TABLE H-1 Baseline and 2010 Goals for Total IGCC System as Given in DOE’s Advanced IGCC Research


Efficiency (%)

Capital Costa($/kW)

O&M ($/year)

COE ($/MWh)

Availability (%)

Goal set by DOE advanced gasification program

Increase of 2% to 4%

5% decrease

Decrease of $1 million


Increase of 5%

Baseline assuming entrained gasifier






Goal assuming compact gasifier






Baseline in DOE systems analysis






2010 goal in DOE systems analysis






Baseline input to NEMS cases






2010 goal input to NEMS cases






aOvernight costs in 2003 dollars.

SOURCE: Gary Stiegel, Gasification Technology Manager, DOE, National Energy Technology Laboratory, “Gasification Overview: Prospective Benefits Study,” Presentation to the panel, October 5, 2005; and Julianne Klara, Senior Analyst, DOE, National Energy Technology Laboratory, “NEMS-based benefits of FE gasification R&D,” Presentation to the panel, October 5, 2005.

the advanced turbines subprogram3 and on how DOE uses the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) to assess the economic benefits of the gasification program.4 Based on the presentations, there are quantitative goals, generally expressed in terms of the total IGCC system, for six principal criteria:

  • Thermal efficiency,

  • Capital cost,

  • Operation and maintenance (O&M) cost,

  • Cost of electricity (COE),

  • Availability (the fraction of time during which the plant is generating electricity), and

  • Emissions.

The principal research activities in the gasification program that are intended to provide the technology to meet the performance goals are these:

  • Warm gas cleanup,

  • Instrumentation (e.g., temperature measurement),

  • Materials (e.g., refractory),

  • Air separation by means of, for example, ion transport membrane (ITM),

  • Dry coal feeding (e.g., Stamet pump), and

  • Advanced gasifiers (transport gasifier, Rocketdyne gasifier).

In conducting the benefits analysis of the program, it became clear to the panel that there was some inconsistency in the goals and their timing as depicted in the DOE presentations. Furthermore, it was not clear from the information presented how much each of the major research activities listed above was expected to contribute, quantitatively, to reaching the goals. Therefore, the panel asked DOE to fill out a spreadsheet specifically for the gasification element of the program to clarify the program goals and improvements expected if the major program activities are successful.

Table H-1 was prepared by the panel based on information in the DOE presentations. Taken together, the baselines and goals indicate that the DOE program is seeking improvements of 5 to 10 percentage points in thermal efficiency (up to about 50 percent overall), $200 to $500 per kilowatt (/kW) in overnight capital cost (down to $1,000/kW), and 5 to 10 percentage points in availability (up to 90 percent).

Tables H-2, H-3, and H-4 show the data and reference notes DOE provided on the improvements its R&D is expected to make in IGCC system performance. The committee distinguished three categories of improvements:

  • Evolutionary improvements. These research activities are part of the DOE program but also likely to be developed to some extent by non-DOE efforts. The panel added two activities under the heading “non-DOE or non-gasification program advancements” to help quantify the improvement one might expect absent the DOE program (see Table H-2).

  • Evolutionary improvements—major DOE programs. These project activities are principally within the DOE program. The panel added a line for the goals of the complementary DOE turbines program (see Table H-3).

  • Revolutionary or long-term improvements. The panel concluded that these project activities of the DOE program would need to be successful, in addition to the activities that achieve “evolutionary” improvements, to achieve the more aggressive goals of the DOE program (e.g., 48 percent thermal efficiency). The panel added a line to Table H-4 for potential improvements to thermal efficiency resulting from gasifier research being done outside the United States, principally in China and Japan. It noted that advances in gasification-related technologies being developed in the


Richard A. Dennis, “FE turbine program: Delivering benefits to future coal based power systems,” Presentation to the panel on October 5, 2005, Washington, DC.


Julianne M. Klara, senior analyst, FE, DOE, “NEMS-based benefits of FE gasification R&D,” Briefing to the panel on October 5, 2005.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement