A New Generation of Refractories to Enable Gasifier Fuel Flexibility


Article Preview

Gasification is used by industry to convert low cost carbon into materials for producing electricity and chemical products such as fertilizer, plastics, and Fischer-Tropsch liquids. It is considered a critical technology in the success of the DOE’s Near Zero Emissions Advanced Fossil Fuel Power Plants, could play a key role in defining long-term energy security in both power and liquid fuels, and is considered a leading candidate for H2 production in a hydrogen based economy. Molten slag originating from mineral impurities in the carbon feedstock is of concern to slagging gasifier operation, with some gasifiers generating over 100 tons per day. Molten slag attacks and wears away the internal lining of the gasifier vessel by two major mechanisms, chemical dissolution and spalling. The main component in current refractory linings is chrome oxide. NETL is researching new types of refractory materials as an alternative to the high chrome oxide refractories currently used, with the goal of improving performance and providing a predictable service life. It has previously developed and patented the use of phosphate additives to improve the wear and spalling resistance of high chrome oxide refractories, and is exploring chrome and non-chrome oxide materials through laboratory testing and the use of thermodynamic modeling. In this paper, the results of a different additive (carbon) was evaluated by laboratory testing and found to improve slag penetration resistance. Data on this evaluation will be presented, and is proposed as a means of improving the molten slag wear resistance of the refractory. The use of it as a means of improving refractory service life in the field is patent pending.



Edited by:







J. P. Bennett et al., "A New Generation of Refractories to Enable Gasifier Fuel Flexibility", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 70, pp. 179-192, 2010

Online since:

October 2010




[1] Gasification Markets and Technologies – Present and Future – An Industry Perspective, US DOE/FE Report 0447, US DOE, (July, 2002), pp.1-53.

[2] G. Stiegel, and S. Clayton, ˝DOE Gasification Industry R& D Survey: A Perspective of Long Term Market Trends and R&D needs˝ in Proceedings from the Gasification Technologies 2001 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

[3] W.A. Selvig and F.H. Gibson; Analysis of Ash from United States Coals,; USBM Bulletin, Pub. 567; 1956; 33 pp.

[4] S.V. Vassilev et al; Low Cost Catalytic Sorbents for NOx Reduction. 1. Preparation and Characterization of Coal Char Impregnated with Model Vanadium Components and Petroleum Coke Ash,; Fuel; Vol. 81, 2002; pp.1281-1296.

DOI: 10.1016/s0016-2361(02)00060-1

[5] R.E. Conn; Laboratory Techniques for Evaluating Ash Agglomeration Potential in Petroleum Coke Fired Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustors,; Fuel Processing Technology; Vol. 44, 1995; pp.95-103.

DOI: 10.1016/0378-3820(95)00013-w

[6] R.W. Bryers; Utilization of Petroleum Coke and Petroleum Coke/Coal Blends as a Means of Steam Raising,; Fuel Processing Technology; Vol. 44, 1995; pp.121-141.

DOI: 10.1016/0378-3820(94)00118-d

[7] B. Jenkins, R. Bakker, and J. Wei; On the Properties of Washed Straw; Biomass and Bioenergy,; Vol. 10 (1996), No. 4, pp.177-200.

DOI: 10.1016/0961-9534(95)00058-5

[8] S. Greenberg and R.B. Poeppel, The Corrosion of Ceramic Refractories Exposed to Synthetic Coal Slags by Means of the Rotation-Cylinder Technique: Final Report, Research Report ANL/FE—85-15, research sponsored by USDOE/FE and EPRI, April 1986, 66 pp.

[9] C.R. Kennedy and R.B. Poppel, Corrosion Resistance of Refractories Exposed to Molten Acidic Coal-Ash Slags, Interceram, Vol. 27, No. 3 (1978), pp.221-26.

[10] C. R. Kennedy, et al, Evaluation of Ceramic Refractories for Slagging Gasifiers: Summary of Progress to Date, research sponsored by USDOE, ANL report 78-61, Sept., 1978, 56 pp.

DOI: 10.2172/6530190

[11] A.P. Starzacher, Picrochromite Brick - A Qualified Material for Texaco Slagging Gasifiers, Radex-Rundschau, Vol. 1, 1988, pp.491-501.

[12] W.T. Bakker, Greenberg, M. Trondt, and U. Gerhardus, Refractory Practice in Slagging Gasifiers, Amer. Ceram. Soc. Bull., Vol. 63, No. 7, 1984, pp.870-876.

[13] J.A. Bonar, C.R. Kennedy, and R.B. Swaroop, Coal-Ash Slag Attack and Corrosion of Refractories, Amer. Ceram. Soc. Bull., Vol. 59, No. 4, 1980, pp.473-478.

[14] G. Sorell, M.J. Humphries, E. Bullock, and M. Van de Voorde, Material Technology Constraints and Needs in Fossil Fuel Conversion and Upgrading Processes, Int. Metals Reviews, Vol. 31, No. 5, 1986, pp.216-242.

DOI: 10.1179/imtr.1986.31.1.216

[15] M.S. Crowley, Refractory Problems in Coal Gasification Reactors, Amer. Ceram. Soc. Bull., Vol. 54, No. 12 (1975), pp.1072-74.

[16] Z. Guo, Refractories for Gasifiers, internet publication of the Amer. Ceram. Soc. Bull., www. cerramicbulletin. org, June 2004, pp.9101-9108.

[17] W.T. Bakker, Refractories for Present and Future Electric Power Plants, Key Eng. Mat., Trans Tech Publications, (1993), Vol. 88, pp.41-70.

DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/kem.88.41

[18] W.A. Taber; Refractories for Gasification; Refractories Applications and News, Vol. 8, No. 4, June, July/Aug 2003; pp.18-22.

[19] J. Bennett, K.S. Kwong, C. Powell, H. Thomas, and R. Krabbe; An Analysis of the Causes of Failure in High Chrome Oxide Refractory Materials from Slagging Gasifiers; " Proc. of the 9th Biennial Worldwide Congress of Refractories, UNITECR , 05; Nov. 8-11, 2005, Orlando, Florida.

[20] J.R. Cobble and L.Y. Sadler III, USBM Report of Investigation 8468 (1980), pp.1-13.

In order to see related information, you need to Login.