Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Completes First in Series of Performance Tests on Compact Gasifier

Jun 01, 2010, 13:55 ET from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne

CANOGA PARK, Calif., June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed the first in a series of performance tests on its compact gasifier, which is designed to help reduce the cost of coal gasification, provide a clean alternative fuel source, and strengthen U.S. energy security.  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.

"We are very pleased with the results.  They are consistent with our expectations, and continue to confirm the economic advantages we expect for commercial use of our compact gasifier," said Neeta Patel, director, Future Programs, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.  "We look forward to working with our team to further demonstrate this technology."

Gasification is a process that converts carbon-containing material such as coal or biomass into synthesis gas (syngas).  Syngas can be used to generate electricity or processed further to manufacture chemicals, fertilizers, liquid transportation fuels, synthetic natural gas or hydrogen.  

The tests, conducted using Illinois coal, each lasted 12 to 37 hours at the pilot plant in Des Plaines, Ill., and established the gasifier's performance and stable operation under a range of operating conditions.  Additional testing will be conducted throughout 2010 using Illinois coal, petroleum coke and sub-bituminous coal.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has teamed with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering (EMRE), which is sharing development costs, and with Alberta Innovates – Energy & Environmental Solutions (AIEES) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) to develop and commercialize this technology.  Zero Emission Energy Plants, Inc. (ZEEP) has a global license with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to market the compact gasifier system.  

Compact gasification is a higher-efficiency and lower-cost alternative to current gasification systems.  The capital cost to build a commercial-scale compact gasification plant using Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's technology is estimated to be 10 to 20 percent less than conventional gasification plants.  Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's compact gasifier is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 10 percent compared to standard gasification technologies.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc., a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.  For more information about Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, go to www.prattwhitneyrocketdyne.com.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

SOURCE Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne



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