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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2012 7:44 am 
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michaelw wrote:
Direct carbon fuel cells could greatly increase the efficiency of coal. Greater than 60% efficiency is possible with potentially lower cost per installed MW of capacity than standard coal plants. Carbon dioxide capture is also easier with the direct carbon fuel cell.
2003 direct carbon fuel cell workshop has a few good presentations on the technology.
http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/03/dcfcw/dcfcw03.html


Hello Michael. Do you know of any more recent developments? Back in 2005 I think it was, DCFCs seemed like THE coal underdog game changer technology, with 70+% efficiency, thousands of times less particulate, hundreds of times less NOx, etc.

But it's been so quiet around this technology. 2003 is 9 years ago already...


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PostPosted: Mar 20, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Cyril,
The technology has gone cold. I do periodic searches to see if anything new has been published. It would appear that the funding at the federal level has all but evaporated (changed priorities) and so a technology with reasonable lab scale success will wait for the Chinese to discover it and implement it on a grand scale. No money equals no advances.
A coal power plant which costs less to build, generates twice the electricity from a ton of coal and produces a stream of pure carbon dioxide for sequestration or ancillary use sounds too much like an MSR,Too good to be true or more likely too disruptive to current interests.


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PostPosted: Mar 21, 2012 3:42 am 
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michaelw wrote:
Cyril,
The technology has gone cold. I do periodic searches to see if anything new has been published. It would appear that the funding at the federal level has all but evaporated (changed priorities) and so a technology with reasonable lab scale success will wait for the Chinese to discover it and implement it on a grand scale. No money equals no advances.
A coal power plant which costs less to build, generates twice the electricity from a ton of coal and produces a stream of pure carbon dioxide for sequestration or ancillary use sounds too much like an MSR,Too good to be true or more likely too disruptive to current interests.


Thanks, yes those are also my fears. There is however the alternative explanation that there were technical problems which were too difficult/costly to solve, hitting a dead end. Coal is rather dirty and contaminating, corrosive, stuff to put in any fuel cell, for one thing.


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PostPosted: Mar 21, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Ultra Clean Coal processing would remove the majority of the mineral fraction that would likely cause problems with the electrolytes in direct carbon fuel cells. The processing allows for direct use of the purified coal in diesel engines and gas turbines. I am actually surprised that the military has not investigated this technology for naval ships. The cost per unit of energy is so much lower for coal than even bunker fuel that with the volume of fuel consumed it could really reduce costs.
The Dept of Energy had a coal water diesel program in the late 90's that used ultrahard materials for liners and rings. The fuel was a mixture of coal and water that was directly injected with special wear resistant injectors. GE tested the tech in a rail locomotive. The Ultra clean coal would likely not need significant changes to the naval turbines and minimal to no changes to the diesel engines.


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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2012 7:26 am 
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At current prices of oil, synthetic Methanol or DME from coal will be a cheap alternative fuel. The situation is unlikely to alter permanently. If the Fischer-Tropsch process is used, underground gasification will be a cleaner process. These fuels can be cleaned and used directly in a gas turbine for power or in the surface vehicles cleanly and economically. Shale gas may have delayed things by a few years in some countries.
Chinese, the current energy leaders, are trying everything and may cover this too. They are already the DME leaders.


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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2012 7:42 am 
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michaelw wrote:
Cyril,
The technology has gone cold. I do periodic searches to see if anything new has been published. It would appear that the funding at the federal level has all but evaporated (changed priorities) and so a technology with reasonable lab scale success will wait for the Chinese to discover it and implement it on a grand scale. No money equals no advances.
A coal power plant which costs less to build, generates twice the electricity from a ton of coal and produces a stream of pure carbon dioxide for sequestration or ancillary use sounds too much like an MSR,Too good to be true or more likely too disruptive to current interests.


Michael, I found this study in the OSTI website, doing a basic search on "DCFC". Apparently combining fluidized bed with a DCFC (so maybe more like a SOFC in concept?).

It is fairly recent, publication date 2010. The link is currently not working for me but here is it:

http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/pur ... 57-Th7LXX/

There is also a "DCFC FAQ".

https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/317376.pdf


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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2012 7:53 am 
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And what about this then? Appears to be a DCFC with molten hydroxide electrolyte, coal as the anode, and air as the cathode!

http://www.sara.com/RAE/carbon_fuel.html


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PostPosted: Mar 22, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Agree the fluidized bed technology is more like a SOFC than a true direct carbon fuel cell. May be easier to sell the technology to utilities since it has a fluidized bed. Buy what you know.
The SARA fuel cell has made some progress. They seem to be making larger and larger prototypes. SRI has some info on their website, but it has not been updated for a while. Technology is cold not dead. It could be on a slow simmer I guess.


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PostPosted: Mar 28, 2012 11:05 pm 
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We may need to conserve coal so that future generations will have the means to generate large amounts of CO2 when the next ice age begins. Toward that end, coal should be replaced by thorium as the fuel of choice for energy generation ASAP.


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PostPosted: Mar 29, 2012 3:49 am 
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Aviation fuel will be carbon based for the foreseeable future. We are in the peak oil zone already and synthetic fuels can challenge the oil. We must preserve the rock carbon fuel (coal) as the carbon reserve. Once breeders are developed, U238 and thorium will become plentiful fuels for heating and electricity generation. With occasional TMI/Chernobyl/Fukushima, our generations will have to keep their nerves.


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PostPosted: Apr 02, 2012 7:30 am 
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michaelw wrote:
I am actually surprised that the military has not investigated this technology for naval ships.



Seems the Navy is willing to pay >$25/g for bio-fuels.

"9. Some Biofuels Too Expensive for Anybody Except U.S. Navy http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-0 ... s-dot-navy By Sophia Yan, Bloomberg March 21 U.S. gasoline prices averaged $3.87 last week. If economists are right, rising prices will trigger the development of less cost-effective alternatives, such as fuel refined from Canadian oil sands and corn ethanol. And so they have."

_________________
DRJ : Engineer - NAVSEA : (Retired)


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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2018 9:30 pm 
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Seems a "comeback" for coal in the US is unlikely...

U.S. Coal Industry Decline in 2018: Dip in Coal Exports to Impact Production and Employment

Quote:
In fact, many coal-fired power plants announced their closure in 2017. The timeline is below:

February 13, 2017: Navajo Generating Station in Arizona announced the closure of all three units (3×803 MW) in 2019 when its lease expires.

March 16, 2017: The 282-MW Unit, of the Elmer Smith power plant in Owensboro in Western Kentucky, is closed.

March 16, 2017: San Juan Generating Station in Waterflow, New Mexico prepares to close two units of 924 MW by 2022.

March 17, 2017: St. Johns River Power Park, a 1,252 MW coal-fired electric generating plant, is announced to close in early 2018.

March 20, 2017: All four units of the 2,440 MW J.M. Stuart Generating Station near Aberdeen, Ohio will retire.

March 20, 2017: The 666 MW Killen Generating Station near Manchester, Ohio announces its retirement.

May 2, 2017: The two-unit, 115-MW Edgecombe Genco coal-fired power plant, located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, will close in 2020 as announced by its owner.

May 4, 2017: Idaho Power Company announced the closure of its two units of 521 MW, at Nevada’s North Valmy Generating Station. Unit 1 (254 MW) will close in 2019 and Unit 2 (267 MW) in 2025.

May 16, 2017: Detroit, Michigan based DTE Energy Co (NYSE:DTE) announced the closure its eight generating units at four plants with a combined capacity of 3,355 MW by 2050. These include:

All four units at Monroe (4x850MW),
Two units at Belle River (2×697.5MW),
One unit at Marysville (1x150MW), and
One unit at Harbor Beach (1x121MW).

May 28, 2017: James River Power Station shut down its five units. Unit 1 (22 MW), Unit 2 (22 MW), and Unit 3 (44 MW) permanently closed in December 2017, while Unit 4 (60 MW) and Unit 5 (105 MW) will shut down within two years.

June 2, 2017: Kansas City Power & Light Company announced the closure of its six generating units at the company’s Montrose, Lake Road, and Sibley Stations, with a combined capacity of 900 MW

July 5, 2017: Idaho Power decides to shut down Units 1 and 2 at the Jim Bridger in 2032 and 2028, respectively.

August 23, 2017: The Lansing Board of Water and Light will close its 155 MW coal-fired Erickson Generating Station by December 2025.

October 8, 2017: Luminant, a subsidiary of Vistra Energy Corp (NYSE:VST), announced closure of its 1,800 MW Monticello power plant on January 4. 2018.

October 13, 2017: Luminant announced the closure of its two-unit Sandow Power Plant in Milam County, Central Texas. Unit four with, a capacity of 591 MW, and Unit 5, with a capacity 581 MW, will close in early 2018.

October 13, 2017: Luminant announced the closure of its two-unit Big Brown Power Plant in Freestone County, Texas. Units 1 and 2, both with a capacity 595 MW, will close in early 2018.

November 14, 2017: Kentucky Utilities announced about the closure of Unit 1 (114 MW) and Unit 2 (180 MW) located at the E.W. Brown coal plant near Herrington Lake in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

November 15, 2017: Rocky Mountain Power announces its decision to close the 116 MW Hardin Generating Station in early 2018.

November 28, 2017: Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group Inc (NYSE:WEC) announced to close the Pleasant Prairie coal-fired power plant (2 units, 595 MW each) permanently in the second quarter of 2018.

November 28, 2017: Wisconsin Public Service decided to close the last two units–Unit 7 (81.6 MW) and Unit 8 (149.6 MW)–at its J.P. Pulliam plant in Green Bay, WI between late 2018 and early 2019.

December 1, 2017: Willmar Municipal Utilities announced the closure of its 22 MW coal-fired plant.

December 7, 2017: The owners of Colver Power Plant announced the closure of its only unit (Unit 1, 118 MW) in September of 2020.

The dramatic reduction in the prices of renewable energy resources and natural gas has led to the decline in coal consumption, resulting in the U.S. coal industry decline. This will continue in the future, too, as coal is not in demand anymore.


And this was under the first full year of the Trump adminstration, an administration that couldn't have been more supportive (publicly) of coal-fired generation. And yet all these plants were announced for closure. That is a staggering amount of baseload power coming off the grid in years to come.


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PostPosted: Jan 23, 2018 11:15 pm 
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The US has access to cheap gas. Those who have coal or bitumen could carry out underground gasification, clean up the gas and use it like gas fuel.
Conversion to ethanol/methanol or other liquid fuels could also be feasible.


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PostPosted: Jan 25, 2018 5:39 am 
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What surprises me is the small size of these generating units.

Like in the UK all the ex-CEGB sub 500MWe coal units were gone within a couple of years of privatisation.
Everything left now is 660MWe.

Are these units all really old or something?


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PostPosted: Apr 27, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Quote:
May 16, 2017: Detroit, Michigan based DTE Energy Co (NYSE:DTE) announced the closure its eight generating units at four plants with a combined capacity of 3,355 MW by 2050.

...and the inevitable consequence...

Critics question need for DTE’s proposed $1 billion natural gas plant

Quote:
A plan to build a $1 billion, 1,100 megawatt natural gas plant near Detroit puts Michigan at risk of overbuilding capacity and crowding out renewable energy, according to clean energy advocates. DTE retired 510 MW of coal over the past two years, and plans to retire another 1,970 MW by 2023. The utility has announced renewable energy projects to comply with the state’s renewable portfolio standard, but the 1,100 MW plant would make up the remainder of the utility’s capacity required by the regional grid operator, MISO.


"Crowd out" renewables? Is that code for "do the job reliably that they can't do?"

Hmmm, maybe the AEC should have let Detroit Edison build that thorium breeder reactor that they wanted to build back in 1951...


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