Effect of colombian coal rank and its feeding technology on substitute natural gas production by entrained gasification

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Juan Fernando Pérez-Bayer
Rolando Barrera-Zapata
Carlos Alberto Salazar-Jiménez


The effect of coal rank (from sub-bituminous to semi-anthracite) and type of fuel feeding technology (slurry and dry) on the production of substitute natural gas (SNG) in entrained flow gasifiers is studied. Ten coals from important Colombian mines were selected. The process is modeled under thermochemical equilibrium using Aspen Plus, and its performance is evaluated in function of output parameters that include SNG heating value, Wobbe index, coal conversion efficiency, cold gas efficiency, process efficiency, global efficiency, and SNG production rate, among others. In descending order, the coal-to-SNG process improves energetically with the use of coals with: higher volatile-matter to fixed-carbon ratio, lower ash content, higher C+H/O ratio, and higher coal heating value. The overall energy efficiency of the slurry-feed technology (S-FT) to produce SNG by gasification is 17% higher than the dry-feed technology (D-FT), possibly as a consequence of the higher CH4 concentration in the syngas (around 7 vol. %) when the coal is fed as aqueous slurry. As the simulated SNG meets the natural gas (NG) quality standards in Colombia, the substitute gaseous fuel could be directly transported through pipelines. Therefore, the coal-to-SNG process is a technically feasible and unconventional alternative for NG production.


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