In this work, the “HRSC Optimizer”, a recently developed optimization methodology for the design of Heat Recovery Steam Cycles (HRSCs), Steam Generators (HRSGs) and boilers, is applied to the design of steam cycles for three interesting coal fired, gasification based, plants with CO2 capture: a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis process with high recycle fraction of the unconverted FT gases (CTL-RC-CCS), a FT synthesis process with once-through reactor (CTL-OT-CCS), and an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC-CCS) based on the same technologies. The analysis reveals that designing efficient HRSCs for the IGCC and the once-through FT plant is relatively straightforward, while designing the HRSC for plant CTL-RC-CCS is very challenging because the recoverable thermal power is concentrated at low temperatures (i.e., below 260 °C) and only a small fraction can be used to superheat steam. As a consequence of the improved heat integration, the electric efficiency of the three plants is increased by about 2 percentage points with respect to the solutions previously published.

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