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Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA

Oxyfuel Combustion of Pulverised Coal

Robert M Davidson, Stanley Santos

Citation: IEAGHG, "Oxyfuel Combustion of Pulverised Coal", 2010-07, May 2010.

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Publication Overview

In the IPCC (2005) special report oxyfuel combustion was described as a process that eliminates nitrogen from the flue gas by combusting a hydrocarbon or carbonaceous fuel in either pure oxygen or a mixture of pure oxygen and a CO2-rich recycled flue gas. It was pointed out that combustion of a fuel with pure oxygen has a combustion temperature of about 3500/C which is far too high for typical power plant materials. The combustion temperature is limited to about 1900/C in an oxyfuel coal-fired boiler using current technology. The combustion temperature is controlled by the proportion of flue gas and gaseous or liquid water recycled back to the combustion chamber.

Publication Summary

  • In his final remarks at the 1st Oxyfuel Combustion Conference, Hesselman (2009) concluded that considerable progress has been made in the development of oxyfuel technology:
  • the process is technically viable;
  • the process is reasonably well understood;
  • the process has been demonstrated at pilot scale;
  • the process is being demonstrated at large scale (30MWth +); and
  • most of the individual components are in commercial operation at the required scale. He noted that even though oxyfuel combustion is economically competitive with alternative technologies, there is a perception that post-combustion is “easier” and that pre-combustion is also seeing heavy R&D investment and is being promoted strongly. However, several utilities are making or planning significant investments in oxyfuel technology with large scale testing and plant demonstration. Finally, he stressed that the time is right for the full scale demonstration of oxyfuel.