Project Goals

The  main  objective  of  this  proposal  is  to  investigate  and  evaluate  the  options  and  restrictions  of  methanation technologies which are currently under development for biomass derived SNG to apply these technologies to the upgrading of coal. 
Steam-blown gasification technologies are available in the scale range between 500 kW thermal  and 10 MW thermal .  The  technologies  have  been  developed  for  the  conversion  biomass  in  small  and  medium-scale plants. The successful application of these technologies for coal will require an upscale of at least a factor of 10 in order to achieve the appropriate efficiency, which is comparable with state-of-the-art coal  fired  power  plants.  The  application  of  steam-blown  biomass  gasification  technologies  for  the gasification  of  coal  and  lignite  needs  therefore  a  detailed  examination  of  technical  barriers  and  the scalability of these technologies.
Further challenges come in particular from the chemical composition of coal. The high sulphur and ash content  requires  the  adaptation  of  the  gas  cleaning  technologies  and  the  testing  of  different methanation catalysts.
Therefore the consortium will perform 

•  gasification tests with coal at an existing gasification pilot plant 

•  lab-scale methanation experiments with coal derived syngas

•  process and gasifier layout for large-scale applications

•  feasibility study and basic layout for a 5 MW pilot plant