Coal-Fired Power plants &
Carbon Capture and Storage Research (CCS)
Addressing the challenges of coal-fired power plants
Coal-fired power plants are facing significant technological challenges. They demand more flexibility, greater efficiency, and less environmental impact. Drawing on many years of experience with coal-firing technologies, our experts are focusing on finding solutions to each of these challenges.
Investigating and mitigating the potential effects of operational flexibility
Electricity grids have to cope with an ever-increasing decentralization of energy generation. In order to ensure grid stability, coal-fired power plants need to increase their operational flexibility. Different solutions are lowering the technical minimum, increasing the ramping rate or cycling, which is starting and stopping power generation according to real-time energy demand. However, since existing plants were not designed to operate flexibly, the effects remain unknown. Our experts are investigating the impact on plant equipment and the possible ways to safeguard the plants’ life time expectancy.
Moving towards 100% biomass plants
Laborelec helps power plants increase their co-firing rate up to a 100% biomass operation. This is, for instance, the focus of our experts participating in the European FP7 Debco Project . In addition, a growing variety of biofuel types are being used. What will be the impact of firing different biomass materials and their mixtures on equipment, plant operation, and the efficiency of coal-fired power plants? At Laborelec, chemists, combustion and material experts, and biomass experts work together in order to answer these questions.
Material research for ultra super critical technologies
Power plants require ever-more cost-effective production. One of the options to achieve this is to burn coal at higher temperatures and pressures, as is the case in Ultra Super Critical (USC) power plants. Consequently, USC plants require materials that can cope with these extreme conditions. Laborelec is at the forefront of USC research. Our experts are active in various renowned international research projects and expert workgroups, for instance investigating the behaviour of various candidate materials or the chemical conditions necessary for ensuring the production of ultra pure water for the water/steam cycle.
Reducing the impact of coal-fired power technologies
Our experts continuously research ways to improve fuel flexibility and optimize combustion. We are developing a test rig that enables us to investigate slagging and fouling issues. We also developed a pyrolysis model together with the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). The model is coupled with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in order to optimize biomass firing and accurately predict emissions when (co)-firing biomass. In addition, we research ways to optimize biomass torrefaction as far as production, use, and market are concerned.
Post-combustion carbon capture reduces emissions
Of all the technologies to capture CO2 emissions, Post-Combustion Carbon Capture (PCCC) is currently the most mature one. Nevertheless, many questions regarding PCCC remain. Laborelec is conducting research on PCCC plant emissions, on the use and selection of solvents for capturing the CO2, and on increasing PCCC plant efficiency. Our experts are acquiring invaluable knowledge from their work at the test site at the Esbjerg coal-fired power pilot plant in Denmark. They are also participating in the GDF SUEZ ROAD demo plant project in Rotterdam.
Phone: +32 (0)2 382 02 08
More info on Coal-Fired Power plants Carbon Capture and Storage Research (CCS)