Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Coal

Alstom and DOE to develop hybrid combustion-gasification chemical looping process

14 May 2004 – Alstom announced that it is participating in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project to develop and verify a novel hybrid combustion-gasification chemical looping concept for ultra-clean, low cost, high efficiency coal power generation.

Alstom will develop the hybrid combustion-gasification process using high temperature chemical and thermal looping technologies. The process is based on the oxidation, reduction, carbonation, and calcination of calcium-based compounds to chemically react with coal, biomass, or opportunity fuels in two chemical loops and one thermal loop.

Alstom has completed engineering studies and bench-scale tests on the chemical looping process and determined that this process has the potential to meet ultra-clean low emissions targets, including CO2 capture, at a cost and efficiency that is about the same as today’s power plants. Project participants include U.S. DOE, Alstom, Parsons Energy & Chemical Group, Inc., ABB Lummus Global, Inc., and PEMM Corporation.

Pilot-scale process testing is now underway at Alstom’s Power Plant Laboratories research complex in Windsor, Connecticut, USA.

The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, which will oversee the research, has set goals for advanced power systems to have near-zero emissions, fuel flexibility, high-value products, high process efficiency, and cost competitiveness. The continued use of fossil fuel based energy must be matched by combining energy availability at reasonable prices with increasingly clean environmental performance throughout the energy life cycle of production, conversion, and end-use.

The chemical looping process components can be configured alternately as a combustion-based steam power plant with or without CO2 capture or as a hybrid combustion-gasification process producing syngas, or ultimately, as an integrated hybrid combustion-gasification process producing hydrogen for gas turbines, fuel cells or other hydrogen based applications while also producing a separate stream of CO2 for use or sequestration. “By developing and deploying these configurations as independent steps,” says John Marion, Director of Global R&D and Power Plant Laboratories for Alstom’s Utility Boiler Business, “this new concept offers the promise to become the technology link from today’s Rankine cycle steam power plants to tomorrow’s advanced power generation plants,”


Funding for the $4m program is partially provided by a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy under Instrument Number DE-FC26-03NT41866. Alstom is committed to developing chemical looping technology for fossil fuel based power generation and is providing significant co-funding to the project.