A technical-economic assessment of an innovative system which integrates absorption enhanced reforming (AER) of lignite with molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) for electricity generation is investigated using the ECLIPSE process simulator.The simulation results show that the proposed system of combining AER with MCFC has the electricity output of 206 kW, with the electrical efficiency of 44.7% (low heating value – LHV) and CO2 emissions of 751 g/kW h, when fuelled with lignite. The system has a specific investment (SI) of £11 642 and a break even electricity selling price (BESP) 21 p/kW e, compared to the SI of £10 477 and the BESP of 19 p/kW e for the basic case of MCFC fuelled with natural gas.A sensitivity analysis of the break even selling price (BESP) of electricity and the specific investment (SI) versus the capital cost show that capital costs have a significant effect on BESP and SI. Based on the basic case of capital cost of £2 398 000, when the capital cost of the system reduces 50%, the relevant BESP lowers down to 10.8 p/kW e, the SI also reduces by 50%, to £5864/kW e.A sensitivity analysis of fuel cost versus BESP show that the fuel cost has a little effect on BESP. For the basic case of the system with the cost of lignite £20/ton, the BESP is 21.1 p/kW e. While the fuel cost reduces by 50%, to £10/ton, the BESP lower down to 20.9 p/kW e, only reduces 0.2 p/kW e, the change is 0.9%.Although the BESP and SI are high for the AER + MCFC system, there are no nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions from the system; the CO2 gas stream produced in the AER process is suitable for subsequent sequestration. Thus the combination system may become a power generation with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Wang, YD., Huang, Y., McIlveen-Wright, D., Hewitt, N., Eames, P., Rezvani, S., & McMullan, J. (2006). Absorption enhanced reforming of lignite integrated with molten carbonate fuel cell. Fuel, 85(14-15), 2133-2140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2006.03.019