DOE issues $13M funding opportunity for advanced coal gasification systems for power or fuels 17 February 2013 The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000784) for up to$13 million to support the development of advanced coal gasification systems. DOE anticipates making 5 awards under the FOA.

There will be three (3) Areas of Interest (AOIs) under the FOA. The first two—Coal Feed Technologies - Low-rank Coal Feed or Coal-woody Biomass Feed Technologies; and Lower-cost Oxygen Production Systems—will look to further develop and expand on concepts already included in the Gasification Systems Program that will significantly reduce gasification’s capital and operating costs. The third AOI (High Hydrogen Syngas Production) will begin exploration (through systems analysis and small-scale R&D) of novel technologies to reduce the cost of creating chemical-grade hydrogen and/or high-hydrogen syngas.

The hydrogen content of typical raw syngas is roughly equivalent to the CO content, whereas most liquids and chemical production require at least a 2:1 ratio and high carbon capture IGCC configurations to make power require an even higher hydrogen content gas feed to the turbine.

All three AOIs are designed to assure significant reduction in the cost of coal conversion using gasification systems, enabling gasification to both improve US economic competitiveness and provide environmental benefits across the world.

To be considered for selection, a proposed technology must support reducing the environmental impact of gasification and have the potential to significantly reduce the costs of: (1) IGCC with 90% carbon capture, and/or (2) creating liquid fuel from coal with carbon capture levels resulting in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions at or below petroleum-based fuels.

AOI 1: Coal Feed Technologies - Low-rank Coal Feed or Coal-woody Biomass Feed Technologies. For this AOI, the technical objectives are:

• To develop a fuel feed technology for high-pressure gasifiers that will result in significantly lower-cost coal gasification plant construction and/or operation for production of power with carbon capture; or that will result in significantly lower-cost coal gasification plant construction and/or operation for production of liquid fuels with carbon capture. Applications shall primarily focus on the use of US sub-bituminous coal, lignite and/or coal-wood mixtures (up to 20% woody biomass [e.g. poplar, pine and hardwoods]).

• Complete a techno-economic analysis using the technology for IGCC with carbon capture; or using the technology for coal-to-liquids (either methanol or diesel), with carbon capture.

The technology of the proposed project should be on a path to be ready for first-of-a-kind commercially relevant demonstration by 2020.

AOI 2: Lower-cost Oxygen Production Systems. Projects are sought to meet the following objectives:

• Develop advanced oxygen production systems for use in gasification plants that will result in a significantly lower cost compared to conventional processes for applications to produce power with carbon capture or liquid fuels with carbon capture.

• Complete a techno-economic analysis using the technology for IGCC with carbon capture; or using the technology for coal-to-liquids (either methanol or diesel), with carbon capture.

These projects should also be ready for first-of-a-kind commercially relevant demonstration by 2020.

AOI 3: High-hydrogen Syngas Production. DOE is seeking to facilitate creative, broad-application solutions to reduce the costs of coal conversion to chemical-grade hydrogen, liquid fuels, or high-hydrogen syngas, including scoping studies and small-scale R&D projects. These studies will help to establish costs, risks, potential economic performance, and environmental impacts of such facilities and identify commercial/market potential for the products.

At a minimum, the project must include generation of lab-scale data, or must provide pre-existing data, showing the potential value of the advanced technologies through the project system analyses. Projects are sought to meet the following objectives:

• Investigate technologies that have the potential to significantly decrease the cost of producing hydrogen or syngas that is high in hydrogen, low in methane (CH4) and nitrogen (N2), and with near-zero trace contaminants, such that it is applicable to power production with carbon capture and liquid fuels production with carbon capture.

Technologies need not be limited to 100% coal fuel; however, coal must be the predominant fuel (i.e., >50% by heating value) for the economic analysis of the plant. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) novel gasifiers, new applications for commercial gasifiers, co-gasification approaches, new technologies to increase the hydrogen content of commercially available syngas, and technologies to separate CO and H2.

• Complete preliminary conceptual designs and techno-economic analyses that predict plant efficiency, cost of products, and environmental performance. The techno-economic analysis must include at least these configurations: (1) IGCC with carbon capture and (2) coal-to-liquids (either methanol or diesel) with carbon capture.

If the proposed technology will excel in other applications, these may also be proposed for analysis. Warm gas cleanup may be used in the economic analysis to demonstrate integrated technology value.

These projects should be on a path to be ready for first-of-a-kind commercially relevant demonstration by 2030.