The United States electric industry is entering a period where growth and the aging of existing plants will mandate a decision on whether to repower, add capacity or do both. The power generation cycle of choice, today, is the combined cycle that utilizes the Brayton and Rankine cycles. The combustion turbine in a combined cycle can be used in a repowering mode or in a greenfield plant installation. Today’s fuel of choice for new combined cycle power generation is natural gas. However, due to a 300-year supply of coal within the United States, the fuel-of-the future will include coal.
Westinghouse has supported the development of coal-fueled gas turbine technology over the past thirty years. Working with the U.S. Department of Energy and other organizations, Westinghouse is actively pursuing the development and commercialization of several coal-fueled processes. To protect the combustion turbine and environment from emissions generated during coal conversion (gasification/combustion) a gas cleanup system must be used. This paper reports on the status of fuel gas cleaning technology and describes the Westinghouse approach to developing an advanced hot gas cleaning system that contains component systems that remove particulate, sulfur, and alkali vapors. The basic process uses ceramic barrier filters for multiple cleaning functions.