1. Although the collection and use of concentrated coalbed methane streams are not widely practiced in the coal mining industry, relevant technologies are available for commercial application.
  2. Additional reductions in emissions of coalbed methane could be achieved through the development of technologies for the capture and use, or destruction, of dilute coalbed methane streams.
  1. Strategic planning goals for the performance and cost of coal cleaning processes should define clearly the supporting role of coal preparation in DOE's programs in advanced power generation and fuels production, thereby focusing R&D activities.
  2. DOE should phase out program activities related to coal-liquid mixtures.
  3. DOE should implement a technology R&D program that addresses the control and use of dilute coalbed methane gas streams in response to EPACT requirements.


Power Generation Systems

The availability of high-performance gas turbines and low-cost natural gas has resulted in the use of natural-gas-fired combustion turbines for many recently installed power generation facilities. As discussed in Chapters 3 and 4, decreasing availability and higher costs for natural gas in the next decade and beyond are expected to result in a resurgence of construction and repowering of coal-based power generation facilities, with requirements for greatly improved emission controls and higher efficiency. Substantial improvements over past practices are technically possible. A large fraction of DOE RDD&C on power generation is devoted to systems designed to meet anticipated emission control and efficiency requirements.

The advanced coal-based power generation systems under development with DOE funding can be divided into three groups based on projected efficiency:3

  • Group 1—approximately 40 percent efficiency—includes the low-emission boiler system (LEBS), first-generation PFBC (PFBC-1), and first-generation IGCC (IGCC-1).
  • Group 2—approximately 45 percent efficiency—includes EFCC, second-generation PFBC (PFBC-2), and second-generation IGCC (IGCC-2).
  • Group 3—50 to 60 percent or greater efficiency—includes HIPPS, improved second-generation PFBC (improved PFBC-2), integrated gasification advanced-cycle (IGAC), and IGFC.


For definitions of thermal efficiency, see Glossary.

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