Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Answers Call for Clean-Coal Technology with Commissioning of Compact Gasification Pilot Plant
Responding to the nation's need for affordable clean-coal technology, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne today celebrated the commissioning of a compact gasification pilot plant in Illinois designed to help lower energy costs, provide a clean alternative fuel source and strengthen U.S. energy security. The pilot plant is the first step toward global commercialization of the innovative technology. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
The commissioning was held at the Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill., where the pilot plant for the compact gasifier is located. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has teamed with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE), Zero Emission Energy Plants, Ltd. (ZEEP), the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to develop and commercialize compact gasification, a higher efficiency and lower cost alternative to current gasification systems.
"The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne gasifier provides a 90 percent decrease in size compared to competing systems, thereby enabling higher efficiency, and as much as a 25 percent reduction in cost with enhanced reliability," said Jim Maser, president, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. "We look forward to leveraging Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's 50 years of engineering experience and working together with our teams in this initiative to reduce cost and improve performance of gasification plants worldwide."
Gasification is a process that converts carbon-containing material such as coal or biomass into synthesis gas (syngas). Syngas can be burned to produce electricity or further processed to manufacture chemicals, fertilizers, liquid transportation fuels, synthetic natural gas or hydrogen.
The capital cost to build a commercial-scale compact gasification plant using Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's technology is estimated to be 20 percent less than conventional gasification plants. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's compact gasifier is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 10 percent compared to standard gasification technologies. EMRE is sharing development cost and collaborating with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to develop, demonstrate and license the technology.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.