ELCOGAS was selected as a target project by the European Commission's THERMIE programme, which stressed the adoption of short-term actions to guarantee the future availability of clean electricity generation technology. The general lines of the European Commission's energy programme established the objectives which led to selection of the ELCOGAS project.
To demonstrate the feasibility of operation of an IGCC power plant (1 gasifier and 1 gas turbine) which serves as a reference for future decisions related to clean use of coal and other fuels.
To produce a design combining high efficiency and low environmental impact. Design with a high level of integration, pressurized operation of the air separation unit and fly ash and Claus tail gas to the process, among other features.
To encourage European cooperation in establishing the society and obtain finance from a Finance Project to limit partners' liability.
Highly integrated operation of the power station which confirmed its capability in terms of load variation and production and emissions targets.
The suitability of the process for a wide range of fuel compositions was demonstrated.
The final report for the project was presented to the European Union's General Directorate for Energy and Transport in October, 2000. Its results were given in the book titled "A Clean Coal Gasification Power Plant" presented in Puertollano in February, 2001.
During the demonstration phase, ELCOGAS carried out a series of tests with different fuel mixtures, as stipulated in the contract SF337/91 ES (THERMIE Programme). Four tests were carried out between February and March, 2000, over more than 525 hours of operation using different proportions by weight of coal/coke (54/46, 58/42, 42/55, 39/61) , confirming the flexibility of the gasification process. Analysis of the results showed that:
- The carbon conversion ranges varied from 98.4% to 99.7%.
- The composition of the clean gas remained very stable throughout these tests.
- The higher the ash content of the mixture, the greater the slag-fly ash ratio obtained.
- Emissions were well below both European and Spanish legal limits over the whole range of mixtures tested.