ABSTRACT

Combustion heat has been the most basic method for power generation since the invention of electricity. This chapter examines various aspects of recent advanced made in the use of combustion heat for power generation. This chapter points out that while there are two methods to produce power from combustion heat; direct and indirect, significant recent efforts are pushed towards the improvement of indirect methods for power generation. This chapter also points out that while the internal combustion engine, which has been used to generate power, will be slowly replaced by the direct use of electricity, it will still be in existence for a few decades. Because of its existence, efforts should be made to improve its performance and reduce its negative impact on the environment. This chapter points out that this can be done in a number of different ways. The use of low-temperature combustion, clean diesel combustion, fuel flexibility, hybrid fuels, etc. are some of the possibilities. This chapter also points out that the efficiency of combustion power generation can be improved by operating coal or natural gas power plants under supercritical conditions, using advanced turbines which are capable of operating at very high temperatures (which increases heat to power conversion efficiency) and using novel power blocks such as supercritical CO2 cycle which is capable of improving conversion efficiency. Finally, this chapter points out that under certain conditions, novel chemical looping method can improve conversion efficiency and reduce CO2 emission for fossil fuel-based power plants.