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High-efficiency power production from coal with carbon capture



A zero-emissions power plant with high efficiency is presented. Syngas, produced by the gasification of coal, is shifted to produce H2 which in turn fuels stacks of solid oxide fuel cells. Because the fuel cells maintain separate anode and cathode streams, air can be used as the oxygen source without diluting the fuel exhaust with nitrogen. This enables recovery of CO2 from the exhaust with a very small energy penalty. As a result, an absorption-based CO2 recovery process is avoided, as well as the production of large quantities of high-purity O2, allowing a high overall thermal efficiency and essentially eliminating the energy penalty for carbon capture. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010