This paper presents a preliminary techno-economic evaluation of the Calcium Looping Process as applied to a commercial-scale coal-to-hydrogen plant with co-production of electricity. The CLP-based plant is compared with a conventional coal-to-hydrogen plant that includes a water-gas shift reactor, a two-stage Selexol unit for H2S and CO2 removal, and a pressure swing adsorber for hydrogen purification. One significant advantage of the CLP over the conventional process is that CO2 absorption occurs at high temperature (e.g., 600-700 °C), allowing the exothermic heat of reaction to be recovered for use in generating steam. Excess heat from the calciner also contributes to steam production in the CLP, as does the exothermic heat of the lime hydration reaction. As a result, the CLP plant produces significantly more net electricity than the conventional plant for a given hydrogen production rate. CO2 emissions from the CLP plant are essentially zero, because the tail gas from hydrogen production is combusted in oxygen in the calciner to produce water and sequestrable CO2. Challenges associated with the development and scale-up of the CLP will be discussed, and the effects of sulfur chemistry on the performance of the process will be explored. Estimated capital costs and fixed and variable operating and maintenance costs for the CLP will also be presented. This preliminary analysis shows that the CLP has the potential to improve the performance and cost of producing hydrogen from coal.
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