Cogasification of solid fuels
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High efficiency gas turbine based systems, utility deregulation and more stringent environmental regulations strongly favor the use of natural gas over coal and other solid fuels in new electricity generators. Solid fuels could continue to compete, however, if a low cost gasifier fed by low cost feedstocks can be coupled with a gas turbine system. We examine on-site gasification of coal with other domestic fuels in an indirectly heated gasifier as a strategy to lower the costs of solid fuel systems. The systematics of gaseous pyrolysis yields assembled with the help of thermal measurement data and molecular models suggests blending carbonaceous fuels such as coal, coke or char with oxygenated fuels such as biomass, RDF, MSW, or dried sewage sludge. Such solid fuel blending can, with the help of inexpensive catalysts, achieve an optimum balance of volatiles, heating values and residual char thus reducing the technical demands upon the gasifier. Such simplifications should lower capital and operating costs of the gasifier to the mutual benefit of both solid fuel communities.