Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Ting Wang

Second Advisor

Dr. Martin Guillot

Third Advisor

Dr. Kazim Akyuzlu

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ioannis Georgiou

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Branko Jursic


Coal is a very prominent energy source in the world, but it is environmentally unattractive due to its high sulfur and ash content as well as its alleged contribution towards climate change, but it is affordable, abundant, and has high energy content. Thus, utilizing coal in a cleaner and more efficient way has become necessary. One promising clean coal technology involves fully gasifying coal into synthesis gas, cleaning it, and feeding it into a high-efficiency combined cycle, such as an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC). Inspired by the recent success of warn gas cleanup (WGCU), mild and partial gasification are proposed as less energy intensive options. This Integrated Mild/Partial Gasification Combined Cycle (IMPGC) could significantly save energy and improve efficiency. The objective of this study is to investigate the capabilities of IMPGC as both a new plant and a retrofit option for traditional coal power plants with and without carbon capture.

I MPGC relies on the principles of mild and partial gasification and the recently available WGGU technology with the following benefits: a.) completely negate the need for syngas cooling; b.) significantly reduce the energy needed to fully thermally crack the volatiles and completely gasify the char as in the IGCC system; c.) preserve the high chemical energy hydro-carbon bonds within the feedstock to allow more efficient combustion in the gas turbine; d.) reduce the size of gasifier and piping to reduce the costs; and e.) enable retrofitting of an old coal power plant by preserving the existing equipment.

The software used (Thermoflex®) was first validated with established cases from the U.S. Department of Energy. For new plants, the results show that IMPGC’s efficiency is 8 percentage points (20%) higher than IGCC, 8 points higher than a modern subcritical Rankine cycle, and 3-4 points higher than an ultra-supercritical (USC) cycle. When retrofitting older plants, a minimum improvement of over 4 points is predicted. When carbon capture is involved, IMPGC’s efficiency becomes 10 points better than a subcritical plant and 8 points better than a USC plant. Emissions wise, IMPGC is better than IGCC and much better than Rankine cycle plants.


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Available for download on Wednesday, December 20, 2023