The "Air Pollution Management" Newsletter

June 2008
No. 362

Gasification is Major

Mercury control will be required on coal gasifiers. But the approach is to use fixed bed carbon units and therefore these revenues are not included in this analysis.

Coal gasification has a great potential. There are, however a number of reasons it will not be the choice for the majority of new coal-fired plants. One is the need to utilize the engineering and fabrication resources to produce syngas and liquid products. With oil at over $100/barrel it will be important to national security to develop synthetic natural gas and coal-to-liquids production.

Another reason is that coal-fired power system suppliers are making their plants carbon ready and offering systems with low emissions of pollutants at prices which will be more than competitive with gasification in the short term.

Coal gasification is still a developing technology. The cancellation of government funding of Future–Gen and the slow progress in construction of other proposed coal gasification plants are indications of the slow growth.

These factors are taken into account in the DOE EIA 2008 forecast.

Net additions to coal-fired generating capacity in the AEO2008 reference case total 100 gigawatts from 2006 to 2030 (as compared with 151 gigawatts in the AEO2007 reference case) including 4 gigawatts at CTL plants and 29 gigawatts at integrated gasification combined-cycle plants. Given the assumed continuation of current energy and environmental policies in the reference case, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology does not come into use during the projection period.


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