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High-temperature process cuts the cost of syngas cleanup

By Gerald Parkinson |

A process that promises a significant reduction in the cost of removing sulfur from coal-derived synthesis gas (syngas) will be tested in a 50-MWe demonstration unit at Tampa (Fla.) Electric Company’s 250-MWe integrated gasification-combined cycle (IGCC) power plant. RTI International (Research Triangle Park, N.C.; www.rti.org), the developer of the technology, has awarded a contract for front-end engineering and design to The Shaw Group Inc. (Baton Rouge, La.; www.shawgrp.com). Construction is scheduled to start sometime in 2011. The project is mainly funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE; Washington, D.C.; www.energy.gov). The standard way to capture sulfur is to use amines, but this entails reducing the temperature of the syngas from about 2,000°F to at least ambient temperature, says Raghubir Gupta, RTI’s senior research director. After that, the gas has to be reheated to 500°F for input to a gas turbine to produce electricity. In contrast, RTI’s process (flowsheet) accepts 900°F gas — the temperature after the conventional first cooling stage. The gas is fed to a fluidized bed of a zinc-oxide-based adsorbent, which adsorbs and reacts with H2S and COS to form zinc sulfide. Next, the sorbent…
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