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World's first large-scale demonstration of warm-syngas clean-up technology

World Coal,

The world’s first large-scale demonstration of RTI International’s warm-syngas clean-up technology has taken place at Tampa Electric Co.’s (TECO) Polk Power Plant in Florida, US.

Clariant, a company specialising in chemicals, was keenly involved in the demonstration, working as the catalyst partner in the novel desulfurisation process.

RTI International’s proprietary warm syngas clean-up technology removes contaminants, such as sulfur and heavy metals from syngas generated by coal gasification. It has been tested on a 50 MW-scale pre-commercial demonstration plant at TECO’s 250 MW Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC_ power plant.

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) deputy assistant secretary for clean coal, Dr Julio Friedmann, participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the RTI demo plant on April 9, 2014.

For more than a decade, Clariant has worked with RTI to scale up and supply RTI’s proprietary RTI-3 sulfur removal sorbent. Warm-syngas desulfurisation lowers the cost of sulfur removal and largely reduces the thermal efficiency penalty compared to conventional low-temperature gas treatment processes. The technology can remove over 99.9% of sulfur in the syngas; further reduction can be achieved with polishing steps. The captured sulfur is used to produce sulfuric acid for industrial purposes at the demonstration project site. The project, funded by the US Department of Energy, will also test the large-scale capture of 90% of the CO2 from the RTI demonstration facility.

The plant, which will operate through at least June 2015, will demonstrate the feasibility of scaling up the technology to full commercial scale for power or industrial (e.g., chemicals, fertilisers, or fuels) applications. Clariant supplies RTI-3 sorbent and Clariant technology water-gas-shift catalysts for the process from its facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The RTI International-led project is the result of the company’s 20-year research effort on warm-syngas cleanup technology and we are proud of our contribution as a reliable, value-adding partner. On behalf of Clariant, I would like to congratulate RTI International and TECO on this milestone, which paves the way for improving the efficiency and environmental impact of coal gasification,” comments Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Catalysts of Clariant.

Vice President for Energy Technology Division at RTI, Raghubir Gupta, says: “We thank Clariant for their continued support of our technology, and we look forward to a successful demonstration that can show the potential of the technology beyond the power sector also for chemical applications”.

Edited by Sam Dodson

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