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TECHNO-ECONOMIC MODELLING OF COAL CONVERSION PROCESSES FOR LIQUID FUEL PRODUCTION

Objective

THE AIM OF THIS PROJECT IS TO DESCRIBE,COMPARE AND CONTRAST IN BOTH TECHNOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC TERMS THE VARIOUS PROCESSES FOR THE INDIRECT LIQUEFACTION OF COAL PARTICULARLY IN REGARD TO THEIR DEVELOPMENT AND POTENTIAL APPLICATION IN EUROPE.
The purpose of the study is to identify and evaluate indirect coal conversion processes for liquid fuel production from coal, in order to identify the more promising technologies and research and development needs as a strategic planning aid to the European Community. The work shares a common methodology with a parallel biomass conversion study and the computer model developed for the biomass project is adapted to include indirect coal conversion.
A large number of gasification processes have been identified and classified according to reactor type, status and stage of development. Many of these processes that were developed during the last 20 years have since been abandoned, whilst new processes are currently being developed up to commercial status. Renewed interest in coal gasification for integrated gasification combined cycle power generation plants has helped to sustain interest in gasifier development, with a number of gasifiers (approximately 15) currently at an advanced stage of development. The status and characteristics of these gasifiers are being evaluated and suitable models will be derived for inclusion in the main computer model.
The major liquid fuel production processes, which have been identified, and new synthesis technologies for more selective fuel production, will be evaluated according to their current status and characteristics and models will be derived for inclusion in the main computer program.
Problems that have been identified, and that need to be resolved, include interfacing of the gasification processes and the liquid fuel synthesis processes, environmental issues, such as sulpher management, and selection of suitable coal feedstocks by cost, location and matching to gasifiers.
THIS IS ONE OF A SERIES OF BROADLY BASED STUDIES ON THE TECHNOLOGY AND ECONOMICS OF LIQUID FUEL PRODUCTION FROM NON-PETROLEUM RESOURCES.THE IDEA IS TO ESTABLISH A RANKING AMONG ALL THE CANDIDATE PROCESSES AND IN THE CASE OF THE MORE PROMISING ONES TO IDENTIFY FRUITFUL AREAS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH.THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT WILL EXAMINE PROCESSES FOR THE INDIRECT LIQUEFACTION OF COAL.AMONG THE OTHER PARALLEL STUDIES IS THE ASTON UNIVERSITY PROJECT ON THE LIQUEFACTION OF BIOMASS AND THE BRITISH COAL AND ULSTER UNIVERSITY STUDIES ON THE DIRECT LIQUEFACTION OF COAL.

THE PROJECT,WHICH WILL BE EXECUTED OVER A PERIOD OF 24 MONTHS,WILL ENTAIL AN INFORMATION GATHERING PHASE AND AN EVALUATION PHASE.THE VARIOUS PROCESSES FOR INDIRECT LIQUEFACTION OF COAL WILL FIRST BE IDENTIFIED,EXAMINED AND BROKEN DOWN INTO THEIR ESSENTIAL PROCESS STEPS.IN THE SUBSEQUENT EVALUATION PHASE EACH OF THESE PROCESS STEPS WILL BE SIMULATED IN A SERIES OF COMPUTER MODULES. SIMULATION OF WHOLE FLOWSHEETS WILL BE SYNTHESIZED BY ASSEMBLING MODULES AS APPROPRIATE.A RANKING WILL BE ESTABLISHED AMONGST PROCESSES ON THE BASIS OF FLOWSHEET SIMULATIONS AND PARTICULARY IMPORTANT VARIABLES IN INDIVIDUAL PROCESSES WILL BE IDENTIFIED.THE SENSITIVITY OF THE RANKING AMONGST PROCESSES WILL ALSO BE TESTED FOR VARIATIONS IN KEY ASSUMPTIONS E.G. FEEDSTOCK COST,SCALE OF OPERATION,PRODUCT SLATE ETC.
THERE WILL BE CLOSE COLLABORATION THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT WITH BRITISH COAL AND ULSTER UNIVERSITY AND CROSS FERTILISATION BETWEEN THE TWO ASTON PROJECTS WILL BE MAXIMISED.IN PARTICULAR THE RESULTS OBTAINED TO BE REFERRED TO THE OUTCOME OF THESE PARALLEL PROJECTS.

STATE OF ADVANCEMENT:
THE FIRST PROGRESS REPORT IS EXPECTED IN APRIL 1988.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

ASTON UNIVERSITY
Address
Aston Triangle
Birmingham
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

JOHN BROWN ENGINEERS & CONSTRUCTION