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Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138

Published online 2 August 2016 in Wiley Online Library ( DOI: 10.1002/er.3608

Effects of coal characteristics to performance of a

highly efficient thermal power generation system based
on pressurized oxy-fuel combustion
Tefera Zelalem Tumsa1, Tae-Young Mun2, Uendo Lee1,2 and Won Yang1,2,*,†
Green Process and System Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UST), Cheonan-Si, Chungnam 331-882, South Korea
Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, Cheonan-Si, Chungnam 331-882, South Korea

Because of its fuel flexibility and high efficiency, pressurized oxy-fuel combustion has recently emerged as a promising
approach for efficient carbon capture and storage. One of the important options to design the pressurized oxy-
combustion is to determine method of coal (or other solid fuels) feeding: dry feeding or wet (coal slurry) feeding as well
as grade of coals. The main aim of this research is to investigate effects of coal characteristics including wet or dry feeding
on the performance of thermal power plant based on the pressurized oxy-combustion with CO2 capture versus atmospheric
oxy-combustion. A commercial process simulation tool (gCCS: the general carbon capture and storage) was used to sim-
ulate and analyze an advanced ultra-supercritical(A-USC) coal power plant under pressurized and atmospheric oxy-fuel
conditions. The design concept is based on using pure oxygen as an oxidant in a pressurized system to maximize the heat
recovery through process integration and to reduce the efficiency penalty because of compression and purification units.
The results indicate that the pressurized case efficiency at 30 bars was greater than the atmospheric oxy-fuel combustion
(base line case) by 6.02% when using lignite coal firing. Similarly, efficiency improvements in the case of subbituminous
and bituminous coals were around 3% and 2.61%, respectively. The purity of CO2 increased from 53.4% to 94% after
compression and purification. In addition, the study observed the effects of coal-water slurry using bituminous coal under
atmospheric conditions, determining that the net plant efficiency decreased by 3.7% when the water content in the slurry
increased from 11.12% to 54%. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
oxy-fuel combustion; pressurization; flue gas heat recovery; plant efficiency; process integration; coal characteristics

*Won Yang, Green Process and System Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UST), Cheonan-Si, Chungnam 331-882,
South Korea.


Received 16 February 2016; Revised 12 June 2016; Accepted 28 June 2016

1. INTRODUCTION removal of carbon from the fuel prior to combustion, and

oxy-combustion in which nearly pure oxygen (O2) is used
One possible mitigation strategy for the stabilization of at- for the combustion, which results in a high CO2 concentra-
mospheric greenhouse gas levels is carbon dioxide (CO2) tion in the flue gas. If the fuel is burned in pure O2, the
capture and storage. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is flame temperature is expected to increase. However,
a mechanism that captures and concentrates the CO2 re- CO2- and water (H2O)-rich flue gas can be recycled to
leased from power plants. Raising the current average the combustor to moderate the temperature.
global efficiency rate of coal-fired power plants from Similarly, the development of an advanced ultra-super
33% to 40% by utilizing off-the-shelf technology could re- critical (A-USC) oxy-fuel power plant could also signifi-
duce current CO2 emissions by two gigatons while creating cantly reduce greenhouse gases and pollutant emissions
affordable energy for economic development [1]. by increasing the power plant cycle efficiency and the rate
The purpose of capturing CO2 is to produce a concen- of CO2 capture by being able to withstand higher tempera-
trated stream of CO2 at a high pressure ready for storage. tures. A higher cycle efficiency requires less fuel consump-
Several techniques have been suggested to-date, including tion per unit of the plant output and results in lower levels
post-combustion capture in which CO2 is separated from of gas emissions. However, the combination of ultra-super
other components in the flue gas, pre-combustion with critical and oxy-fuel technologies introduces new technical

Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 127

T. Z. Tumsa et al. Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion

challenges, especially in the development of advanced One of the important design considerations in a pressur-
high temperature-resistant boiler materials. The adoption ized oxy-fuel combustion is coal feeding method – wet or
of an A-USC system with nickel (Ni)-based alloys is also dry feeding – which affects efficiencies of the boiler and
highly recommended for use with high-quality coals. the power plant. Most of the pulverized coal combustion
As previous studies have shown [2,3], oxy-fuel com- systems use dry feeding method for minimizing efficiency
bustion is based on burning coal with oxygen and recycled penalty caused by wet loss, but in case of entrained-flow
flue gases to produce CO2 and water vapor as the main coal gasification system, wet feeding can be used for pre-
components of the exhaust gas. Oxy-fuel combustion al- vention of overheating inside the reactor. Moreover, wet
lows for a much easier capture of CO2 from the exhaust feeding has more advantages in stable fuel handling. Espe-
gas by the flue gas condensation than in air combustion cially, in pressurized oxy-fuel combustion system, wet loss
in which nitrogen is the dominant component. In addition, of the boiler can be recovered in the FGC, which allows
flue gas has been mixed with pure oxygen to prevent wider fuel flexibility in the system. Low-grade fuels are
extreme temperature conditions and to concentrate the preferable for use in the advanced system even if they have
produced CO2. Similar systems that have previously been a higher moisture content.
studied for pressurized coal combustion have shown a The main aim of this work is to evaluate the effects of
reduction in the capture penalty. In the early stages, coal characteristics and coal feeding method on the effi-
Fassbinder [4] has investigated the effect of elevated ciency of an A-USC power plant based on the pressur-
pressure on power system efficiency and pollution control. ized oxy-fuel combustion, which has not been
Gazzino [5] also analyzed the pressurized oxy-combustion quantitatively studied in the previous researchers’ works.
of coal and found that both char combustion and It compares and quantifies the potential efficiency im-
convective heat transfer were improved when compared provement by implementing these combined effects for
to atmospheric pressure oxy-combustion. various coal types. The oxidant used was pure oxygen
ENEL has conducted a number of experimental studies without recycling flue gases unlike others works that
that show the advantages of using pressurized conditions had been conducted so far. In this study, pressurized
[6]. CANMET has also examined the pressurized oxy-coal oxy-combustion was analyzed at different operating
combustion system in terms of technical and economic pressures to investigate the effects of operating pressure
studies [7]. The overall change in efficiency because of on power consumption and efficiency improvement. An
pressurization was investigated by Hong et al. [8]. Their re- A-USC steam cycle with a single reheat steam was im-
sults showed that more latent heat was recovered in the flue plemented. The features and arrangements selected for
gas condenser (FGC), which improved the overall power steam generator are very likely to evolve from the current
plant efficiency by integrating heat with the power island. state-of-the-art-two-pass arrangement. The heat recovery
A dual reheat steam cycle was considered to maximize and steam generation (HRSG) unit was similar for both
the heat recovery. An in-depth part of this research investi- the pressurized and atmospheric (base case) combustion.
gated the effects of operating pressure on heat recovery. As There was no difference in the heat transfer section in
a result, the optimum pressure because of the enhanced both the base case and the pressurized case, which im-
heat recovery in the FGC was found to be 10 bars [9]. plies that convective heat transfer occurred in both cases.
Other studies conducted on the same pressurized power Another important consideration is the use of pure oxy-
plant by Hong et al. [9] that considered multi-process var- gen (95% O2, 2% N2, and 3% Ar) as an oxidant without
iables show that the optimum pressure is in the range of recycling flue gas. In addition, all previously considered
3.75–6.25 bars. Pressure drops were taken into consider- pressurized oxy-combustion systems have used recycled
ation both in the heat recovery section and the auxiliary flue gas as an oxidant mixing with pure oxygen in order
equipment along the recycled flue gas line to optimize to reduce the flame temperature. However, in this case
the system [10]. A pressurized oxy-combustion coal- the compressed oxygen was supplied from an air separa-
based power plant, focusing on a state of the art coal- tion unit (ASU) directly to the combustor. Thus, the
based power plant with a single reheat steam cycle, has volume of flue gas flow was reduced, and, indirectly,
previously been analyzed [11]. Radiative heat transfer the size of the unit operations involved in the process
was taken into consideration in atmospheric oxy-fuel was reduced. Nevertheless, the flame temperature might
combustion, whereas convective heat transfer was taken be high for a high rank coal in a pure oxy-fired environ-
into consideration in pressurized oxy-fuel combustion. ment, which requires a boiler material that resists high
Recent research on the process design of staged pressur- temperatures and pressure.
ized oxy-combustion (SPOC) for carbon capture using Oxy-combustion is often considered an alternative to
Aspen Plus software has shown an observation of a retrofitting a pre-existing coal-fired power plant to take ad-
roughly 6% increment in net plant efficiency [12]. The vantage of already invested capital. However, existing
process uses pure oxygen with recycle as an oxidant, plants might be old and less efficient with increased losses
and the fuel was supplied stage-wise using multiple during carbon capture. Therefore, it should be pointed out
boilers in series. The pressurized oxy-fuel developed so that even if an existing power plant has served as the basis
far was based on supercritical and ultra-supercritical of the process design, a process feasibility study for a new
steam cycle. A-USC O2-fired power plant was implemented in this

128 Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/er
Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion T. Z. Tumsa et al.

paper. Process integration of the steam cycle, ASU, and through the oxygen preheater to raise the temperature of
compression and purification unit (CPU) was also the oxygen stream in the case of atmospheric conditions
investigated. (base case). The inlet temperature of oxygen to the com-
bustor was dependent on the compressor pressure [13].
Various performance parameters, such as the auxiliary
2. METHODOLOGY power requirement, the net power produced, and the plant
efficiency, have been presented based on simulation
A power plant design and analysis was performed using results. The heat recovery increment because of pressuriza-
the gCCS v3.6 (general carbon capture and storage) tion was recovered in a FGC through integration with the
simulator. It is an equation-oriented model that feed water after passing through the final feed water heater
covered majority part of the power plant, such as the to raise the temperature of the feed water. Low-pressure
ASU, CPU and the steam power plant. In this process feed water heaters (LPFWH) were also replaced by inte-
simulation, IAPWS-95 physical property method was ap- grating heat recovered from the FGC. The efficiency im-
plied for utility fluid (the water/steam side), whereas the provements achieved by pressurization were evaluated.
Peng–Robinson cubic equation of state was applied for The plant efficiencies using different fuels were compared
the boiler side, ASU, and CPU. Three main reactions had based on a similar cycle efficiency. The purity of CO2
been carried in the combustor between pulverized coal achieved after compression and purification was compared
and oxidants, which gives CO2, H2O, and SO2 as a main with the saline reservoir sequestration limits [14].
product with other unreacted reactant and impurities. Main
design conditions of a combustor must be specified such as
design efficiency, exit oxygen concentration, and steam 3. PROCESS OVERVIEW OF
condition (temperature and pressure). OXY-FUEL COMBUSTION
The steam cycle performance data were used to
simulate the boiler side based on steam and water flow The oxy-fuel combustion power plant in this study is
parameters. The steam cycle was designed to generate similar to recent developments in state-of-the-art oxy-
1000 MWe. The ASU and CPU were also simulated based combustion, with the exception of the recycled flue gas
on this capacity. A low rank coal with high moisture con- stream. The process flow diagram shown in Figure 1 con-
tent (lignite coal) was used in the simulation of pressurized sists of the main primary units including a cryogenic
oxy-fuel combustion as a reference case. The main ASU, a power island, a pressurized combustor, and a
simulation parameters of the water/steam side and the purification/compression system. ESP was used to remove
boiler side were kept constant to perform a comparative particulates. Pure oxygen (95%) was used to burn different
assessment of the pressurized and the base case under the types of coal to produce high CO2 and H2O contents in the
same parameters. flue gas, which was helpful to recover more latent heat and
The main controlled operational variables were the to capture CO2. An A-USC steam condition of 375 bars
main steam temperatures and oxygen concentrations in and 700 °C/720 °C superheater/reheater temperatures, re-
the flue gas. In this case, the reference oxygen concentra- spectively, were proposed for this study. The type of boiler
tion in the flue gas was maintained to 3-mole% [13]. In material is an important consideration in ensuring that the
the case of the pressurized study, the oxygen was supplied boiler can withstand high temperatures and pressure be-
to the combustor at a relatively high pressure and tempera- cause of a high adiabatic flame temperature. In addition,
ture by the compressor corresponding to the operating an A-USC power plant has higher efficiency than a super-
pressure of the combustor. critical plant, which results in a reduction in CO2 emissions
The pressurization concept arises from the need to re- (kg/MWe power generated) and reduces the efficiency pen-
duce the energy penalty resulting from the CPU and at alty of carbon capture [15].
the same time utilize additional heat recovery because of
the pressurization. The pressurization increases the dew 3.1. The ASU and pressurized combustor
point of the flue gas during condensation because the par-
tial pressure of water is increased. The dew points at differ- The ASU is one of the most energy intensive units in the
ent partial pressures of water were determined using the system, which leads to an energy penalty and an efficiency
Multi Flash 4.1 software, which is helpful in evaluating reduction. The ASU in this simulation model was repre-
the behavior of complex fluids. The acid dew point deter- sented by one block diagram followed by an oxygen com-
mination is also helpful in minimizing corrosion in the heat pressor with 90% isentropic efficiency. The oxygen stream
recovery, steam generation, and FGC tubes. The flue gas from the ASU was compressed to the required pressure.
exiting the HRSG was required to be at least 20 °C above The inlet temperature of oxygen varies with compressor
the acid condensation temperature. The ASU and CPU pressure. In the case of atmospheric combustion, the
simulation parameters were also maintained in each case. oxygen stream was preheated to the minimum inlet tem-
The boiler heat released from combustion was absorbed perature of 200 °C [5]. The air separation was carried out
in the superheaters, reheater, and the economizer of HRSG at atmospheric conditions. Similarly, the specific energy
section. After exiting the economizer, flue gas passed consumption per unit kg of O2 produced to achieve 95%

Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 129
DOI: 10.1002/er
T. Z. Tumsa et al. Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion

Figure 1. Process flow diagram of the pressurized oxy-fuel combustion system.

purity of oxygen was approximately 0.173 kWh/kg by cooling water circulating in the outer layer of the combus-
considering energy efficiency improvements because of tor. The temperature of the flue gas was also found to be
heat integration according to technology developers [16]. higher than in the air-fired case in the pure oxygen environ-
The oxygen flow rate to the combustor and the power re- ment. The combustor flue gas temperature can be
quired for the CPU were determined based on the excess maintained by using the proper boiler material, which can
oxygen content in the flue gas. However, the flow rate withstand high pressure and temperatures during high rank
varies with other factors such as the combustor efficiency coal combustion. The addition of water to the combustor in
and the inlet feed water temperature. the form of coal slurry reduces the temperature of the flue
The pressurized combustor used in this process is simi- gas to the heat regeneration unit. Lignite coal, which is a
lar to that used by Hong et al. [7], in which the heat transfer type of low rank coal, was used as a reference case to in-
was carried out in the heat recovery section of the boiler vestigate the effects of pressurization on the efficiency of
(economizer, reheater, and superheater) convectively. The the plant in comparison with subbituminous and bitumi-
efficiency of the combustor was maintained at 87.5% nous coals. The ultimate data analysis for selected coals
(reference) in the case of lignite coal [17]. The base case are outlined in Table I. The total power consumed by the
and the pressurized combustors were assumed adiabatic; pulverizers was based on power consumed per unit kg of
no heat should be rejected from the combustor by the selected coals fed to the combustor. Leakage is another

Table I. Data analysis of selected coals.

Coal type
Composition Lignite[22] Subbituminous[29] Bituminous[29]

Moisture (wt%) 52.0 27.42 11.12

Ash (wt%) 6.50 4.50 9.70
Carbon (wt%) 29.1 50.23 63.75
Nitrogen (wt%) 0.30 0.65 1.25
Hydrogen (wt %) 2.47 3.41 4.50
Sulfur (wt%) 1.43 0.22 2.51
Chlorine (wt%) 0.01 0.02 0.29
Oxygen (wt%) 8.19 13.55 6.88
HHV(MJ/kg) 12.2 20.47 27.13
LHV(MJ/kg) 10.40 19.0 25.84

130 Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/er
Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion T. Z. Tumsa et al.

factor in air-fired combustion. However, it was not consid- Table II. Main simulation parameters.
ered in this study because pure oxygen at a high pressure Parameters Values Units
was supplied to the combustor without preheating during
pressurized combustion. Air separation unit (ASU)
Oxygen purity 95 %
Compressor pressure Varied bar
3.2. Turbine island
Oxygen delivery Depends on °C
The scheme of an A-USC steam cycle was developed temperature compressor pressure
based on supercritical steam cycle condition. The turbine Boiler side
consists of high-pressure turbines (HP), intermediate- Combustor pressure 1–30 bar
Combustor efficiency 87.5 %
pressure turbines (IPTs), and low-pressure turbines (LPTs)
in which all are connected to a generator (98.8%) with a com-
Oxygen in flue gas 3 %
mon shaft. [18]. Superheated steam leaves the HRSG section
Carbon content in ash 5 %
at a pressure of 375 bars and temperature of 700 °C. At
Turbine island
HPT section, part of steam entered to high pressure feed
Main steam temperature/ 700/375 °C/bar
water heaters (HPFWH). In addition, some part of the pressure
steam also reheated to 720 °C before entering to IPT sec- Reheater temperature 720 °C
tion. Each HPT and IPT section has two extractions to Feed water heater (FWH) 7 No.
feed water heaters systems, while LPT section has four- Inlet flow rate of 654 Kg/s
extraction points. The water is subcooled to 32 °C in the feed water at 1 bar
condenser operating at 0.05 bar [19]. The condensed wa- Inlet temperature of 278.15 °C
ter pumped through low pressure feed water heater feed water
(LPFWH) and fed to the deaerator operating at 8.5 bars Condenser pressure 0.05 bar
to remove undesired steam constituents. The water leav- Compression and
ing the deaerator is reheated to 278.15 °C before it was purification (CPU)
supplied to HRSG section. In order to optimize the ther- First compressor pressure 15 bar
mal integration with the other cycles, the steam extracted Second compressor 33 bar
from turbines is replaced by flue gas thermal heat recov- pressure
ery system in the FGC. The quantity of steam required Warm/cold MHX outlet 30/54 °C
for each feed water heater determined based on a drain temperature
cooler approach temperature of 5.6 °C between the cold Final pressure 110 bar
and hot streams. The main simulation parameters used
in this power plant design are shown in Table II.

3.3. The CPU

water, and, as a result, a high amount of cooling water
The CO2 compression and purification process consisted of was consumed from the cooling tower [22]. Cooling is al-
another set of unit operations, which contributed to the en- ways followed by a flash drum to separate the condensate
ergy penalty and efficiency reduction. Unlike the ASU, the and vapor, including the inert impurities.
CO2 CPU and pressurized oxy-fuel boiler have yet to be Partially condensed gas was fed to the dehydrator to re-
commercialized. However, technological advancements move water and other gases, where it could increase the
in this area have been made. A large number of pilot scale CO2 recovery rate to above 90%. The CO2-rich stream
tests have been carried out to achieve sufficient informa- from the dehydrator was then fed to a cold box where the
tion for the full-scale development of an oxy-fuel power CO2 stream in the flue gas was cooled by heat exchange
plant [20]. with the returning superheated CO2 and impurity streams.
The flue gas from the heat recovery section of the boiler The cold box was represented using dual multi-heat
passed through the FGC where it can be cooled to 40 °C. In exchangers in the GCCS simulation model based on the
the FGC, the latent heat of flue gas could be recovered and CO2-rich stream dew point temperature and pressure
transferred to the boiler feed water as a heat sink. The wa- drop. The inert impurities and gas removal was carried
ter in the flue gas was condensed as it passed through the out using the principle of phase separation at a temperature
water cooler and was separated in the flush drum. The of 54 °C, at which point CO2 is condensed into liquid
CO2 content in the flue gas was around 85% before com- form [23]. The concentrated flue gas fed to the first warm
pression. The CO2-rich stream was then compressed to heat exchanger was cooled to 30 °C. The flue gas vapor
33 bars using the first compressor train [21]. The first com- from the flash drum was cooled further in the cold heat ex-
pressor contained two stages. In the first stage, the flue gas changer to 54 °C. The refrigeration for plant operation
was compressed to 15 bars then after cooling and conden- was obtained by evaporating liquid CO2. The flue gas,
sation it was compressed to 33 bars in the second stage. CO2-rich stream (stream from the first flash drum) was re-
The heat of compression can be used to preheat the feed duced by 15 bars using a throttle valve. The CO2-rich

Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 131
DOI: 10.1002/er
T. Z. Tumsa et al. Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion

stream from the second flash drum after the warm cycle was
also reduced to 25 bars to function as a refrigerant to cool
the fresh dry gas from the dehydrator. Finally, the CO2-rich
flue gas was then compressed to 110 bars for transportation
and storage. An integrated removal of SOx and NOx from
the flue gas at elevated pressure was not implemented in
this study because the focuses were efficiency improvement
and energy integration. However, a detail process modeling
on the removal mechanism using contact column is under
way independently. The composition of the condensed flue
gas was compared to the standard minimum composition of
gases for saline reservoir sequestration, as shown in
Table III. The composition of the flue gas before and after
the CPU is also shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2. Composition of flue gases at atmospheric conditions
The overall performances of the atmospheric and pressur-
ized systems for the lignite coal are shown in Table IV. It
is evident that a high-energy penalty was mainly because power plant because of an increment in power consump-
of the ASU and the CPU. The plant efficiency of the power tion. It is evident that the oxygen compressor power con-
plant at the reference condition (i.e. air firing without CCS) sumption increases with operating pressure. The ASU
was around 42.36% when using low rank coal (lignite). power consumption increased by 90.9 MWe from 119.3
Hence, an efficiency reduction of roughly 10% was ob- MWe (1 bar) to 210.19 MWe (30 bars). Similarly, the
served in the oxy-fuel combustion with a carbon capture CPU power consumption decreased by 90.86 MWe from
system and in the absence of flue gas recycling. As shown in 133.57 MWe (1 bar) to 42.71 MWe (30 bars), in case of lig-
Table IV, it is possible to increase the net plant efficiency by nite coal firing as shown in Figure 3, because an increase in
6.02% when the operating pressure of the combustor in- the operating pressure lowers the pressure ratio across the
creases from atmospheric pressure to 30 bars in the case of CPU. Other coal types considered here have similar and
lignite coal firing for the same process flow diagram as illus- equivalent trend.
trated in Figure 1. The efficiency increment beyond 15 bar is As shown in Figure 3, with an increase in operating
also insignificant, so it can be considered as an optimum op- pressure the gas compression power requirement shifts
erating pressure. The plant efficiency increment shows sim- from the CPU to the ASU, even if it does not occur in
ilar trend with related previous works cited in this paper, the same proportion. In the low-pressure range the total
even if the simulations have been conducted on different ba- power requirement decreases because the CPU power con-
sis (steam cycle condition and fuel grade). As it has been sumption falls for the following reasons: first, when the op-
discussed in the previous study, nearly equivalent efficiency erating pressure increases, the pressure ratio of the CPU
increment was observed in case of SPOC concept as compressor that assists in raising the flue gas pressure de-
compared to the reference atmospheric oxy-combustion. creases. Second, as the operating pressure increases, the
In addition, its optimum pressure was also around 16 bar. rate of condensation rapidly increases, which suggests that
the flue gas flow to the CPU decreases. Thus, the power
4.1. The effect of pressurization on auxiliary consumption of the first compressor decreases. However,
loads the ASU power consumption slowly increases at a lower
pressure range up to 5 bars because of a reduced pressure
The ASU, CPU, pumps, and pulverizers are the main aux- ratio. This implies that the combined power consumption
iliary units of the system that reduce the efficiency of the is reduced in the lower pressure ranges. As the operating

Table III. Comparison of flue gas composition with saline reservoir sequestration limits.

Components Saline reservoir sequestration limit[14] Range in literature[14] Simulation Unit

CO2 95 90–99.8 94 Vol%

H2 O 500 20–650 60.3 ppmv
N2 1 0.01–7 0.59 Vol%
O2 0.001 0.001–4 2.38 Vol%
SO2 100 10–50 000 18 900 ppmv
Ar 1 0.001–4 0.943 Vol%

132 Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/er
Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion T. Z. Tumsa et al.






Pressurized cases
Table IV. Performance of baseline and pressurized oxy-fuel combustion using lignite coal(reference) after heat recovery.




37.42 Figure 3. The effect of pressure on the ASU, CPU, and total


power consumption of the power plant.


pressure further increases, the ASU power consumption

Atmospheric (optimized)

becomes greater than the rate of the CPU power consump-

tion drop. In addition, the oxygen flow rate from the ASU
is larger than that of the CO2 flow rate in the flue gas. As a
Baseline cases (oxy-combustion)

result, the oxygen power consumption is larger than that of

the CPU power consumption. Because the flue gas sent to
the CPU is pressurized, the power required for CO2 com-
pression and purification is reduced [24].
There is no power consumption associated with flue gas
recycling, as in previous studies, because pure oxygen is
Atmospheric (base case)

used as an oxidant. Even if a large amount of power is con-

sumed in the oxygen compressor because of pressuriza-


tion, there are compensations such as the absence of an


oxygen preheater that is considered in air-fired combustion

system, the increment of thermal heat recovery, and the re-
duction in flue gas volume that reduces the size of the
equipment along the boiler side. It is known that the oxy-
gen preheating steps result in thermal efficiency penalties,
Atmospheric pressure

which lower the overall efficiency of the system. There is

no leakage because of the absence of a preheater between


the flue gas and oxygen in the pressurized environment,

Air fired



which considerably reduced the power consumption of

the CPU.

4.2. The effect of pressure on latent heat

Steam side
Gas side

The main goal in operating oxy-fuel combustion under a


pressurized environment is to recover a large amount of

heat in the FGC by integrating the heat from hot flue gas
with feed water leaving the final feed water heater and
Power consumption by

the LPFWH. The heat exchangers networking principle

Thermal energy input
Combustor pressure

Net plant efficiency

Net electric power

was implemented as shown in Figure 4. As a result, the

Power increment

number of heat exchangers employed in the system was

Gross power


The water vapor in the flue gas begins to condense

when the temperature of the flue gas reaches the dew point
of water in the flue gas [25]. The dew point of water

Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 133
DOI: 10.1002/er
T. Z. Tumsa et al. Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion

Figure 4. A schematic of heat exchangers network where the possible heat integrations were conducted.

increases as the pressure increases because the partial pres-

sure of water in the flue gas also increases. Thus, both the
recovered sensible and latent heat is used for integration
with the steam cycle to raise the feed water temperature.
The dew point of the flue gas also depends on the fuel type.
The higher the moisture content in the fuel, the higher the
latent heat recovery of the flue gas. The temperature of the
flue gas at the exit of the FGC was maintained at 40 °C to
compare the heat recovery at different operating pressures
of the combustor. Here, the cooling water consumed in
the FGC increased with operating pressure to maintain
the exiting flue gas temperature. The dew point of water
at different operating pressures was determined using
Multi Flash 4.1 software based on the equilibrium flash
calculation. Similarly, the removal of sulfurous oxide from
the flue gas strongly depended on the combustion pressure.
The dew point of acid also increased with operating pres- Figure 5. The effect of pressure on flue gas heat recovery and
sure, which aids in condensing and removing sulfurous ox- condensation rate (FGC outlet temperature: 40 °C).
ide from the flue gas before reaching the CPU. The
temperature of the flue gas exiting the HRSG should be
enthalpy was equivalent to the oxidant compressor work
higher than the acid condensation temperature for various
input, which increased with operating pressure.
operating pressures to prevent corrosion. Acid should be
condensed in a direct contact column manufactured with
corrosion-resistant material, which has not been considered P ¼ mðh2  h1 Þ (1)
in this study. The total percentage of condensed water col-
lected from the flash drum slightly increased with an in- where P—power input, m—mass of oxidant, and h1 and h2
crease in the operating pressure up to 10 bars. Beyond 10 —inlet and out let enthalpy respectively. The heat recovery
bars, almost no difference in the moisture condensation in the FGC because of operating pressure was determined
rate was observed, as shown in Figure 5. The thermal heat based on latent heat of vaporization or condensation.
recovery increased with an increase in the operating pres-
sure up to 30 bars, as shown in Figure 5. Therefore, as Q ¼ mhf g (2)
the operating pressure increased, the latent heat recovery
also increased because of the elevation of the dew point where m—mass of condensed water, hfg —latent heat of
temperature. vaporization, and Q —recovered heat.
The thermal heat recovery in the HRSG increased be- The enthalpy flue gas from the FGC was constant be-
cause of a combined effect of an increased oxidant en- cause the outlet temperature and flue gas flow rate were
thalpy and operating pressure. The increased oxidant fixed in this simulation using an indirect contact heat

134 Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/er
Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion T. Z. Tumsa et al.

recovery. As the pressure increased, the temperature of the As shown in Figure 6, the power produced increased
flue gas exiting the HRSG increased, which implies that a with operating pressure. When the heat added to the steam
greater amount of thermal energy was recovered in the cycle increased, the inlet temperature of the feed water to
FGC. The thermal energy transferred to the low tempera- the HRSG also increased. Thus, the feed water flow rate in-
ture section of the steam cycle increased the feed water creased, as shown in Figure 6, corresponding to the
temperature. However, the temperature of the steam at amount of heat added. The turbine power increased contin-
the exit of the HRSG and the temperature increase in the uously up to 15 bars; however, there was no significant
reheater remained constant. The temperature increase in change within the 15–30 bars pressure range. The change
the HRSG grew smaller because of an increase in the inlet in efficiency was also insignificant within this operating
feed water temperature, and, thus, the feed water flow that pressure range. Generally, the combined effect of the feed
circulated through the HRSG and the turbines increased, water temperature and the steam flow rate increment be-
which lead to an increase in power generation for an iden- cause of enhanced heat recovery from process integration
tical thermal share input. The feed water flow rate varies lead to significant improvements in efficiency. On the other
with the operating pressure for various coal grades as hand, a significant reduction in flue gas volume was ob-
shown in Figure 6. served because of compression effects and the absence of
flue gas recycling. The sizes of various units in the system
were decreased because of the reduced flue gas volume.
4.3. Process integration and plant efficiency The size and heat transfer area of the HRSG decreased with
a reduction in the flue gas volume. However, a larger
The net plant efficiency of the pressurized power plant can amount of construction material was needed because of
be improved by increasing the power generated and reduc- the required increase in wall thickness to resist the elevated
ing the power consumed. Increasing the power generated is pressure operation. There was also a significant reduction
related to steam quality, whereas reducing the energy pen- in the size of the processing units with an increasing pres-
alty is related to optimizing the auxiliary power consump- sure because of the reduced flue gas volume.
tion. Here, the heat integration was conducted in the FGC
within the feed water from the final feed water heater and 4.4. Efficiency assessment using different
the flue gas [26]. As a result, the temperature of the feed fuels
water increased with operating pressure.
The addition of heat to the steam cycle had a significant Improvements in the work output of the steam turbine var-
effect on the efficiency of the plant. The latent heat from ied with different fuels because of the moisture content in
flue gas moisture condensation was also integrated with each fuel. To investigate the effects of fuel variations on
low-pressure feed water for additional heat recovery to re- the efficiency improvement of the power plant because of
place the LPFWH. As a result, the steam extraction flow pressurization, three different types of coal were selected:
required for regeneration of the boiler feed water (BFW) lignite coal (design coal), subbituminous coal, and bitumi-
decreased, which lead to a net plant efficiency increase. nous coal. A study was conducted at a constant thermal
The overall performance of the power plant after integra- share input of 2320.5 MWth and all simulation parameters
tion in the case of lignite coal firing is shown in Table IV remained constant except for the combustion pressure and
. The design efficiency of the combustor and the steam design efficiency. The design efficiencies of bituminous
quality were kept constant for each case. and subbituminous coal were determined based on the de-
sign coal (lignite) efficiency for the same thermal share in-
put by estimating load points (LP) for each type of coal.

LP ¼ *100 (3)

where QEDSH heat is the input into the steam cycle (econo-
mizers, desuperheaters, and superheaters), QRH is the
reheater heat input, and QMCR is the maximum thermal
heat input into the steam cycle. It is well known that burn-
ing low rank coal at atmospheric conditions or increasing
the moisture content in the fuel decreases the plant effi-
ciency because an additional flue gas volume results in ad-
ditional heat loss from the stack. Whereas in a pressurized
system the latent heat because of flue gas condensation in-
creases with an increasing fuel moisture content.
As shown in Figure 7, the net plant efficiency decreased
Figure 6. The effect of flue gas pressure on power produced when the moisture content in the fuel increased. The mois-
and steam flow rate. ture contents in the fuel were 52%, 27.42%, and 11.12%

Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 135
DOI: 10.1002/er
T. Z. Tumsa et al. Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion

Figure 8. The effect of coal (bituminous) water slurry ratios on

the net plant efficiency penalty and boiler efficiency.

Figure 7. Efficiency improvement because of pressurization cycle. The heat available from FGC was integrated with
using different fuels. LPFWH, which minimized or eliminated the steam extrac-
tion. The simulation in this study was conducted at various
coal–water slurry ratios by increasing the moisture content
for lignite, subbituminous, and bituminous coal, respec- in the fuel, including as received coal composition as a ref-
tively. The high temperature sensible heat in the HRSG erence for the same thermal share input. As shown in
(superheaters, reheater, and economizer) was reduced with Figure 8, when the moisture content in the fuel increased
an increasing moisture content, whereas the latent heat re- from 11.12% to 54%, the net plant efficiency continuously
covery in the FGC increased with an increasing moisture decreased at atmospheric conditions (base case) because of
content. The highest net plant efficiency, 39.89%, was a reduction in the boiler efficiency because of heat loss
achieved using bituminous coal. The net plant efficiency from the flue gas. The reduction in the boiler efficiency
for subbituminous and lignite coals were 39.36% and was because of the shift of heat from the HRSG to FGC.
38.01%, respectively. The net heat supplied to the steam Even if the low-grade heat shifted to the FGC increased
cycle was constant. However, a considerable amount of with water content in the fuel, the possibility of integration
heat shifted from the HRSG to FGC as the moisture con- remained limited. The efficiency penalty rapidly increased,
tent in the fuel increased, which reduces the steam quality as shown in Figure 8, when the integration of the heat re-
and the net plant efficiency by decreasing the steam flow covered from the flue gas to the feed water could no longer
rate to the steam cycle. be applied. Water added in excess of the point at which
As the moisture content in the fuel increased, more heat heat integration is no longer possible leads to an increment
was recovered from the FGC with increasing pressure. The in efficiency penalty. Overall, the high-grade heat shifted
net plant efficiency increased by 6.02%, 3%, and 2.61% for from the HRSG was much higher as compared to the heat
lignite, subbituminous, and bituminous coals, respectively, integrated to the steam cycle by integration with the
as the combustion pressure increased from atmospheric LPFWH, which resulted in an efficiency penalty as mois-
pressure to 30 bars. The highest heat recovery was ture increased in both the atmospheric and pressurized
achieved from the FGC during lignite coal combustion. systems.
Subbituminous coal had a higher heat recovery in the
FGC than bituminous coal, which lead to a higher net plant
efficiency increment because its moisture content is rela- 5. CONCLUSIONS
tively higher [27].
In this paper, effects of coal characteristics and method of
4.5. Effects of moisture content on the feeding on the performance of an A-USC plant based on
efficiency of the plant a pressurized oxy-fuel combustion system was investigated
in comparison with atmospheric conditions using the
The effects of coal water slurry feed on the net plant effi- gCCS simulator. Significant efficiency improvements were
ciency were also investigated using bituminous coal as a achieved under pressurized conditions because of auxiliary
case study at various coal water slurry ratios. In a high- load reduction, increased heat recovery, and the absence of
pressure operation, coal water slurry feeding is effective recycled flue gas. The net plant efficiency increased by
for high rank coals but not for low grade coals [28]. The 6.02%, 3%, and 2.61% for an increase in pressure from at-
proper slurry ratio was decided by considering the mini- mospheric pressure up to 30 bars, in the case of lignite,
mum amount of heat that could be integrated into the steam subbituminous, and bituminous coals, respectively. The

136 Int. J. Energy Res. 2017; 41:127–138 © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
DOI: 10.1002/er
Performance evaluation of pressurized oxy-fuel combustion T. Z. Tumsa et al.

net plant efficiency increment specifically because of pres- 10. Zebian H, Gazzino M, Mitsos A. Multi-variable opti-
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wards second generation oxy-pulverized coal power
This work was supported by the Renewable Energy R&D plants: energy penalty reduction potential of pressur-
Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology ized oxy-combustion systems. Energy Procedia 2014;
Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Ko-
rean Government Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy
(20131020102320). 14. U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technol-
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