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Review of Doe’s Vision 21 Research and Development Program—Phase I
Recommendation. The U.S. Department of Energy is encouraged to set up programs for the installation and operation of slipstream units to obtain data needed from commercial-scale gasification plants.
Finding. The objectives of the gas purification program are not stated quantitatively or with the required cost targets, and the milestones are insufficiently detailed to permit intermediate assessments of progress towards goals.
Recommendation. The objectives and milestones for the gas purification program need to be more rigorously defined and stated and the responsibility for accomplishing each milestone assigned clearly to a performing organization. Intermediate milestones with a higher technical content and specific cost targets also need to be incorporated into future review processes and into ongoing assessments of progress. Cost-benefit analyses and cost targets need to be incorporated into the planning and execution of these programs.
Finding. In response to current industry needs, the U.S. Department of Energy’s High Efficiency Engine Technology (HEET) program is focused on natural gas as a fuel to both gas turbines and gas turbine–fuel cell hybrids. Additional information and data are required to develop cost-effective, reliable, emission-compliant systems for power generation in Vision 21 gasification-based plants.
Recommendation. Additional commitments should be made to develop, design, and test large-scale turbine and fuel cell power systems that can function successfully on both synthesis gas (syngas) and hydrogen, including the development of sophisticated thermal cycles involving intercooling, reheat, humidification, and recuperation. Improvements in current natural-gas-fueled power generation systems should be incorporated to the extent appropriate in syngas- and hydrogen-fueled Vision 21 power plants. The U.S. Department of Energy is encouraged to set up programs for the installation of test articles (including vanes, blades, and other high-temperature components) as well as for the installation and operation of slipstream units to obtain the needed data from commercial-scale gasification plants.