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Sara Jones

In most conventional combustion processes, air is
used as the source of oxygen
Nitrogen is not necessary for combustion and causes
problems by reacting with oxygen at combustion
A high concentration of nitrogen in the flue gas can
make CO2 capture unattractive
With the current push for CO2 sequestration to ease
global warming, it is imperative to develop cost-
effective processes that enable CO2 capture
The use of pure oxygen in the combustion process
instead of air eliminates the presence of nitrogen in
the flue gas, but combustion with pure oxygen
results in very high temperatures
In 1982 oxy-fuel combustion was proposed
to produce CO2 for Enhanced Oil
Recycling of hot flue gas has also been
suggested to reduce furnace size and NOx
emissions for metal heating furnaces
Lately, interest has been paid to oxy-fuel
combustion as a means to reduce pollutant
emission control cost and create a CO2
gas stream that can easily be compressed
and sequestered
Process Variations
Is the plant to be retrofitted or purpose-
What is the optimum O2 proportion in
the oxidant gas?
What is the desired proportion of CO2 in
the flue gas?
To what extent will the flue gas be
cleaned of NOx, SOx, and Hg?
Will CO2 be fully/partially sequestered?
Oxy-fuel combustion flow sheet

Oxygen at greater than 95% purity and recycled flue

gas are used for fuel combustion, producing a gas that
is mainly CO2 and water
Recycled flue gas is also used to control the flame
temperature and replace the volume of the missing
nitrogen needed to carry heat through the boiler
Differences from Replacing N2
To have a similar adiabatic flame temperature,
oxygen must have a concentration of about 30%
For an oxygen concentration of 30%, ~60% of the
flue gases are recycled
Because of high concentrations of carbon dioxide
and water, the furnace gas has a higher emissivity
Flue gas volume after recycling is 80% smaller than
conventional combustion, and its density is
3-5% excess of oxygen is required
Species present in flue gases are in higher
concentrations after oxy-fuel combustion
Power must be provided for flue gas compression
and air separation
Oxy-fuel combustion with CO2
sequestration involves oxygen separation,
flue gas recycling, CO2 compression, and
transport and storage
A number of modifications to conventional
pf coal technology must occur
Running more processes leads to a
reduction in availability
The use of carbon sequestration increases
capital and operating costs
Oxy-fired PF Power Plant

O2 is separated from air and mixed with the recycle stream from the
Fuel is fired into this mixed stream, and a portion of the flue gases is
Water vapor in the flue gas is condensed to form a stream of
supercritical CO2 of high purity, 70% by mass CO2 as compared to
17% with air-fired combustion
CO2 can then be cooled and compressed for transportation and storage
Design and Operational Issues
Concentration of tri-atomic flue gas molecules
is much higher in oxy-fuel combustion -
changes the emissivity
CO2 and H2O also have higher thermal
capacities than nitrogen, which leads to a
higher heat transfer in the convective section
of the boiler
Amount of gas passing through the boiler is
lower, and heat transfer is increased in the
radiative section of the boiler
Result is lower heat transfer in the convective
section of the boiler and a lower gas
temperature at the furnace exit
Design and Operational Issues
Effects of flue gas recycling on trace
elements emissions and fly ash size
distribution have not been
experimentally determined
Several studies have shown problems
with flame stability and ignition
Currently, no studies have been
conducted that assess the impact of
oxy-fuel combustion on deposit
formation and structure
Pilot Scale Studies-EERC and ANL
10 Million Btu/hr boiler pilot facility
With wet recycle, an oxygen concentration of
23.8% in the burners was needed to match the
heat transfer performance of air-fired
For dry recycle, a 27% oxygen concentration
was needed
In-furnace gas temperature profile was similar
with oxy-fuel combustion, but NOx and SOx
emissions were lower (by 50% for NOx) and
the carbon burnout was higher
No operational difficulties were found
Pilot Scale Studies - IFRF
2.5 MW furnace with air-staged swirl burner
oxy-fuel combustion had radiative and convective
heat transfer performance, in-flame gas composition
trends, combustion performance, and flame length
and stability comparable to air-fired combustion
Optimum ratio for recycled flue gas was found to be
Maximum flue gas CO2 concentration of 91.4% was
NOx emissions were reduced
Low NOx burner technology was demonstrated to be
practicable for oxy-fuel combustion
Pilot Scale Studies IHI
1.2 MW combustion-test furnace with swirl
Injection of pure O2 at the center of the burner
improves flame stability and decreases the
ashs unburnt carbon content
NOx conversion was lower than with
conventional combustion, but increased as
oxygen concentration increased
NOx reduction occurs because of rapid
reduction of recycled NOx into HCN and NH3
SOx emissions decreased from condensation
of sulphates in ducts and adsorption of sulphur
in ash
Pilot Scale Studies Air Liquide
1.5 MW pilot-scale boiler with air staged
combustion system
Smooth transition from air to O2 with good
flame stability and heat transfer achievable
Less NOx than conventional below the
0.15 lb/MMBtu standard for units installed
after July 1997
Effective removal of SOx with wet FGD
equipment and significant reduction of Hg
emission (~50%)
Large reduction in unburnt carbon in fly
ash, leading to improved boiler efficiency
Pilot Scale Studies CANMET
0.3 MW vertical combustor research facility
Flue gas CO2 concentration close to
theoretical (~92%)
Equivalent flame temperature at 35% O2. O2
purity (<5% N2) had no significant effect on
flame temperature
Reduced NOx dependent on O2
concentration, flame temperature. Difference
decreases significantly if 3% N2 present
Increasing O2 concentration decreases CO
emission. Decrease in CO concentration
along flame is slower than conventional
because of high CO2 concentration
Experimental results compared to modeling
Industry is familiar with Reduced efficiency
this type of technology Not demonstrated at
Viable for near-zero commercial-scale
emissions might be unforeseen
Can be retrofitted to technical difficulties
existing plant as oxy- SOx removal might be
fuel with CO2 required
liquefaction or direct flue Oxygen separation plant
gas liquefaction needed
Can be implemented in
new plant or put into
new plant design for
later retrofit
Low NOx emissions
Future R&D
Heat transfer performance of new and
retrofitted plants
Impact of O2 concentration and CO2
recycle ratio
Assess retrofits for electricity cost and
cost of CO2 avoided
Combustion of coal in O2/CO2
ignition, burn-out, emissions
Development of less costly O2
Oxy-fuel combustion is technically
feasible with current technologies
CO2 in flue gas is relatively pure and is
sufficient for sequestration
Potential to reduce pollutant emissions,
especially NOx