January 26, 2012--Emery Energy Company, LLC, of Salt Lake City has announced the commissioning of its 10-ton-per-day FlexFeed TM coal gasification test facility at Western Research Institute (WRI) in Laramie, Wyo.
By combining design elements from the two leading types of gasification processes (fixed-bed and entrained flow), the FlexFeedTM gasifier is expected to deliver improved efficiencies, cleaner gas, and greater feedstock flexibility. The gasification process turns coal into syngas, which can be used for power, chemicals, hydrogen, and transportation fuels. The process also can be used in enhanced oil recovery or to capture carbon from coal for sequestration.
Emery Energy president Ben Phillips cites WRI’s experience in thermal and catalytic processes as a reason for building the gasifier at WRI’s Advanced Technology Center in Laramie. Wyoming coal was another key consideration.
“Ultimately, we hope this demonstration plant lays the groundwork to diversify how Wyoming coals are used and to develop commercial-scale, low-carbon Emery coal gasification plants within the state,” says Phillips.
Emery Energy and WRI will operate the FlexFeedTM gasifier using Wyoming coal and biomass feedstocks to assess the process economics and feasibility of constructing a commercial-scale facility to produce power, fuels and chemicals. The WRI facility will also be used to test technologies such as synthesis gas cleaning and liquid fuels and chemical production.
Says WRI Senior Vice President Vijay Sethi, “We have the facility, the ability, the resources and—perhaps most important—the elevation to execute this project.”
Sethi explains how altitude affects gasification and other chemical processes. “As anyone who has driven a regular gasoline-powered vehicle knows, changes in altitude can have drastic effects on engine performance. These altitude changes have a similar effect on gasifier performance. Laramie is located at 7,200 feet above sea level, making our site a perfect place to test and evaluate gasification processes at high altitude.”
The gasifier facility at WRI was funded by Emery Energy Company, the Wyoming Clean Coal Technologies Research Program, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Wyoming Clean Coal Technologies Research Program was established by the Wyoming Legislature in 2007 to stimulate research and development in advanced technologies that expand markets for the state’s coal. The program has committed more than $25 million to 40 projects.
In September 2011, the gasifier was nearing completion. To the left are the oxygen and
nitrogen dewars and heat exchangers for warming the liquids to gas.