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Clean Coal Power

IGCC systems are being widely touted as a clean coal technology capable of curbing emissions sufficiently to continue to allow coal rich economies such as the US, China and Australia to continue to burn the fuel.

The IGCC process works by using a partial oxidation reaction to convert coal into synthesis gas (syngas) from which particulate matter, mercury and sulphur is removed. The syngas is then used to fuel a highly efficient gas turbine combined cycle system, whereby the gas is used to power a gas turbine generator before the waste heat is captured to power a second steam turbine system.

IGCC represents a new-generation power plant capable of capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global climate change. IPS simulation services and technology will be used to demonstrate that IGCC plants can produce environmentally friendly coal-fueled electricity on a commercial scale while eradicating the emissions created by conventional power plants.

GE Energy claims the technology provides a cleaner alternative to conventional coal powered plants, slashing emissions of sulphur dioxides, mercury and particulate matter by more than half and also cutting carbon emissions even before carbon capture technology is fitted.

According to GE Energy calculations, the US could cut emissions by over 320 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and over 1.8 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide if all conventional coal plants operating in the US were fitted with IGCC technology.

Research and projects are expected to include:

· Co-combustion of coal with biomass or oxygen (which can lead to reductions in carbon emissions)
· Approaches to carbon capture and storage

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