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Japan project takes a step further towards 'clean coal'

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
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JAPANESE ‘CLEAN COAL’ DEMONSTRATION PROJECT TAKES A STEP FURTHER
By Tetsuo Satoh | February 1, 2020

Construction has begun on the third step of a project to demonstrate the world’s first integrated coal-gasification fuel-cell (IGFC) combined cycle power plant with CO2 capture. The five-year, $73.3-million project is a collaboration of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO; Kawasaki City; www.nedo.go.jp) and Osaki CoolGen Corp. (Hiroshima Prefecture, both Japan; www.osaki-coolgen.jp). IGFC technology has the potential to reach a 55% thermal efficiency (higher heating value; HHV).

The IGFC demonstration project is composed of three steps (diagram): (1) the demonstration of oxygen-blown integrated coal-gasification combined-cycle (O2-blown IGCC), which was completed in March 2019; (2) the demonstration of O2 -blown IGCC with CO2 separation and capture, which started in December 2019; and (3) the demonstration of IGFC with CO2 separation and capture.

clean coal


For the first step, a 170,000 kW-class demonstration test facility was constructed within the grounds of the Osaki Power Station of The Chugoku Electric Power Co. During the demonstration tests, coal particles were used to operate a 1,300°C-class gas turbine, while using the heat generated to operate a steam turbine for combined-cycle power generation. The performance, operability, reliability, and economic feasibility as a coal-fired power generation system was verified. The targeted thermal efficiency of 40.5% HHV was achieved for an O2-blown IGCC using a 100°C-class gas turbine. They are forecasting a net thermal efficiency of approximately 46% will be achieved for a commercial plant that uses a 1,500°C-class gas turbine. Based on these results, they are expecting to reduce CO2 emissions by about 15% compared to ultra-supercritical (USC) pressure pulverized-coal-fired power generation.

To demonstrate the second step, construction work on the CO2-capture unit was completed last summer, and testing started in December 2019 and will continue through 2020. Meanwhile, construction has also begun on the third step, in which the fuel cell will be added to the O2-blown IGCC to demonstrate the complete IGFC with CO2 capture, which should begin late 2021 and run through 2022. Ultimately, the project aims to achieve a net thermal efficiency of approximately 47%, while capturing 90% of the CO2, and a 40% of transmission end efficiency when applied to a 500-MW-class commercial unit.
I'd be interested in hearing what some of our engineering readers think of this kind of system. As some may know, I'm proponent of coal since the US sits on the largest reserve in the world. I think we should have been investing in clean coal tech for a long time so it's promising that the Japanese, in the wake of Fukushima, are looking at alternative and safer ways to power their country in a clean way.

Assuming that we (the US) could get 90% capture as this project demonstrates, would that change your perspective on coal? Wouldn't that bring down energy prices across the board and help prevent rolling blackouts in most major cities?
 

woolfe9998

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2013
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I'm in favor of requiring that carbon capture be used in all coal fired power plants. It's cheaper than capturing the carbon from the air after it's already been released. However, it's still expensive, and will increase the cost of energy produced by coal, and will make coal less competitive as against emerging renewable alternatives. This is why the coal industry doesn't want it.
 

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
27,931
128
106
I'm in favor of requiring that carbon capture be used in all coal fired power plants. It's cheaper than capturing the carbon from the air after it's already been released. However, it's still expensive, and will increase the cost of energy produced by coal, and will make coal less competitive as against emerging renewable alternatives. This is why the coal industry doesn't want it.
Sure, every tech implementation is expensive before it goes mainstream. But in a subsidized industry like energy, don't you think it's not going to matter as much? For example, a state like CA could invest in such tech for a backup system for high energy demand days to prevent blackouts. That is one of many reasons that CA is losing people, other states don't have blackouts that last for days at a time. To make it more attractive to live there, they could invest in such a system and then market that they've resolved this issue.

The coal industry may not want it, but if it meant going bankrupt then they're just going to have to embrace it.
 

woolfe9998

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2013
9,735
3,868
136
Sure, every tech implementation is expensive before it goes mainstream. But in a subsidized industry like energy, don't you think it's not going to matter as much? For example, a state like CA could invest in such tech for a backup system for high energy demand days to prevent blackouts. That is one of many reasons that CA is losing people, other states don't have blackouts that last for days at a time. To make it more attractive to live there, they could invest in such a system and then market that they've resolved this issue.

The coal industry may not want it, but if it meant going bankrupt then they're just going to have to embrace it.
CA's blackouts are not caused by insufficient energy resources. They are caused by the threat of wildfires. The issue isn't with the energy source. It's with the power line infrastructure.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
31,970
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I'm in favor of requiring that carbon capture be used in all coal fired power plants. It's cheaper than capturing the carbon from the air after it's already been released. However, it's still expensive, and will increase the cost of energy produced by coal, and will make coal less competitive as against emerging renewable alternatives. This is why the coal industry doesn't want it.
It's cheaper and easier to simply eliminate the entire coal power industry, which is what's happening. Something like 2/3rds of coal generators run at an operating loss already.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
99,999
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coal is completely dead in this country. There is no returning to coal, and that has been true for well over a decade now.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
21,456
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I didn’t even know Japan had a coal industry, but I’m not surprised that they’re looking at alternatives to nuclear after Fukushima.
 
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kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
15,166
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Hey trumpets, how about using some of this openness to foreign science and applying it to actual foreign advances that produce beneficial outcomes for the citizenry here at home? Interesting side note: people don't go bankrupt over medical expenses in Japan.

Japan needs to get serious about tidal generators, have a talk with Scotland. Even though I'm a fan of the kind of heat coal puts off, it needs to die. And it will, there's no money in it anymore.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
11,890
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Its like the combustion engine... it filled a gap until electric matured. Solar has now matured, you may wanna go taliban on your coal you like... in 100 years you can open your community as museum for folks to witness how people used to live in the old days.
 

woolfe9998

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2013
9,735
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It's cheaper and easier to simply eliminate the entire coal power industry, which is what's happening. Something like 2/3rds of coal generators run at an operating loss already.
Yes, but it's better to require expensive equipment to reduce emissions. Then watch it die through market forces. It's going to die one way or another. It's best if it dies because it can't compete with cleaner alternatives.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
31,970
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Yes, but it's better to require expensive equipment to reduce emissions. Then watch it die through market forces. It's going to die one way or another. It's best if it dies because it can't compete with cleaner alternatives.
It's already at that point. MATS pushed a ton of capacity offline. The economics of gas and renewables are finishing the rest. It is very plausible that all coal power in the US will be gone by 2030.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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The real answer and the real market force is to put a price on carbon pollution that reflects its real costs. If coal can compete when we take into account ALL the pollution it creates, more power to it. (It can’t)

The only way people can justify coal power is by pretending a huge bad thing about it doesn’t exist. I think there is no reason to indulge their fantasy.
 
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K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
31,970
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The real answer and the real market force is to put a price on carbon pollution that reflects its real costs. If coal can compete when we take into account ALL the pollution it creates, more power to it. (It can’t)

The only way people can justify coal power is by pretending a huge bad thing about it doesn’t exist. I think there is no reason to indulge their fantasy.
Also all the billions in coal ash cleanup that utilities are now going back to get out of ratepayers as states make them clean up.
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
26,108
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Also all the billions in coal ash cleanup that utilities are now going back to get out of ratepayers as states make them clean up.
dont forget that burning coal does (or did at one point) emit more radioactive material than a nuclear plant. not just carbon emissions.
 
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Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
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It's already at that point. MATS pushed a ton of capacity offline. The economics of gas and renewables are finishing the rest. It is very plausible that all coal power in the US will be gone by 2030.
This is why I really don't understand Bernie's and Warren's push to ban fracking. Fracking has helped kill coal faster than any other technology. Yes, it is still a fossil fuel, but it is significantly better than coal and I think it is a good stop gap to get us to more widespread renewable and storage use.

I am a pretty massive tree hugger, and I used to experience hundreds of man-made earthquakes a year (due to waste water injection, not the often blamed fracking), but this is one area I think many environmentalist act illogically.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,375
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The real question is what are they doing with the CO2 they collect? I assume they are going to inject it into the ground, but the story doesn't say.
 
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dawp

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2005
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This is why I really don't understand Bernie's and Warren's push to ban fracking. Fracking has helped kill coal faster than any other technology. Yes, it is still a fossil fuel, but it is significantly better than coal and I think it is a good stop gap to get us to more widespread renewable and storage use.

I am a pretty massive tree hugger, and I used to experience hundreds of man-made earthquakes a year (due to waste water injection, not the often blamed fracking), but this is one area I think many environmentalist act illogically.
fracking contaminates ground water in areas where people rely on wells.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,375
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fracking contaminates ground water in areas where people rely on wells.
The jury still seems out on whether fracking itself does. The biggest issue seems to be improper storage and disposal of the chemicals. The other potential problem comes from shallow wells. Both of these can be fixed with regulation and oversight.

But there are no perfect solutions, coal does far more harm to far more, than fracking.
 

brandonbull

Diamond Member
May 3, 2005
5,352
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This is why I really don't understand Bernie's and Warren's push to ban fracking. Fracking has helped kill coal faster than any other technology. Yes, it is still a fossil fuel, but it is significantly better than coal and I think it is a good stop gap to get us to more widespread renewable and storage use.

I am a pretty massive tree hugger, and I used to experience hundreds of man-made earthquakes a year (due to waste water injection, not the often blamed fracking), but this is one area I think many environmentalist act illogically.
Dirty up our ground water so we can stop using coal?
 
Feb 16, 2005
13,691
4,581
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The jury still seems out on whether fracking itself does. The biggest issue seems to be improper storage and disposal of the chemicals. The other potential problem comes from shallow wells. Both of these can be fixed with regulation and oversight.

But there are no perfect solutions, coal does far more harm to far more, than fracking.
Um... the fracking damage is really widespread. Coal's been around a whole longer, that's for sure.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,375
1,315
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Dirty up our ground water so we can stop using coal?
Because coal doesn't dirty up our ground water, river water, and ocean water? Where do you think the majority of mercury in fish comes from?

 
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