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Comment Business & Economics

Hydrogasification project aims to produce clean energy from coal, wind and biomass

By Chemical Engineering |

An integrated energy scheme that combines the generation of substitute natural gas (SNG) from coal, coproduction of biofuel and electricity and near-zero emissions of carbon dioxide, is being developed by Arizona Public Service (APS, Phoenix; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6895-532), Arizona’s largest utility, with the support of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL; Morgantown, W.Va.). APS plans to build a plant adjacent to a New Mexico coalmine that would use H2 to gasify 3,000 m.t./d of coal from three trains and produce 100 million scf/d of pipeline-quality natural gas. H2 and O2 would be supplied by wind-powered electrolysis, unconverted coal would fuel a low-pressure oxygen combustor to produce 41 MW of electricity via a steam turbine, and CO2 from the combustor would feed an algae farm for biodiesel production. The goal of the Advanced Hydrogasification Project (AHP) is to develop a clean way to use coal to offset dependence on “dwindling supplies of natural gas,” says Raymond Hobbs, a senior engineer. So far, APS has modeled the process and, this summer, will start testing a bench-scale reactor to gasify coal at about 1,600°F and 1,000 psia. The utility opted for gasification…
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