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February 27, 2006



So, as far as I understand the suggested application of these fuel cells, they would replace the steam turbine cycle in the IGCC plant. That is, the IGCC plant would first gasify coal, use that syngas in a gas turbine cycle and then, rather than use the hot syngas to flash water into steam for a steam cycle (via a heat exchanger), they would run the syngas through a fuel cell instead, which is more efficient.

My question is why can't they do all three? Why not gasify the coal, run the syngas through a gas turbine, then use a heat exchanger to transfer the heat from the syngas to water to flash steam for a steam cycle, then use the now cold syngas to run through a fuel cell? Is there a problem here? Does the syngas need to stay hot enough to flow through the fuel cell, making it impossible to do the steam cycle step? That's the only explanation I can think of. Anybody got an idea?

Jim from The Energy Blog

They do plan on doing all three, I just didn't go into that detail in my post. They have determined some optimum combination of the three that gives the greatest efficiency.

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I wonder what will be the meaning of those symbols. Hope there is one click for the translation here.

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