Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

Dry Solids Pump Powers Cutting Edge Coal Gasification

posted by William R. Stott
Published: April 10, 2012

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne celebrated the commissioning of a commercial-scale dry-solids pump—a feed system integrated with PWR's compact gasifier to efficiently gasify coal, petcoke and other solid fuels. The dry-solids pump, located at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, is the latest step toward global commercialization of innovative technology designed to lower energy costs, provide a clean alternative fuel source and strengthen U.S. energy security.

"Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is honored to partner with the EERC," said Neeta Patel, director of Energy Systems, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "Their expertise in coal and coal handling, coupled with our experience in coal gasification and this revolutionary high-pressure feed system, makes this an ideal partnership to prove the commercial readiness of our advanced technology."

The 400-ton per day prototype dry-solids feed pump system, developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, will be used to test petcoke, bituminous and sub-bituminous coals over the next 12 months. The commissioning is a collaborative effort between the EERC; Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne; the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL); ExxonMobil; and the Alberta Energy Research Institute.

The dry-solids pump is part of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's compact gasification technology, which is 90 percent smaller than competing systems, and provides as much as a 25 percent reduction in cost with enhanced reliability. The capital cost to build a commercial-scale compact gasification plant using Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's technology is estimated to be 10 to 20 percent less than conventional gasification plants, and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 10 percent compared to standard gasification technologies.