CFB Capital and Operating Costs Review
K&M was engaged by DOE to perform a comprehensive industry and literature review of advanced coal combustion and utilization technologies, specifically circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) combustion units currently operating in the United States. K&M’s technical analysis provided a practical composite of summaries of U.S.-developed CFB systems based on such variables as fuel ash loading, size and steam flows. The report included CFB’s attributes, potential markets, a compilation of capital and operating costs in the United States as well as graphic displays
K&M was engaged by US DOE to assess the effects of erosion and corrosion on gas turbines and evaluate quantities of particulates, trace elements and other pollutants present in gas turbine exhaust. K&M also reviewed specifications for allowable trace metal contaminant levels in feed coal being developed by major turbine manufacturers to meet proposed new federal regulations. A sophisticated theoretical analysis was completed in the absence of experimental data to determine acceptable levels of contaminants. K&M’s work also included estimated economics of power generation via the three gasifier types, based on comparable cost of electricity calculation method supplied by METC.
K&M was engaged by the US DOE to analyze and interpret results of field studies, research and testing conducted on behalf of METC’s Clean Coal Technology Program to support development of commercially viable solid waste disposal technologies for utilization and management of residues generated from advanced coal technologies. This multi-faceted task addressed the environmental, health and safety aspects of project testing procedures and results, operating procedures, documentation requirements, and contractor surveys. K&M prepared assessments and recommendations for implementing strategies to maximize technology transfer to the utility and regulatory sectors. K&M also reviewed economic viability and market assessments for solid waste utilization.
The Nucal Station was the world’s first and largest utility-scale CFB facility, and the first application of this technology in the United States. K&M was engaged by DOE to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the technical progress relative to meeting project objectives, with particular emphasis on status of the test plan. K&M identified key test results, findings, and potential problem areas, compared test results with the original test plan, and reviewed variations. K&M also developed an independent test plan to assess the remainder of the testing for the facility.
K&M was engaged by US DOE to evaluate the potential performance and economics of membrane technologies for high temperature gas separations in three gasification system schemes. A systems approach using computer modeling compared the performance of these new technologies with baseline performance of existing processes. The new membrane-based separation technologies considered include those whose process steps include separation of H2 and CO2 gases, removal of contaminant gases such as H2S and NH3 and those that deal with other contaminates as indicated in the Clean Air Act of 1990. Research focused on ceramic, glass and metal membranes, with particular emphasis on flux and separation factors achieved by various types of membranes at moderate and high temperatures.
K&M was commissioned by US DOE to perform a risk assessment and determine insurance requirements for a proposed Gasification Product Improvement Facility (GPIF). This GPIF consisted of development and commercialization of a simplified Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology. Project plans called for implementation in three phases. K&M assessed the potential impact of all risks associated with the GPIF facility and its interconnection with the Ft. Martin #2 unit. Recommendations to mitigate risk were developed to address potential failure of the GPIF (especially the gasifier) to handle the LBG which may result in fire or explosion; potential rupture of the hot coal gas pipe connecting the GPIF and the boiler, and burner fires from deposition of tars.
K&M was engaged by US DOE to provide technical and strategic planning experts in support of the newly created Product Management team at the U.S. Department Energy, Morgantown Energy Technology Center. K&M experts designed various technical reviews and analyses to identify potential clean coal technologies and applications capable of moving from bench-scale to near-term demonstration and longer-term commercialization by a post-2005 time frame.
As a follow-on work, K&M was engaged by US DOE to develop a detailed cost estimate for a 7 MW externally-fired combined cycle prototype power plant. All related costs for each individual contractor were researched and evaluated to demonstrate the true project cost distributed by major work packages and each responsible contractor for the site specific demonstration project. K&M’s review team, which included DuPont, Hague International, Allison Gas Turbine, and Babcock & Wilcox, provided critical documentation for this analysis. K&M determined that the total cost for the construction of this prototype project (in 1992 dollars) was estimated at $56.06 million, or $8,009/KW. This cost did not include several factors that could potentially increase the final price.
K&M was engaged by US DOE to assess the preliminary technical and economic feasibility of a natural gas storage/co-fired retrofit system, to highlight potential institutional constraints, and to identify potential participants in advancing the concept to a commercial scale demonstration. The preliminary assessment, completed in 1991, initially considered a number of coal-burning power plants in the Appalachian area as possible retrofit candidates.
K&M was engaged by US DOE to assess the potential use of low quality/low cost alternatives to bituminous coal-based coal water slurry in heat engines already modified to burn such fuels. The successful development of these new technology prompted further research to determine the suitability of eight specific alternative low quality/low cost fuels. K&M also assessed the cost of production, availability and potential commercial success of low quality fuels, quality requirements vs. conventional heat engine fuels, and the state of current technology.