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This lignite-drying process increases the efficiency of power and gasification plants

By Gerald Ondrey |

Last month, RWE Power (Cologne, Germany; www.rwe.com) and Linde-KCA-Dresden GmbH (www.linde-kca.com), a subsidiary of The Linde Group (Munich, Germany; www.linde.com), signed a framework agreement on the use of RWE’s WTA technology — a German acronym for fluidized-bed (FB) drying with internal waste-heat utilization. The agreement makes Linde-KCA-Dresden a provider and supplier of WTA. The WTA technology (diagram) is based on a stationary FB with low expansion. Coal is fed to the dryer through a star feeder, and a specially developed system at the upper section of the dryer distributes the coal onto the FB surface. The coal is dried by steam via an internal heat exchanger integrated in the center of the dryer. Dried coal is then discharged from the bottom via star feeders. Unlike conventional lignite drying, which uses hot (900–1,000°C) fluegas that is recirculated from a steam-generator furnace, WTA drying takes place at only 110°C. As a result, the efficiency of future lignite-fired power stations can be increased by 10% to over 47%. In a 1,000-MW power plant, this will reduce CO2 by up to 1-million ton/yr with the same amount of power being generated. Moreover, WTA drying can be applied for the gasification…
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