A system analysis has been performed to assess the efficiency and carbon utilization of a nuclear-assisted coal gasification process. The nuclear reactor is a high-temperature helium-cooled reactor that is used primarily to provide power for hydrogen production via high-temperature electrolysis. The supplemental hydrogen is mixed with the outlet stream from an oxygen-blown coal gasifier to produce a hydrogen-rich gas mixture, allowing most of the carbon dioxide to be converted into carbon monoxide, with enough excess hydrogen to produce a syngas product stream with a hydrogen/carbon monoxide molar ratio of about 2:1. Oxygen for the gasifier is also provided by the high-temperature electrolysis process. The results of the analysis predict 90.5% carbon utilization with a syngas production efficiency (defined as the ratio of the heating value of the produced syngas to the sum of the heating value of the coal plus the high-temperature reactor heat input) of 64.4% at a gasifier temperature of 1866 K for the high-moisture-content lignite coal considered. Usage of lower moisture coals such as bituminous can yield carbon utilization approaching 100% and 70% syngas production efficiency.
System Analysis of Nuclear-Assisted Syngas Production From Coal
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Harvego, E. A., McKellar, M. G., and O’Brien, J. E. (April 14, 2009). "System Analysis of Nuclear-Assisted Syngas Production From Coal." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. July 2009; 131(4): 042901. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3095805
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