GTI and Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation demonstrate ultra-cleaning of syngas in versatile new test facility

DES PLAINES, Ill., May 5 /PRNewswire/ — Gas Technology Institute (GTI) successfully completed a series of 250 psig, air-blown coal gasification tests with three different coals in March 2005 in its new Flex-Fuel Test Facility (FFTF) in Des Plaines, Illinois. The tests were conducted in support of a Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation (SWPC) program for the development of novel syngas cleaning systems. SWPC is the prime contractor for this program co-funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the SWPC Ultra-Clean Process (UCP) for halide and sulfur removal from gasifier syngas down to parts-per-billion (ppbv) levels as well as the ability of the FFTF to conduct multi-fuel, rapid-turnaround testing of gasification-based technologies in a cost-effective manner.

The objective is to economically achieve the most stringent cleanup requirements for sulfur species, halide species, mercury, and particulate matter expected for chemical and fuel synthesis applications (total sulfur species < 60 ppbv, halides < 10 ppbv, mercury < 0.01 ppbv, and particulate < 0.1 ppmw) in advanced, near-zero emission, efficient multi-production energy plants. The Ultra-Clean Process is a dry process that injects fine sorbent particles into two stages of barrier filter-reactors integrated in series, coupling efficient particle capture with an effective entrained and filter cake reaction environment. The process concept exploits existing particulate control devices as chemical reactors for multi-contaminant control at moderate/warm temperatures.

The Ultra-Clean Process tests, conducted during March, successfully commissioned and tested the upstream sorbent injection systems and filter reactors for syngas halide and sulfur removal. Contaminant levels in the 10 to 50 ppbv range were measured in the ultra-clean syngas corresponding to removal efficiencies exceeding 99.99%. These contaminant levels are well below the limits of detection of conventional analytical technologies.

Innovative sampling and analytical systems were designed and implemented in the FFTF to enable the type of systems evaluations that were carried out in the UCP testing. Simultaneous on-line analyses of gas compositions from raw gas concentrations to ultra-clean levels allowed for near real-time assessment of the performance of the integrated gasification and gas conditioning system. Comprehensive and accurate diagnostic capabilities make cost-effective testing of technologies and systems at the FFTF possible.

The FFTF’s ability to accept a broad range of fuels contributed significantly to the timely achievement of the Ultra-Clean Process test objectives. Three fuels with widely different characteristics were processed during the tests, including low-volatile metallurgical coke, high-ash Indian coal, and low rank lignite. “The recent Ultra-Clean Process testing also demonstrated the FFTF’s ability to be turned around quickly, with three successful gasification tests conducted during March,” said Bruce Bryan, Director of Gasification at GTI.

The FFTF was built with funding from the U.S. natural gas industry and the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The facility addresses the need for continued development and more thorough evaluation of gasification and related equipment and technologies for thermochemical conversion of solid fuels to clean fuel and syngas. It is capable of operation at pressures up to 400 psig with either air- or oxygen-blown gasification of coal or biomass at feed rates ranging from 0.25 to 1.5 tons per hour.

The Flex-Fuel Test Facility is available for use by organizations and companies conducting research on enabling technologies that have shown promise in laboratory- and bench-scale testing and need testing at the next scale, including continuous long-duration tests.

Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation is a Siemens Company headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Within Siemens’ global Fossil Power Generation business, Siemens Westinghouse is the regional business company for the Americas and operates engineering and manufacturing centers in North America. In the United States and Canada, the company also is responsible for the Industrial Turbine, Instrumentation and Control, wind power and solid oxide fuel cell businesses.

GTI is the leading research, development and training organization serving energy markets. For more than 60 years, GTI has been meeting the nation’s energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government. For more information on GTI, visit


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