Investigation of Low Rank Coal Gasification in a Two-Stage Downdraft Entrained-Flow Gasifier


Low-rank coal contains more inherent moisture, high alkali metals (Na, K, Ca), high oxygen content, and low sulfur than high-rank coal. Low-rank coal gasification usually has lower efficiency than high-rank coal, since more energy has been used to drive out the moisture and volatile matters and vaporize them. Nevertheless, Low-rank coal comprises about half of both the current utilization and the reserves in the United States and is the largest energy resource in the United States, so it is worthwhile and important to investigate the low-rank coal gasification process. In this study, the two-stage fuel feeding scheme is investigated in a downdraft, entrained-flow, and refractory-lined reactor. Both a high-rank coal (Illinois No.6 bituminous) and a low-rank coal (South Hallsville Texas Lignite) are used for comparison under the following operating conditions: 1) low-rank coal vs. high-rank coal, 2) one-stage injection vs. two-stage injection, 3) low-rank coal with pre-drying vs. without pre-drying, and 4) dry coal feeding without steam injection vs. with steam injection at the second stage. The results show that 1) With predrying to 12% moisture, syngas produced from lignite has 538 K lower exit temperature and 18% greater Higher Heating Value (HHV) than syngas produced from Illinois #6. 2) The two-stage fuel feeding scheme results in a lower wall temperature (around 100 K) in the lower half of the gasifier than the single-stage injection scheme. 3) Without pre-drying, the high inherent moisture content in the lignite causes the syngas HHV to decrease by 27% and the mole fractions of both H2 and CO to decrease by 33%, while the water vapor content increases by 121% (by volume). The low-rank coal, without pre-drying, will take longer to finish the demoisturization and devolatilization processes, resulting in delayed combustion and gasification processes.

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X. Lu and T. Wang, "Investigation of Low Rank Coal Gasification in a Two-Stage Downdraft Entrained-Flow Gasifier," International Journal of Clean Coal and Energy, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2014, pp. 1-12. doi: 10.4236/ijcce.2014.31001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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