To obtain the maximum benefit from knowledge of IGCC technology, an R&D group was created. Its lines of research was initially laid out in what was called "Basic Programme of the Technological Group," and research projects were exclusively financed by the specific contributions of partners, PIE funds, the Ministry of the Economy and European subsidies. In 2000, the Basic Programme of the Technological Group and all its activities concluded having met their targets:
- The Plant Monitoring System adds an interface to the Distributed Control System (DCS), laboratory and other sources of information, supplying raw data for classification, validation and storage. Applications like the Process Explorer or LiMon allow real-time monitoring or signal recovery. Thermoeconomic Diagnosis (TDG) has allowed a detailed characterization of the plant in operation, providing support for engineering studies and analyses. It was also used for assessment in tests with different fuel mixtures (THERMIE tests) and in the acceptance tests for the combined cycle plant.
- Unique in the world, the Dynamic Simulator is an indispensable tool used to train not only our operating personnel but also external personnel and for engineering studies in ELCOGAS and elsewhere.
- Environmental Programme. As a result of its by-product characterization activities, ELCOGAS sells its slag and fly-ash production. Ceramic material such as bricks and tiles can be obtained from the slag, and the ash is used in the manufacture of cement and concrete.
- Materials Programme. The purpose of this programme is assessment of the behaviour of the power station's critical equipment and materials (mainly Sanicro 28) to predict their duration and the advisability of their replacement. For this purpose, during overhauls, systematic inspections of the critical units in the gasification unit were held and the behaviour of the Sanicro 28 alloy was tested using calibrated probes. The data base of the Plant Reference Status was developed to contain all the information from equipment inspections since their installation.
At the end of 2000, the activities of the new R&D&I (research, design and innovation) group were launched, among which the following are worthy to note:
- Characterization of the process operation
- Co-gasification of biomass and solid urban waste (SUW)
- New applications for by-products: metal extraction from IGCC ash
- Selection of processes for a "Second Generation of IGCC Technology"
- Definition of a procedure for the recovery of ceramic elements from ash filtration
- An information system for operating support
- New publication activities
In 2007, these activities were grouped and broadened into the following lines of research:
- Reduction of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels
- Production of H2 by gasification of fossil fuels
- Diversification of fuels and products
- Other environmental improvements
- Optimization of IGCC processes
- Publication and dissemination of results
Querol, X., Burgos, S., Font, O. Procedimiento para la recuperación de metales a partir de las cenizas volantes generadas en una central térmica de tipo gasificación integrada en ciclo combinado (GICC). 0200101328 June 2001.
Lancha, A.M., Álvarez de Lara, M., Gómez-Briceño, D., Coca, P. ELCOGAS IGCC power plant in Spain: effect of the gasifier environment on the high alloy steel performance. 3rd International Workshop on "Life Cycle issues in advanced energy systems" (June 2002, Woburn, UK) [DOCUMENT Gasifier high alloy steel performance.pdf]
Casero, P., Mozos, A., García, F. MBM (Meat and Bone Meal) co-gasification in IGCC technology. Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2002. (June 2002, Amsterdam, Netherlands). [DOCUMENT MBM co-gasification.pdf]
Lancha, A.M., Álvarez de Lara, M., Gómez-Briceño, D., Coca, P. Corrosion performance of the austenic alloy tubing installed in the gasifier of the ELCOGAS IGCC plant. High temperature corrosion workshop (July 2001, New London, New Hampshire, USA)
- Burgos, S.; Puente, F.; Acosta, A.; Aineto, M. Poster: Valorisation of IGCC by-products from the Puertollano Power Plant. International Workshop on "Novel Products from Combustion Residues: Opportunities and Limitations" (June 2001, Morella, Spain). [DOCUMENT By-products poster.jpg]
- Font, O., Querol, X., Plana, F., Burgos, S., García, F. Occurrence and distribution of valuable metals in fly ash from Puertollano IGCC power plant, Spain. International Ash Utilisation Symposium (2001, Lexington, Kentucky, USA). [DOCUMENT Valuable metals in IGCC fly ash.pdf]
- Lancha, A.M., Álvarez de Lara, M., Gómez-Briceño, D., Coca, P. Corrosion performance of the tubing austenitic alloy installed in the gasifier heat exchangers of the ELCOGAS IGCC power plant in Spain. Materials at High Temperature 19 (3), 139-145 (2002) . [DOCUMENT Corrosion performance in gasifier.pdf]
- Acosta, A., Aineto, M., Iglesias, I., Romero, M., Rincón, J.M., Burgos, S. Physic-Chemical Characterisation of Slag Waste coming from IGCC thermal power plant. Materials Letters 2001. [DOCUMENT Characterisation of IGCC Slag.pdf]