Building a Roadmap for Advanced Zero Atmospheric Emission Coal Power

This project assessed a wide range of power plant designs based on overall emissions and energy efficiency criteria and developed a technology roadmap to demonstrate how components of existing designs might be combined in next generation power plants. The study conducted conceptual plant designs and engineering assessments with the component modules of a zero emission power plant. A computation model was developed to analyze power plant components and to enable modeling exercise to combine existing technology components into innovative thermal power plant designs; evaluate different power plant designs under various energetic, economic, environmental, and infrastructural constraints; and perform optimization not just to the individual power plant alone, but to pathways connecting current technologies to future technologies.

Based upon the results of the modeling analysis, we developed a technology pathway that integrates oxy-fuel combustion concepts with gasification, high-temperature oxygen separation membranes, advanced turbines, fuel cells and advanced combustion in pressurized fluidized beds.
There are multiple pathways and combinations of components that could yield viable designs. This technology pathway allows consideration of technological advances outside of the existing commercial constraints and affiliations. The potential for novel approaches, especially in developing countries, could offer a major opportunity to deploy low-carbon coal technologies. Deployment of optimum designs of post-combustion capture technologies, especially in developed countries, using various sorbent for low and high capture percentage were also studied.

Once the technology pathway and design modeling assessments were completed, the next step will be to engage with the industrial, financial, and policy sectors to apply these tools to the task of coal fueled power plant design and deployment. The project formed an international task force composed of coal mining, manufacturing, government, and energy officials to promote advanced coal technologies.

The complete report on this research can be found here.

Ian Katz, PhD candidate, Earth and Environmental Engineering,

Klaus Lackner, Ewing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics, (PI)

Xinxin Li, PhD 2011, Earth and Environmental Engineering

Feng (Maple) Lin, Former postdoctoral research scientist