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Title: Mitigation of Syngas Cooler Plugging and Fouling

This Final Report summarizes research performed to develop a technology to mitigate the plugging and fouling that occurs in the syngas cooler used in many Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plants. The syngas cooler is a firetube heat exchanger located downstream of the gasifier. It offers high thermal efficiency, but its’ reliability has generally been lower than other process equipment in the gasification island. The buildup of ash deposits that form on the fireside surfaces in the syngas cooler (i.e., fouling) lead to reduced equipment life and increased maintenance costs. Our approach to address this problem is that fouling of the syngas cooler cannot be eliminated, but it can be better managed. The research program was funded by DOE using two budget periods: Budget Period 1 (BP1) and Budget Period 2 (BP2). The project used a combination of laboratory scale experiments, analysis of syngas cooler deposits, modeling and guidance from industry to develop a better understanding of fouling mechanisms and to develop and evaluate strategies to mitigate syngas cooler fouling and thereby improve syngas cooler performance. The work effort in BP 1 and BP 2 focused on developing a better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to syngas cooler pluggingmore » and fouling and investigating promising concepts to mitigate syngas cooler plugging and fouling. The work effort focused on the following: • analysis of syngas cooler deposits and fuels provided by an IGCC plant collaborating with this project; • performing Jet cleaning tests in the University of Utah Laminar Entrained Flow Reactor to determine the bond strength between an ash deposit to a metal plate, as well as implementing planned equipment modifications to the University of Utah Laminar Entrained Flow Reactor and the one ton per day, pressurized Pilot Scale Gasifier; • performing Computational Fluid Dynamic modeling of industrially relevant syngas cooler configurations to develop a better understanding of deposit formation mechanisms; • performing Techno-Economic-Analysis for a representative IGCC plant to investigate the impact on plant economics, in particular the impacts on the Cost of Electricity (COE), due to plant shutdowns caused by syngas cooler plugging and fouling and potential benefits to plant economics of developing strategies to mitigate syngas cooler fouling; and • performing modeling and pilot scale tests to investigate the potential benefits of using a sorbent (fuel additive) to capture the vaporized metals that result in syngas cooler fouling. All project milestones for BP 1 and BP 2 were achieved. DOE was provided a briefing on our accomplishments in BP1 and BP2 and our proposed plans for Budget Period 3 (BP 3). Based on our research the mitigation technology selected to investigate in BP 3 was the use of a sorbent that can be injected into the gasifier with the fuel slurry to capture vaporized metals that lead to the deposit formation in the syngas cooler. The work effort proposed for BP 3 would have focused on addressing concerns raised by gasification industry personnel for the impacts on gasifier performance of sorbent injection, so that at the end of BP 3 the use of sorbent injection would be at “pre-commercial” stage and ready for use in a Field Demonstration that could be funded by industry or DOE. A Budget Continuation Application (BCA) was submitted to obtain funding for BP3 DOE but DOE chose to not fund the proposed BP3 effort.« less
  1. Reaction Engineering International, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Reaction Engineering International, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States