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Advanced Power Generation


  1. Development of pressurized oxy-combustor:

    Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) (U.S.) are completing construction of a staged, pressurized oxy-combustor (SPOC).

    1. This demonstration, initiated in ACTC’s first phase, continues joint work into the second phase between WUSTL, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, China), and industrial input and support from Arch Coal, Peabody Energy, and Stock Equipment Company.
    2. The SPOC process is expected to provide a 7% gain in net plant efficiency, produce a concentrated stream of CO2, and has performance benefits on widely varied coal types, allowing for application in various regions of both the U.S. and China.
  2. First-of-a-kind experimental system:

    Power plants equipped with advanced ultra super-critical (A-USC) boilers have the potential to dramatically improve efficiency and reduce emissions compared to existing coal-fired power plants.

    1. A survey conducted by LP Amina and Babcock & Wilcox Company (U.S.), and Tsinghua University (China) found that subcritical power plants accounted for 78% of China’s coal-fired fleet in 2009, with super- and ultra super-critical units making up the remaining 22%.
    2. CERC researchers are targeting subcritical units in China and the United States with a capacity range of 300–600 MW to maximize system-wide impacts of plant efficiency improvements and emissions reduction potential.
    3. They also developed a toolbox of technologies to enable energy conservation and emissions reduction in coal-fired power plants.
    4. Separately, the development of improved A-USC boiler technologies was adopted as a national program in China. Tsinghua University and Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute (CERI) researchers also designed and constructed a unique experimental system to study pulverized coal combustion in counter-flow flames and used the system to investigate combustion characteristics of Xinjiang Houxun coal in A-USC boilers.
  3. Crosscutting power generation and coal conversion - Demonstration of advanced coal-to-chemicals poly-generation technology:

    Gemeng International (China) cooperated with LP Amina (U.S.) in building a demonstration facility for coal-to-chemicals technology in China.
    1. LP Amina's 50 MW demonstration facility in Shanxi, China, was designed to co-produce electricity and 100,000 barrels/year of chemical intermediates.
    2. The groundbreaking design allows the power plant to co-produce electric power and high-value byproducts, increasing revenues and cutting emissions.
    3. The LP Amina- Gemeng International Energy plant could reduce greenhouse gases by more than 25% compared to conventional technology.
    4. The demonstration has completed, and the venture has ended. This project provides an example of CERC’s collaborative strengths that deliver benefits and access to new markets for U.S businesses.
  4. Improved modeling capabilities for oxy-combustion:

    Researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) and Babcock & Wilcox Company (U.S.) characterized four U.S. and four Chinese coals and developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for U.S. and China pilot-scale test facilities.

    1. The results show cost and performance improvements in oxy-firing combustion, a process that facilitates CO2 capture. If policies encouraging CO2 capture are in place, the models—once validated in larger scale demonstration projects—will help facilitate and accelerate the rate of deployment of such technology in a variety of coal regions throughout the world. (CERC-ACTC Phase I)