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Title: Staged, High-Pressure Oxy-Combustion Technology: Development and Scale-Up

Washington University in St. Louis and its project partners are developing a unique pressurized oxy-combustion process that aims to improve efficiency and costs by reducing the recycling of flue gas to near zero. Normally, in the absence of recycled flue gas or another inert gas, combustion of fuel and oxygen results in a dramatic increase in temperature of the combustion products and radiant energy, as compared to combustion in air. High heat flux to the boiler tubes may result in a tube surface temperatures that exceed safe operating limits. In the Staged Pressurized Oxy-Combustion (SPOC) process, this problem is addressed by staging the delivery of fuel and by novel combustion design that allows control of heat flux. In addition, the main mode of heat transfer to the steam cycle is by radiation, as opposed to convection. Therefore, the requirement for recycling large amounts of flue gas, for temperature control or to improve convective heat transfer, is eliminated, resulting in a reduction in auxiliary loads. The following report contains a detailed summary of scientific findings and accomplishments for the period of Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept 30, 2014. Results of ASPEN process and CFD modelling activities aimed at improving the SPOCmore » process and boiler design are presented. The effects of combustion pressure and fuel moisture on the plant efficiency are discussed. Combustor pressure is found to have only a minor impact beyond 16 bar. For fuels with moisture content greater than approx 30%, e.g. coal/water slurries, the amount of latent heat of condensation exceeds that which can be utilized in the steam cycle and plant efficiency is reduced significantly. An improved boiler design is presented that achieves a more uniform heat flux profile. In addition, a fundamental study of radiation in high-temperature, high-pressure, particle-laden flows is summarized which provides a more complete understanding of heat transfer in these unusual conditions and to allow for optimization. The results reveal that for the SPOC design, absorption and emission due to particles is the dominant factor for determining the wall heat flux. The mechanism of “radiative trapping” of energy within the high-temperature flame region and the approach to utilizing this mechanism to control wall heat flux are described. This control arises, by design, from the highly non-uniform (non-premixed) combustion characteristics within the SPOC boiler, and the resulting gradients in temperature and particle concentration. Finally, a simple method for estimating the wall heat flux in pressurized combustion systems is presented.« less
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The Washington University
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United States
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT Electricity - Coal Combustion