Application of Chemical Looping with Spouting Fluidized Bed for Hydrogen-rich Syngas Production from Catalytic Coal Gasification

  • Liu, Kunlei (PI)
  • Fan, Zhen (CoI)
  • Chen, Liangyong (Former CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


"Catalytic steam-coal gasification integrated with auto-thermal chemical looping reforming for syngas production" The main objective of this project is to develop a novel coal gasification technology using chemical looping concept and high temperature catalytic syngas reforming to produce electricity and hydrogen rich syngas that is free of CH4 for fuels and chemicals. The US is a major holder of coal reserves, and thus it makes sense to utilize this resource effectively and in an environmentally friendly manner. Gasification based poly-generation of electricity, fuels, and/or chemicals is an approach to diversify plant output, lower carbon footprint and optimize overall revenue for a production facility. To overcome some of the drawbacks of current gasification technology using an entrained gasifier (such as costly ASU and expensive stand-alone water-gas shift process), the UKy team is proposing to develop a pressurized catalytic steam-coal gasification integrated into chemical looping reforming for coal derived syngas production, which utilizes hot iron-based solid particles to transport oxygen and heat from air-iron combustion for coal partial oxidation and gasification at relatively high temperature (1100 oC). Meanwhile iron-based solid particles act as cost-effective multi-purpose catalyst for promoting char gasification, water-gas-shift reaction and syngas product reforming, all of which take place in a compact spouted-bed fuel reactor. Theoretically, the overall process is auto-thermal with coal fuel and steam as the only feedstock, while output includes very hot spent air that can be used for high efficient power generation, and the rich H2 syngas that is free of CH4. The three key features of the proposed process will provide high H2/CO ratio syngas, avoid an entrained gasifier and conventional ASU process, and thus meet the priority objectives of this FOA if successful: (1) The flexible platform that combines catalytic steam coal gasification with chemical looping technology for poly-generation of electricity and syngas; (2) The use of multi-functional carrier/catalyst to provide oxygen/heat for coal/char gasification, and active site for improvement of gasification, WGS reaction and CH4/tar reforming; (3) a novel one-pot fuel reactor for coal conversion to syngas, which combined a spouted bed for high temperature and a low temperature bubbling bed for promoted syngas reforming and ash separation. It is expected that eliminating the external WGS reactors and use of low duty downstream WGS process would save more than 20% capital cost while simultaneously increasing the energy efficiency of the process by 3-5 percentage points. The goals of the project include (1) the conceptual validation of the proposed process; (2) design of oxygen carrier/catalyst structure and its performance suitable for the proposed novel gasification process; (3) demonstration of the novel fuel reactor of the proposed process; (4) process design, modeling and performance evaluation. Accordingly, the following tasks will be performed by the UKy team: ¢ Texture design of cycling materials. This task will preliminarily determine the best OC/catalyst formulation suitable for the proposed oxygen carrier. Two groups of materials will be of interest (a) red mud oxygen carrier/catalyst in its natural form directly from Bayer process in the production of alumina; (b) a synthesized iron-based oxygen carrier /catalyst with red mud as the major ingredient. Inert supports and alkali metals (e.g., K, Na) will be considered to improve reactivity and stability. ¢ Validation of multi-function carrier/catalyst on bench-scale fluidized bed reactor. Besides the validation of the catalytic steam-coal gasification with iron-based oxygen carrier/catalyst and high concentration steam as oxygen source at high fuel/ cycling materials ratio, a parametric study for design purpose and a lifecycle performance evaluation on the promising oxygen carrier/catalyst candidate will be performed. ¢ The demonstration of the novel spouted fluidized bed facility as the proposed fuel reactor. This task includes a modification of the existing novel spouted fluidized bed facility at UKy-CAER and demonstration of novel catalytic steam-coal gasification on the modified facility. This will lead to obtaining the key parameters for the proposed technology. ¢ Process modeling and performance evaluation. A process modeling at commercial scale will be setup based on the concept validation of the proposed process and the performance of the test facility. CAER will develop material, heat and energy balances and provide relevant stream tables.
Effective start/end date10/1/145/31/19


  • Department of Energy: $481,471.00


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