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TABLE 7-2 DOE's Program Goals for Pressurized Fluidized-Bed Combustion Systems
Pressurized Fluidized-Bed Combustion
Net efficiency, percent
Air toxics emissions relative to 1990 Clean Air Act amendments
Capital cost, $/kW
Electricity cost compared to current pulverized coal
10 Percent lower
20 Percent lower
25 Percent lower
Commercial completion milestones
Commercial scale demonstrations—2000
70- to 80-MW demonstration projects ongoing
Systems development, integration, and testing ongoing
Source: DOE (1993a).
Technical Issues, Risks, and Opportunities
AFBC systems, either in the bubbling bed or circulating bed configuration, constitute a commercially mature technology, and DOE has contributed in a major way to its success. To further enhance its commercial application, manufacturers need to refine the technology to achieve lower capital costs compared with modern pulverized coal (PC) plants, improved environmental performance, and improved operating efficiency. However, the time period for competitive application of this technology in the U.S. electric power production sector is now and in the immediate future. The availability and cost of natural gas, along with competition from modern PC plants, will dictate whether AFBC continues to be a technology of choice for environmental compliance and new capacity additions by independent power producers. Because most new coal plants currently are being constructed outside the United States, the greatest opportunity for this technology is in developing countries.
PFBC technology is just beginning to be commercially demonstrated and