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GE Technology Selected for Hydrogen Energy IGCC Project in California

GE Energy has signed a technology licensing agreement with Hydrogen Energy (HEI) for a proposed 250-megawatt power plant that would use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology. The plant, to be located near Bakersfield, in Kern County, Calif., would be designed to capture up to 90% of its carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration in an adjacent oil field. (Earlier post.)

HEI is a joint venture of BP Alternative Energy and multinational mining company Rio Tinto Hydrogen. In 2007, GE and BP formed a global alliance to jointly develop and deploy technology for at least five IGCC power plants that could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation. The Hydrogen Energy California County project would be the first power plant built under that alliance.

IGCC plants gasify solid fuels into syngas, which then is used by a gas turbine combined-cycle system to generate electricity, providing a cleaner, economical coal-to-power option. IGCC also significantly reduces criteria emissions—sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and particulate matter—and decreases water consumption by up to 30% (as compared to a conventional coal plant).

The technology proposed for the Hydrogen Energy California plant would convert petroleum coke, coal or a combination of each into syngas. Chemical scrubbers would filter out pollutants and would separate CO2, leaving a hydrogen-rich fuel to power the gas turbine combined-cycle system. The carbon captured from the plant would be piped to an adjacent oil field, where it would be used for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration operations.

GE Energy has been developing IGCC technology for more than two decades. GE technology was involved in several milestone projects, including the pilot IGCC plant, Coolwater, in Barstow, Calif., and the Polk Tampa Electric IGCC plant in Florida, that helped demonstrate the commercial feasibility of IGCC. GE also is supplying IGCC technology for Duke Energy’s plant in Edwardsport, Ind., that is expected to be the world’s largest IGCC facility when it reaches commercial operation in 2012.

There are nearly 70 GE-licensed gasification facilities operating around the world today and approximately 40 of these plants use commercial technology to separate carbon.


Stan Peterson


California will have its first IGCC plant and its first coal/gas plant in a long time. These facilities have the cleanest toxic emissions of any fossil fuel plants as they burn "cleaned Gas". They also have the highest thermal efficiency obtainable in any power facility using the combined gas and steam turbine generation, and approaching 60%.

Maybe the strangle hold that the green zealots have exercised over electric power developments of any type, including wind and solar in California is falling to the reality of 12+% unemployment and lots of industry fleeing the State.

As Benjamin Franklin noted: "..the prospect of Hanging concentrates the Mind...."


You have to admire their nerve, calling an IGCC coal burning station "Hydrogen Energy".

Anyway, lets get it built and see how well it actually works and what it costs per KWh.


The coal energy industry using these methods are certainly making impressive claims.

The best 'clean coal' using these FT process have to keep in mind that 90% CC start from at best 2.5 * Oil equivalent. Brings that number down to 75% O.E.

The clenaning and sequestration penalty is minimised in this instance by using the CO2 to raise more oil.
Economic, but not low emission.

The CO2 sequestered does not refer to the CO2 emissions from the use of the refined product.
That is exactly unchanged for a given fuel except for that benefit from a higher analysis fuel. That is an important consideration in enabling cleaner engines.
When oil is becoming lower grade. The OE number stays the same as a standardised figure so that wont be noticed.

Industry practice rarely delivers best practice in reality and leaks are seldom reported.

Witness Chernovyl, Long Island, The dozens of Red alerts over the years that saw us on the brink of Nuclear holocaust.

We currently have a 10 week oil and gas leak in the Timor sea covering thousands of sq Kilometers and deeply concerning other nation states in the area.
Starting the same week as the declaration of world heritage marine conservation zone in that area.
In week eight the same company PPTE Australia A Thai based operator, is granted 10 more exploration rights.
In week 9 the *public* are informed that all this time another neighbouring well had been leaking from a week prior? to the second rig failure, but it's OK because that one is minor?

There are numerous other "out of control" environmental happenings in Australian territories.
The govt do what they do,or are allowed to by the puppet masters. The companies what they do to "provide a service " as cheaply and plentifully as possible (for cash).

My best guess is this is only happening because of
- some - excellent questioning media.

The reality is all this and more is happening all around the world, at any moment and we the 'informed' public don't even know.

So the only sensible reaction to such announcements of clean - hydrogen - low emission etc - buyer beware.


Breaking news:
An hour later and the unthinkable has happened.,21598,26222673-2761,00.html


I see IGCC as a good starting point, ending up with a solar assisted steam cycle plant burning a mix of fossil fuels, waste and biomass with the CO2 being sent into greenhouses to grow food.


They call it hydrogen power because they can gassify more coal then they need and generate a large h2 stream as well as 250 mw of power. This makes for VERY cheap h2 as h2 from coal is about 70 cents a kg.

Roger Pham

Produce H2 for electrical generation for now, then when more solar and wind electricity will come on board, then use the excess H2 to power FCV's! A win-win situation.

Stan Peterson

IGCC plants are the cleanest of clean coal and then the cleanest of "cleaned gas" fossil fuel plants around. Their thermal efficiency is unsurpassed. In the long run that is the true best and truest measure of emissions. If you produce Little waste to start, the waste that you do produce is not as likely to be a problem.

In contrast, the touted "renewables" like solar produce prodigious amounts of "waste" for the miserly amounts of useful Energy, that they harness.

Sooner or later everyone will see that generating 90% waste heat is not something that you want to do, when you are combating "Global Warming". Likewise increasing the amount of Energy absorbed by the Earth by altering the Albedo is not something that you want to do, when you are combating "Global Warming". Especially since you are creating prodigious waste from the extra energy you trap from the Sun.

This IGCC plant is a win win for the Energy needs of people, and of benefit to the environment.

Henry Gibson

California has almost no coal; perhaps it will come from Utah where the Californians refused to allow coal to be used to build the third unit of the IPP that sends power to California over a direct current high voltage system.

A coal fired power plant can actually be built to use no water at all, but it may be more economical to use water. ORMAT or URC Carrier can tell you how. There is more than enough water in the Pacific ocean from the melting glaciers.

The hydrogen produced can be combined with CO2 to make methanol or gasoline.

It seems to be alright to sell any number of cars in California, but just try to sell a much more highly efficient cleaner coal burning power plant. Even if both commit the deadly sin of releasing CO2, the power plant does it with higher efficiency.

Now the waste heat should be shipped to a nearby town for air conditioning and heating; you could pretend that it was geothermal energy, and recycled foam glass insulation can keep the pipes hot. Actually the H2 should be shipped to nearby towns for their own cogeneration units in individual houses and buildings. Capstone and UTC Carrier will be happy to provide the units for commercial buildings. ..HG..

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