Senior Design 2011-2010
Clean Coal Case Study
The future of energy in America has been a subject of concern for the past several years as traditional sources of energy are dwindling in supply and are known to have negative health and environmental impacts. Currently, a majority of America’s energy comes from coal fired power plants, due in part to the vast coal reserves located in North America, and while there are available resources to run the country on coal for hundreds of more years the emissions from the plants are a source of health and environmental concern. In the near future, it is likely that the United States government will begin to tax the emissions from these plants placing additional costs on the power companies. In the coming years as more power is needed and without other feasible energy sources to turn to, energy companies will continue to build and maintain coal fired power plants and energy CEOs across the country will face the decision of building a conventional power plant and potentially paying a large carbon tax or they will consider the option of building a clean coal power plant at a higher capital cost to avoid future potential taxation.
The purpose of this investigation will be to investigate both conventional and clean coal power options to surpress harmful emissions. The economics, energy efficiency, and environmental impact of each plant will be considered to determine if clean coal is a possible option for power generation in the future.
This project is a collaboration of three senior design teams (Team 14, 15, and 16). Team 14 will investigate the processes involved in scrubbing and cleaning the exhaust gases produced by the power plants. Team 15 will be responsible for the design and optimization of a gasifier for an integrated gasification combined cycle and the design of an oxygen plant to provide the needed oxygen for each different power plant. Team 16 will design the Rankine cycle for each plant and determine the spcifications for the turbines in each plant.