Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) is one of the cleanest, most efficient and effective ways of converting coal, and other hydrocarbon feedstocks, into synthesis gas (syngas) to produce commercially-viable electricity as well as other products such as synfuels. A critical factor in the development of IGCC is confidence that the technologies can operate at the required scale in a reliable and safe manner with high availability and provide for permanent storage of CO2. For gasification based systems there is a need to facilitate the introduction of a new technology to the Australian power industry. The major technical risks associated with IGCC are:

  1. Gasifier design and operation to ensure complete and efficient coal conversion to maximise efficiency and reduce carbon in slag to acceptable levels
  2. Ability of Australian coals to form slags that do not compromise gasifier operation and ensure high availability.
  3. Development of improved and breakthrough technologies for syngas cleaning and processing, gas separation and CO2 capture systems

All of the above issues rely on a detailed understanding of the behaviour of coals in the gasification process and of the resultant impacts on downstream unit operations associated with syngas cleaning, processing, separation and storage or utilisation. Consequently, as well as facilitating demonstration projects, it is essential that the R&D infrastructure and capabilities, including an appropriately-scaled research gasifier system, be available to reduce the risks associated with deployment of these technologies.

The focus of the IGCC program will be on facilitating early demonstration projects in the near term, and also on identifying productive areas for near term capacity building and constructive linkages to fundamental R&D to support technology development for commercial deployment and optimising and adapting commercial technologies to local conditions and circumstances.

Harris, D & Roberts, D 2009, ANLECR&D scoping study: Black coal IGCC.

Typical percentage of total cost for IGCC projects

ANLEC R&D aims to focus on reducing the highest costs of IGCC projects.