Monday, 23 April 2007 - 9:40 AM

Preliminary Study of the Gasification Process of Mexican Fuels at Atmospheric Pressure

Jorge A. Altamirano-Bedolla, Alejandro Mani-González, Emilio Manzanares-Papayanopoulos, Manuel Fernández-Montiel, and César A Romo-Millares. Gerencia de Procesos Térmicos, Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Reforma 113, Cuernavaca, 62490, Mexico


The Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas (IIE) has been working in the past years on economical and technical evaluation studies of the Gasification Technology as an alternative for power generation. Despite being considered as an expensive technology compared to other technologies for power generation, the gasification technology as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) become attractive in many ways since it offers a clean path to power generation, also a flexibility on the feedstock, in which let open the fuel diversification to be used in power plants.

The main energy company in Mexico, Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), is interested in the potential that the gasification technology offers for power generation in the following 5 to 10 years. Also, the main oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), is interested in the gasification technology for power generation as well to obtain feedstocks for its refinery processes.

In that sense, IIE have planned an ambitious research and technological development project to gather the knowledge of the technology and to gain expertise, in particular on the topics related to (1) the thermodynamics and kinetics of the chemical reactions inside of the gasification reactor, (2) hot clean-up syngas systems, (3) solid and liquid residual feedstock systems, and (4) modelling processes using Computer Fluid Dynamic (CFD) tools.

The project has been structured in various stages aiming to design a research pilot plant gasifier. As partial result, a study of the behaviour of the syngas production in function of the composition of the fuel, temperature and pressure using a computational commercial program with a general model of the gasification process have been presented previously.

At this stage, a preliminary experimental study at work-bench scale of syngas production in function of the composition of the fuel and temperature at constant atmospheric pressure has been carried out using an electric furnace in a batch process. The fuels used in the experimental work have been a bituminous coal from MICARE mine at the north of the country with relative high ash concentration, and a refinery liquid residual with relative high sulphur and metals concentration. The results obtained allowed us to design the experimental prototype of a continuous gasification system at work-bench scale.

As parallel stage, a CFD models for the gasification thermodynamics and kinetics of the chemical reactions of Mexican feedstocks used have been developing. The experimental results will validate the computational models.


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