Inboilers,oilistypicallyusedforthestartupandbuildingoftheloadtoalevelofaround30%.
The ability to startup using coal directly, with no or little oil support, would reduce operating
costs.AplasmaignitionsystemhasbeendevelopedbyChinaGuodian,andhasreportedlybeen
applied in several units up to 1000MW unit capacity. It is claimed that the plasma ignition
systemcanhandledifferenttypesofcoal,i.e.lowvolatile,bituminousandlignites(Ren,2008),
andcanbeutilisedinbothwallfiredandcornerfiredboilers.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Box3Keydevelopmentsininstrumentationandcontrol
Improvinginstrumentationandcontrolisaneffectivewaytoincreasetheefficiencyofpowerplants
(Nalbandian, 2004). A digital control system, with instrumentation and control systems that
automatically conducts performance analyses, process monitoring and optimisation functions, can
increasecycleefficiency.Advancedcontroltechnologiescananalyseforoptimisingboilerandturbine
operations at various loads, to maximise plant efficiency with fewer trips, leading to efficiency
improvementsofbetween5%and10%(FerrerandKishinevsky,2008).Theaveragelifeofamodern
instrumentationandcontrolsystemvariesfrom10to15yearsforPCbasedsystemsandfrom15to
20years for proprietarydistributed control systems. The cost of upgradingan instrumentation and
controlsysteminacoalfiredplantisestimatedtorangefrombetweenUSD1milliontoUSD6million
(FerrerandKishinevsky,2008).

Page|40

Digitalcontrolcanalsoassistintighterenvironmentalcontrolandloweroverallcosts.Thevolumeof
information acquired by a digital busbased system and intelligent field devices can be used to
optimise plant operations and maintenance activities, and avoid unplanned outages. The next
technologicaladvancetoaffectplantperformanceisbelievedtobewirelesstechnology,whichwill
reportedly have additional, positive impacts on reliability and availability (Beedie and Brownlee,
2008).

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OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

4.OutlookforDevelopment
Plantefficiencyimprovement
Inprevioussections,meansofimprovingtheefficiencyofexistingpowerplantswereidentified. Page|41
AnindicationofthepotentialforimprovementfromthesemeasuresisshowninTable5.Someof
these opportunities, and the extent to which efficiency might be increased, depend on the
conditionofaplant.Itisimportantto recognisethatnotalloftheseopportunitieswillexistin
any specific plant, and that not all of the improvements expected as a result of their
implementationwillarise.Inmanycases,thedegreeofimprovementwillbesitespecificandwill
dependontheplantdesignandthetypeofcoalinuse.
Table5Summaryofefficiencyimprovementsthatcanbemadeinanexistingplant
Action

Typical efficiency
improvements,
percentage-point
(HHV)
up to 1

Turbine and steam cycle efficiency


improvements

Improved turbine blade design, retrofit of modern


blade design into old turbines
Improvement to condenser performance and
turbine back pressure
Modification to feed water cycle
Improvement to turbine gland sealing
performance

up to 0.8

Boiler improvements

Reduction of boiler exit temperature and air


leakage
Reduction of dry flue gas losses, and auxiliary
power consumption
Upgrade of control system
Addition of air heater surface, if possible

up to 0.5
up to 2
up to 0.2

up to 1.2
up to 0.5
up to 2.0

Source:Boyd,2004;AGO,2000.

Powergenerationefficiency
AlargenumberofSCandUSCPCpowerstationsarecurrentlyoperating,underconstructionand
planned. With stricter regulatory requirements, particularly relating to CO2 and mercury
emissions,theshareofSCandUSCsystemswillalmostcertainlyincreasesubstantiallyoverthe
nextfewyears.
Projectionsonprogressinefficiencyandemissionsforcoalfiredpowergenerationshowsteady
improvementto2020andbeyond(Figure14)(VGB,2008).Withappropriatepolicyandfinancial
supportfordemonstration,VGBprojectthatthenetefficiencyofstateoftheartunitsfiringhard
orbituminouscoalscouldreach50%LHV(oraround48%HHV)by2015.Givenprogressoverthe
pasttwoorthreeyears,itisratheroptimistictoexpectacommercial700CPCcombustionplant
tobeoperatingby2015;adatebeyond2020isperhapsmorelikely.Accordingly,thelargescale
deploymentofCCSisalsolikelytobelaterthanportrayedinthefigure.

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OECD/IEA2011

OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Figure14Efficiencyimprovementpotentialofhardcoalfiredplants

Page|42

Source:VGB,2010.

For highmoisture lignitefired plants, these figures will be up to 5percentagepoints lower,


depending on the moisture content in the coal. This figure may improve, given successful
developmentsinefficientcoaldryingtechnologyusingeitherwasteheatorlowergradesteam.
Forhighashcoals,thedevelopmentofalowenergyashcleaningtechnologythatrequireslow
water consumption is essential. The operating experience of newly built supercritical units in
India will influence the timing and frequency of wider penetration of such units for highash
coals.
PlanswererecentlyputonholdforE.ONtobuildtheworld'sfirsthardcoalfiredunit(550MWe)
with a net efficiency of over 50% (LHV). The unit, due to have been located at Wilhelmshaven
(Germany),wouldhavebuiltontheAD700programme,withsteamparametersof350barand
700C. Measures such as heat recovery and optimisation of the low pressure turbine and pre
heatingoffeedwaterwerealsobeingconsideredinthedesign.Successfuldemonstrationofthe
unitwouldhaveledthewayformoresuchunitsforhardcoals,andalsopossiblyforlowerrank,
predried,lowashandnonagglomeratingcoals.
SeveralbarriersneedtobeaddressedifIGCCistobemorewidelydeployed.IGCCisperceivedto
have operating risks that are not fully quantified. Operation and maintenance costs are less
certain as fewer IGCC reference plants are operating. At its present stage of maturity, IGCCs
capitalcostsarehigherandcapitalavailabilityislower.Partlytoaddresstheseconcerns,andto
provideaviablealternativetoPCfiredunits,severalsuppliergroupingshavebeenformed;these
are offering reference IGCC plant designs on a turnkey basis with guarantees on cost,
constructiontime,availabilityandefficiency.
ForCFBC,itisverylikelyasignificantmarketwillemerge.Successfuldemonstrationofthefirst
supercriticalCFBCunitinLagisza(Poland)providesanimportantmilestone.

Outlookofongoingdevelopmentsinpowergeneration
ConsiderableprogresshasbeenmadeinthedevelopmentofhighlyefficientSCandUSCPCfired
technology. The current stateoftheart USC plants operate at steam conditions of 600C to

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

620Candover250bar,resultinginefficienciesof45%to46%(LHV,net)onbituminouscoalsin
some parts of the world. Unit sizes for such plants have reached 1100MWe. If ongoing
developments in materials succeed, efficiencies of the best PC plants can approach 50% (LHV,
net) by 2020. There is a need to execute effective policies to fasttrack such technology
developmentstowardsdemonstrationanddeployment.
Atthesametime,progressisbeingmadeinthedevelopmentofCFBCplants.Thesecanbetter Page|43
utilise lowrank fuels and result in lower emissions of conventional pollutants. The first
supercritical CFBC plant, at 460MWe capacity, was commissioned at Lagisza (Poland) in 2009,
anddesignsforevenlargerunitsexist.ForCFBC,therewillcontinuetobeasignificantmarket,
particularlyforlowergradecoals,highsulphurcoals,opportunityfuelsandbiomass.Successful
operation of the SC unit at Lagisza is likely to lead to the further construction of such units in
othercountries,notablyChina.
AsfarasIGCCpowergenerationisconcerned,therearejustsixoperationalcoalbasedunitsin
theworld.However,anumberofnewprojectsarebeingdeveloped,e.g.inCanada,China,the
European Union, India and the United States; these are at different stages of planning and
construction. For IGCC to be deployed more widely, immediate concerns such as cost and
availability factors must be addressed. Concerted cooperation among technology vendors and
utilities,andclarityinemissionguidelinesandincentivesfromgovernmentsarerequiredifIGCC
is to be deployed more widely. Technically, IGCC is well placed to embrace CO2 capture. The
additionalcostwillbesignificant,butisgenerallyexpectedtobelowerthanforPCsystems.
Around45%oftheworldscoaliseitherhighmoistureorhighash,resultingoftenininefficient
power plants using these coals. There is a strong need to develop less energyintensive coal
dryingtechnologies.WhilesomeeffortsincoaldryingareinprogressinAustralia,Germanyand
the United States, accelerating these efforts into largescale integrated demonstrations is
important. There is a similar need for the development of less energy and waterintensive
technology for coal beneficiation to reduce ash content. Success in developing more efficient
coaldryingandbeneficiationtechnologieswillpromotethewideruseofthelowgradecoalsin
eitherUSCPCorIGCCapplications.
Key R&D needs for all these technologies have been identified as have the barriers to wider
demonstration and successful deployment of technologies. The issue of CCS, which will impact
significantlyonbothexistingplantsandplantstobebuilt,isalsodiscussed.Atthecurrentstate
oftechnology,PCorCFBCunitsretrofittedwithCO2capturewillresultinanefficiencypenaltyof
upto12percentagepoints.BasedontheconceptofwhatconstitutesCCSready,itcanbeseen
thatmanyexistingPCplantsmaynotberetrofittedwithCO2capturebecausetheyaretoosmall
or too inefficient. High efficiency is likely to be a main criterion for CO2 capture retrofit to any
existing plant and, particularly if the uptake of CCS on a largescale should be delayed, high
efficiencyplantwillbeanimportantmeanstoreduceCO2emissions.
Units retrofitted with CO2 capture will certainly experience some decreased efficiency, which
wouldreduceoverallcapacityandresultinlostexportablegenerationcapacity.Thismaycreatea
need for new capacity to offset the loss. Based on the information on new builds around the
world,itappearsthatthemajorityareeitherSCorUSCplants.Itisconceivablethatthemajority
oftheseplantswouldbesuitableforCO2captureretrofit.By2030,itisestimatedthatupto30%
ofthefleetwouldberetrofittable,whilemostoftheremainingfleetmaynotbeCCSreadyand
wouldrequireassessmentforeitherupgradingtohighefficiencyorcompletereplacement.The
operability and flexibility of plants retrofitted for CCS needs to be assessed, in particular the
dynamicperformanceduringstartup,shutdownandchangingloadconditions.

PowerGenerationfromCoal

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OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

Oxyfueltechnology,whichcaninprinciplebeusedwithbothPCandCFBCunits,isundergoing
parallel development for CO2 capture. Vattenfalls PCbased pilot unit in Germany (30MWth)
entered commission in 2008 and is currently under test. A commercial scale of oxyfuel
combustionplantisplanned,basedonthetestingresultsofthepilotplant.In2010,theUSDOE
announced support to retrofit a 200MWe coal power plant in Illinois with advanced oxyfuel
Page|44 combustiontechnology.Inaddition,a30MWePCunitinAustraliaiscurrentlybeingretrofitted
todemonstrateoxyfiring.
RegardingthechoiceofIGCC,PCandCFBC,animportantissueisthemethodofselectionfornew
power plants. While there are proposals for further demonstration of IGCC, SC and USC
pulverisedcoalfiredpowergenerationplantscontinuetoformthemajorityofnewplantorders.
ThepossibilityremainsthatPCplantsmaybecomesoentrenchedthatIGCC,withorwithoutCCS,
maypenetratethemarketonlywhencoproductionofpowerandchemicalscanbeeconomically
demonstrated(Topperetal.,2007).

Keyconclusionsandthewayforward
Power plant construction and operation necessarily result from the worlds continued and
growing demand for energy. However, the technology deployed, the plant design and the
operational strategy are all commercial decisions based on the economics of producing and
supplyingthatenergytotheenduser.Thisinevitablymeansthattherewillbeapointatwhich
higherefficiencyandloweremissionscomeatacostthatcannotbejustified.Whereeconomic
andregulatoryconditionsexistwhichshiftthisbalanceconsistentlyinfavourofhigherefficiency
andloweremissions,improvementsbecomeacommercialimperativeandwillbecomeanormal
partofoperatingacompetitivebusiness.
The development of supercritical steam cycles with progressively higher steam temperatures,
combinedwithmodernplantdesignandautomation,providessignificantpotentialforefficiency
improvement and mitigation of CO2 emissions compared to existing coalfired plant. These
improvements will be realised through the progressive replacement of existing assets with
referencetoleadingpracticeplantdesigns.Thecombineduseofbiomassincoalfiredplantcould
also achieve better biomass utilisation compared to smaller scale, relatively inefficient pure
biomassboilers.
Though raising the efficiency and improving the performance of coalfired power generation
plant will provide substantial and important reductions in CO2 emissions over the next two
decades and beyond, the greatest reduction in specific CO2 emissions from coalfired plant will
eventually be realised through the application of CCS technology. Consideration of the basic
efficiency of the power plant will be a major factor in the economic viability of CCS. Potential
existsforevengreaterCO2reductionswhereCCSisappliedtocoalandbiomass.

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

AbbreviationsandAcronyms
BFBC

Bubblingfluidisedbedcombustion

BoA
CCPI

Lignitefired power plant with optimised engineering (German abbreviation for


BraunkohlenkraftwerkmitoptimierterAnlagentechnik)
Page|45
CleanCoalPowerInitiative

CCS

Carbon(orCO2)captureandstorage

CSLF

CarbonSequestrationLeadershipForum

CCSR

CCSready

CFBC

Circulatingfluidisedbedcombustion

CCTs

Cleanercoaltechnologies

CO

Carbonmonoxide

CO2

Carbondioxide

DCS

DistributedControlSystem

ENCAP

EnhancedCO2CaptureProject

EC

EuropeanCommission

FGD

Fluegasdesulphurisation

GHG

Greenhousegas

GRE

GreatRiverEnergy

H2O

Water

HHV

Higherheatingvalue

HP

Highpressure

IGCC

Integratedgasificationcombinedcycle

LCPD

LargeCombustionPlantDirective

LHV

Lowerheatingvalue

LP

LowPressure

MTE

MechanicalThermalExpression

NOx

Nitrogenoxides

O2

Oxygen

O&M

OperationandMaintenance

PC

Pulverisedcoal

R&D

Researchanddevelopment

RD&D

Research,developmentanddemonstration

SC

Supercritical

SCR

Selectivecatalyticreduction

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

SNCR

Selectivenoncatalyticreduction

SO2

Sulphurdioxide

USC

Ultrasupercritical

USDOE

USDepartmentofEnergy

Page|46

UnitsofMeasure
kg

Kilogramme

kJ

Kilojoule

kW

Kilowatt

kWh

Kilowatthours

MPa

Megapascal

MWth

Megawattsthermal

MWe

Megawattselectrical

GW

Gigawatt

MJ

Megajoule

Mt

Milliontonnes

Tonnes

Micrometre

OECD/IEA2011

OECD/IEA2011

PowerGenerationfromCoal
OngoingDevelopmentsandOutlook

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