Analysis of Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power plants and process integration with pre-combustion carbon capture
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Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plants have been considered as one of the best options for energy production in an environmental friendly manner. IGCC power plants are demonstrating better results, both in terms of plant performance and economics, when compared to a Pulverised Coal (PC) power plant with CO2 capture. The additional components required for an IGCC power plant when it is desired to operate in CO2 capture mode, give research potential with respect to an improved IGCC power plant performance. The IGCC power plant design framework studied and developed was based in DOE/NETL report and is presented. The conventional and CO2 capture IGCC power plants have been benchmarked in rigorous process flow diagrams developed using the commercial software Honeywell UniSim Design R400. As an essential part of the Innovative Gas Separations for Carbon Capture project (IGSCC EPSRC – EP/G062129/1) predictive simulation tools were produced to investigate the IGCC performance. The case studies considered include different gasification options for non-capture and carbon capture IGCCs, with a two stage Selexol process for the CO2 capture cases. Particular effort has been made to produce an accurate simulation component to describe the behaviour of the syngas in the Selexol solvent. The two stage Selexol configuration was investigated in detail and novel schemes are presented. No similar approaches have been reported in the literature, in terms of the proposed configuration and the capture efficiency. Moreover, innovative CO2 capture schemes incorporating combined units of physical absorption and membranes have been examined with respect to the power plant’s performance. In this thesis, contrary to other studies, all simulations cases have been conducted in unified flow diagrams. The results presented include overall investigations and can be a helpful tool for engineers and stakeholders in the decision making process.