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1. WO2015195530 - A SYSTEM AND PROCESS FOR COMBUSTING COAL AND BENEFICIATED BIOMASS FEEDSTOCK

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A coal combusting system for combusting coal in a coal combusting apparatus with less adverse by-products, comprising:

a first input chamber of a coal combusting apparatus configured to pulverize coal and feed it into the coal combusting apparatus in a first concentration of feedstock;

a second input chamber of the coal combusting apparatus configured to pulverize processed biomass pellets from a processed biomass system and feed it into the coal combusting apparatus in a second concentration of feedstock with the ratio of the first concentration to the second concentration between 1 to 9 and 9 to 1 ;

at least one exhaust chamber having a gaseous waste stream and comprising at least one gas separation sub-system configured to separate at least 50 volume % of carbon dioxide from the gaseous waste stream;

a consumption sub-system configured to receive the separated carbon dioxide gas and consume it in the making of useful materials; and

the processed biomass system is configured to make processed biomass from unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock that includes free water, intercellular water, intracellular water, intracellular water-soluble salts, and at least some plant cells comprising cell walls that include lignin, hemicellulose, and microfibrils within fibrils, the processed biomass system, comprising:

a. a beneficiation sub-system configured to convert the unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into a processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock with characteristics that include having an energy density of at least 17 MMBTU/ton (20 GJ/MT), a water content of less than 20 wt%, and a water-soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased more than 60 wt% on a dry basis from that of the unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, and

b. a pelletizing sub-system to convert the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into processed biomass pellets.

2. The coal combusting system of claim 1 wherein the coal is a coal substitute from the group consisting of a processed biomass pellet or a coal aggregate that comprises a blend of coal and processed biomass, the coal aggregate is made in a blending sub-system, the blending sub-system, comprises:

a sizing chamber to properly sized particles of coal and processed biomass to a similar size,

a combining chamber configured to blend the similarly sized particles into a blended powder of a predetermined ratio of coal to processed biomass, and

a compacting chamber to compress the blended powder into blended compact aggregates; and

the pelletizing sub-system, comprises:

a compression chamber configured to separate the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into discrete units of mass having a longest length of at least 0.16 inch (0.41 cm) and a density of at least 37.5 pounds per cubic foot (0.60 grams per cubic centimeter) to form processed biochar pellets, and

a collection chamber configured to gather aggregates of processed biochar pellets.

3. The coal combusting system of Claim 1 wherein the first input chamber of the coal combusting apparatus and the second input chamber of the coal combusting apparatus are the same input chamber.

4. The coal combusting system of Claim 2 wherein the processed biomass is processed biochar, the blended compact aggregate has an energy density of at least 21 MMBTU/ton (25 GJ/MT), the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock is passed through a heating sub-system to form processed biochar that is blended with coal into a blended compact aggregate in a blending sub-system, and the water-soluble intracellular salt content decrease is based on comparing the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock before it is passed through the heating sub-system to the unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock.

5. The coal combusting system of Claim 2 wherein the beneficiation sub-system, comprises:

a. a transmission device configured to convey into a reaction chamber unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock comprising free water, intercellular water, intracellular water, intracellular water-soluble salts, and at least some plant cells comprising cell walls that include lignin, hemicellulose, and microfibrils within fibrils; b. at least one reaction chamber comprising at least one entrance passageway, at least one exit passageway for fluid, at least one exit passageway for processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, and at least three sections, the sections comprising,

i. a wet fibril disruption section configured to interact with at least some of the lignin and hemicellulose between the fibrils to make at least some regions of the cell wall more susceptible to penetration by water-soluble salts without dissolving more than 25 percent of the lignin and hemicellulose,

ii. a vapor explosion section in communication with the wet fibril disruption section and at least configured to volatilize plant fibril permeable fluid through rapid decompression to penetrate the more susceptible regions of the cell wall so as to create a porous organic-carbon-containing feedstock with plant cell wall passageways for intracellular water and intracellular water-soluble salts to pass from the plant cell, and

iii. a compaction section in communication with the vapor explosion section and configured to compress the porous organic-carbon-containing feedstock between pressure plates configured to minimize formation of water- impermeable felt so as to permit the escape of intracellular water and intracellular water-soluble salt from the reaction chamber fluid exit passageway and to create processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock that passes out through its reaction chamber exit passageway; and

c. a collection device in communication with the reaction chamber and configured to gather the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock having a water content of less than 20% by weight, a combined lignin and hemicellulose content that is decreased by at less than 25 % on a dry basis from that of the unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, and a water-soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased by at least 60 % on a dry basis from that of the unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock.

6. The coal combusting system of Claim 4 wherein the heating sub-system is an oxygen-deprived thermal sub-system, comprises:

a reaction chamber configured to heat processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock in an atmosphere that contains less than 4 percent oxygen to a temperature sufficient to convert at least some processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into processed biogas and processed biochar.

7. The coal combusting system of claim 6 wherein the oxygen-deprived thermal sub-system is from a group consisting of

a. a substantially horizontal sublimation system, comprising:

i. a hot box configured to be able to heat from an ambient temperature to an operating sublimation temperature, maintain an initial operating sublimation temperature and a final operating sublimation temperature that are stable within less than ±10°C, and cool from operating sublimation temperatures to an ambient temperature without leaking any oxygen into the hot box and having at least one heat source in communication with the interior of the hot box to supply heat as needed;

ii. at least one substantially horizontal reaction chamber largely located within the hot box, having a surface, configured to heat the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock without external catalyst or additional water to an operating sublimation temperature in a time frame that is short enough to sublime at least part of the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock without creating substantially any liquid, configured to heat from an ambient temperature to an operating sublimation temperature, operate at a sublimation temperature, and cool from a operating sublimation temperature to an ambient temperature without leaking any product gas fuel into the surrounding hot box, and comprising an input end outside the hot box and configured to receive compressed feedstock through an input line and an output end outside the hot box and configured to discharge product gas fuel gas through a discharge line and solid char fuel through an output line;

ii. a first powered transport mechanism that is located within the reaction chamber and is configured to convey sublimation products of the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock through the reaction chamber as the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock is transformed into processed biogas and processed biochar; and

iv. a gas-tight element on both the input line and output line and configured to prevent hot biogas from adversely escaping from the reaction chamber; or

b. a substantially vertical sublimation system, comprising:

i. at least one substantially vertical reaction chamber configured to heat the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock without external catalyst or additional water, carbon dioxide, or carbon monoxide, to an operating sublimation temperature in a time frame that is short enough to sublime at least part of the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock without creating substantially any liquid;

ii. a first powered transport mechanism that is located partly within the reaction chamber, has an extended part that extends outside the reaction chamber, and is configured to convey sublimation products of the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock through the reaction chamber as the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock is transformed into biogas and processed biochar; and

iii a self-adjusting seal that is configured to continuously contain the processed biogas within the reaction chamber at the region surrounding the extended part of the powered transport mechanism during changing temperatures of startup and shutdown operations, and during steady-state sublimation temperature during operation.

8. The coal combusting system of Claim 4 wherein the heating sub-system is a microwave sub-system, comprising:

a. at least one reaction chamber within a microwave reflecting enclosure, the reaction chamber comprising at least one microwave -transparent chamber wall and at least one reaction cavity within the reaction chamber that is configured to hold the organic-carbon-containing feedstock in an externally supplied oxygen free atmosphere;

b. a microwave subsystem comprising at least one device configured to emit microwaves when energized, the microwave device positioned relative to the reaction chamber so that the microwaves are directed through the microwave -transparent chamber wall and into the reaction cavity; and

c. a mechanism configured to provide relative motion between the microwave device and the reaction chamber.

9. The coal combusting system of Claim 5 wherein the vapor explosion section of the beneficiation sub-system, further comprises:

a wash element that is configured to remove and clean microparticles of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, lignin fragments, and hemicellulosic fragments from the vapor explosion section into a fine, sticky mass of biomass with high lignin content, and

wherein a blending chamber of the blending sub-section is further configured to receive fine, sticky mass of biomass to permit lower temperatures in a compaction chamber formation during formation of blended compact aggregates.

10. The coal combusting system of claim 5 wherein the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock has a water soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased by more than 75 wt% on a dry basis from that of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock and the compaction section of the beneficiated sub-system is configured to provide at least one rinsing step.

11. A coal combustion process for combusting coal and processed biomass in a coal combusting apparatus with less adverse by-products, comprising the steps:

providing coal feedstock to a first chamber of the coal combusting apparatus, the first chamber configured to pulverize coal and feed the coal into the coal combusting apparatus in a first concentration of feedstock,

making a processed biomass pellet feedstock in a processed biomass system, comprising the steps of:

a. inputting into the processed biomass a system comprising a first and a second subsystem an unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock that includes free water, intercellular water, intracellular water, intracellular water-soluble salts, and at least some plant cells comprising cell walls that include lignin, hemicellulose, and microfibrils within fibrils;

b. passing unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock through the first subsystem, a beneficiation sub-system via a beneficiation sub-system process, to result in processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock with characteristics that include having an energy density of at least 17 MMBTU/ton (20 GJ/MT), a water content of less than 20

wt%, and a water-soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased more than 60 wt% on a dry basis from that of the unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock; and c. passing the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock through the second subsystem, a pelletizing sub-system via a pelletizing sub-system process, to result in processed biomass pellets;

providing processed biomass pellet feedstock to a second chamber of the coal combusting apparatus, the second chamber configured to pulverize the processed biomass and feed the processed biomass into the coal combusting apparatus in a second concentration of feedstock with the ratio of the first concentration to the second concentration between 1 to 9 and 9 to 1 ;

passing a gaseous waste stream of the coal combustion apparatus through at least one exhaust chamber comprising at least one gas separation sub-system configured to separate at least 50 volume % of carbon dioxide from the gaseous waste stream and create separated carbon dioxide; and

passing the separated carbon dioxide through a gas consumption sub-system configured to receive the separated carbon dioxide gas and consume it in the making of useful materials.

12. The process of Claim 11 wherein the coal is a processed biomass pellet or a processed biomass / coal blended compact aggregate that comprises coal to processed biomass is in a ratio of concentration of from 1 to 9 to 9 to 1 and , the processed biomass system further comprises a blending sub-system that uses a blending sub-system process, and the.

13. The process of claim 12 wherein the beneficiation sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

a. inputting into a beneficiation sub-system reaction chamber unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock comprising free water, intercellular water, intracellular water, intracellular water-soluble salts, and at least some plant cells comprising cell walls that include lignin, hemicellulose, and microfibrils within fibrils;

b. exposing the feedstock to hot solvent under pressure for a time at conditions specific to the feedstock to make some regions of the cell walls comprising crystallized cellulosic fibrils, lignin, and hemicellulose more able to be penetrable by water-soluble salts without dissolving more than 25 percent of the lignin and hemicellulose;

c. removing the pressure so as to penetrate the more penetrable regions to create porous feedstock with open pores in the plant cell walls; and

d. pressing the porous feedstock with conditions that include an adjustable compaction pressure versus time profile and compaction time duration, and between pressure plates configured to prevent felt from forming and blocking escape from the reaction chamber of intracellular and intercellular water, and intracellular water-soluble salts, and to create processed biomass that has a water content of less than 20 wt% and a water-soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased by at least 60 wt% on a dry basis from that of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock; and

the blending sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

e. sizing the particles to reduce the size of coal and processed biomass to a similar size for blending;

f. combining properly sized particles of coal and processed biomass; and g. compressing the blended powder into a multitude of processed biomass / coal blended compact aggregates;

the pelletizing sub-system process, further comprises the step of

h. compressing the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to separate it into pellets with discrete units of mass having a longest length of at least 0.16 inch (0.41 cm) and a density of at least 37.5 pounds per cubic foot (0.60 grams per cubic centimeter) and collecting an aggregate of processed biomass pellets;

the carbon dioxide separation sub-system process, further comprises the steps of i. cooling a gaseous waste stream from the coal combustion apparatus and adding air to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration to less than 1000 ppm in a cooled gas stream; and

j. separating out the carbon dioxide from the cooled gas stream to form, separated carbon dioxide; and

the carbon dioxide consumption sub-system, further comprises the steps of:

k. inputting the separated carbon dioxide as feedstock into a carbon dioxide consumption sub-system with additional feedstock comprising catalysts and co-reactants from a group consisting of water, natural gas and stack acids; and

1. exposing the feedstock under heat from waste heat from the coal consumption apparatus to catalytic electrochemistry to create beneficial industrial chemicals including glycols, alcohols, olefins, and organic acids.

14. The process of claim 13 wherein the beneficiation sub-system process, further comprises:

removing and cleaning of microparticles of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, lignin fragments, and hemicellulosic fragments from the vapor explosion section into a fine, sticky mass of biomass with high lignin content in the removing the pressure step, and

adding the fine, sticky mass of biomass to at least one of the blending sub-system to permit lower temperatures in the compressing step during formation of processed biomass / cleaned coal blended compact aggregate or the pelletizing sub-system to permit lower temperatures in the compressing step during formation of processed biomass pellets.

15. The process of Claim 12 wherein the processed biomass is processed biochar with an energy density of at least 21 MMBTU/ton (25 GJ/MT) and the process, further comprises the step of:

passing the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock through another sub-system, a heating sub-system, to form processed biochar.

16. The process of claim 15 wherein the beneficiation sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

a. inputting into a beneficiation sub-system reaction chamber unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock comprising free water, intercellular water, intracellular water, intracellular water-soluble salts, and at least some plant cells comprising cell walls that include lignin, hemicellulose, and microfibrils within fibrils; b. exposing the feedstock to hot solvent under pressure for a time at conditions specific to the feedstock to make some regions of the cell walls comprising crystallized cellulosic fibrils, lignin, and hemicellulose more able to be penetrable by water-soluble salts without dissolving more than 25 percent of the lignin and hemicellulose;

c. removing the pressure so as to penetrate the more penetrable regions to create porous feedstock with open pores in the plant cell walls; and

d. pressing the porous feedstock with conditions that include an adjustable compaction pressure versus time profile and compaction time duration, and between pressure plates configured to prevent felt from forming and blocking escape from the reaction chamber of intracellular and intercellular water, and intracellular water-soluble salts, and to create processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock that has a water content of less than 20 wt% and a water-soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased by at least 60 wt% on a dry basis from that of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock;

the heat generating sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

e. inputting processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into an oxygen-deprived reaction chamber configured to heat the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock in an atmosphere that contains less than 4 percent oxygen to a temperature sufficient to convert at least some processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into processed biogas and processed biochar;

the blending sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

f. sizing the particles to reduce the size of coal and processed biomass to a similar size for blending;

g. combining properly sized particles of coal and processed biomass; and h. compressing the blended powder into a multitude of processed biomass / coal blended compact aggregates;

the pelletizing sub-system process, further comprises the step of

i. compressing the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to separate it into pellets with discrete units of mass having a longest length of at least 0.16 inch (0.41 cm) and a density of at least 37.5 pounds per cubic foot (0.60 grams per cubic centimeter) and collecting an aggregate of processed biomass pellets;

the carbon dioxide separation sub-system process, further comprises the steps of

j. cooling a gaseous waste stream from the coal combustion apparatus and adding air to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration to less than 1000 ppm in a cooled gas stream; and

k. separating out the carbon dioxide from the cooled gas stream to form separated carbon dioxide; and

the carbon dioxide consumption sub-system, further comprises the steps of:

1. inputting the separated carbon dioxide as feedstock into a carbon dioxide consumption sub-system with additional feedstock comprising catalysts and co-reactants from a group consisting of water, natural gas an d stack a cids; and

m. exposing the feedstock under heat from waste heat from the coal consumption apparatus to catalytic electrochemistry to create beneficial industrial chemicals including glycols, alcohols, olefins, and organic acids.

17. The process of claim 16 wherein the beneficiation sub-system process, further comprises:

removing and cleaning of microparticles of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, lignin fragments, and hemicellulosic fragments from the vapor explosion section into a fine, sticky mass of biomass with high lignin content in the removing the pressure step, and the blending sub-system, further comprises:

adding the fine, sticky mass of biomass to the blended powder to permit lower temperatures in the compressing step during formation of blended compact aggregates.

18. The process of claim 16 wherein the heating sub-system is an oxygen-deprived thermal sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

a. inputting processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into a substantially horizontal sublimating reaction chamber largely contained within a hot box and configured to be able to heat from an ambient temperature to an operating sublimation temperature, operate at a sublimation temperature, and cool from a operating sublimation temperature to an ambient temperature without leaking any hot product gas fuel from the reaction chamber into the hot box or atmosphere, or leaking any oxygen from outside the hot box into the hot box;

b. heating the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to a sublimating temperature before it is able to form a liquid phase;

c. maintaining the temperature at a sublimation temperature for a residence time that is as long a time as needed to convert the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to processed biogas and processed biochar; and

d. separating the processed biogas from the processed biochar.

19. The process of claim 16 wherein the wherein the heating sub-system is an oxygen-deprived thermal sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

a. inputting processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock into a substantially vertical sublimating reaction chamber;

b. heating processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to a sublimating temperature before it is able to form a liquid phase;

c. maintaining the temperature at a sublimation temperature for a residence time that is as long a time as needed to convert the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to processed biogas and processed biochar; and

d. separating the processed biogas from the processed biochar.

20. The process of claim 11 wherein the beneficiation sub-system process and the pelletizing sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

a. inputting into a reaction chamber unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock comprising free water, intercellular water, intracellular water, intracellular water-soluble salts, and at least some plant cells comprising cell walls that include lignin, hemicellulose, and microfibrils within fibrils;

b. exposing the feedstock to hot solvent under pressure for a time at conditions specific to the feedstock to make some regions of the cell walls comprising crystallized cellulosic fibrils, lignin, and hemicellulose more able to be penetrable by water-soluble salts without dissolving more than 25 percent of the lignin and hemicellulose;

c. removing the pressure so as to penetrate the more penetrable regions to create porous feedstock with open pores in the plant cell walls; and

d. pressing the porous feedstock with conditions that include an adjustable compaction pressure versus time profile and compaction time duration, and between pressure plates configured to prevent felt from forming and blocking escape from the reaction chamber of intracellular and intercellular water, and intracellular water-soluble salts and to create processed biomass that has a water content of less than 20 wt%, a water-soluble intracellular salt content that is decreased by at least 60 wt% on a dry basis over that of unprocessed organic-carbon-containing feedstock, and a cost per weight of removing the water and water-soluble salt that is reduced to less than 60 % of the cost per weight of similar water removal from known mechanical, known physiochemical, or known thermal processes,

the blending sub-system process, further comprises the steps of:

e. sizing the particles to reduce the size of coal and processed biomass to a similar size for blending;

f. combining properly sized particles of coal and processed biomass; and g. compressing the blended powder into a multitude of processed biomass/ coal blended compact aggregates; ad

the pelletizing sub-system process, further comprises the step of

h. compressing the processed organic-carbon-containing feedstock to separate it into pellets with discrete units of mass having a longest length of at least 0.16 inch (0.41 cm) and a density of at least 37.5 pounds per cubic foot (0.60 grams per cubic centimeter) and collecting an aggregate of processed biomass pellets;

the carbon dioxide separation sub-system process, further comprises the steps of i. cooling a gaseous waste stream from the coal combustion apparatus and adding air to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration to less than 1000 ppm in a cooled gas stream; and

j. separating out the carbon dioxide from the cooled gas stream to form separated carbon dioxide; and

the carbon dioxide consumption sub-system, further comprises the steps of: k. inputting the separated carbon dioxide as feedstock into a carbon dioxide consumption sub-system with additional feedstock comprising catalysts and co-reactants from a group consisting of water, natural gas and stack acids; and

l. exposing the feedstock under heat from waste heat from the coal consumption apparatus to catalytic electrochemistry to create beneficial industrial chemicals including glycols, alcohols, olefins, and organic acids.