Gas-burning power plant using custom pressure vessel connections

What Are the Differences Between Coal-Fired Power Plants and Gas-Fired Power Plants?

Both coal-fired power plants and natural gas-fired power plants burn fossil fuels to produce energy. But what are some of the differences between them, and which are better overall? Here are some of the differences between them.

Fuel Cost

Despite the ecological disadvantages of using coal as a fuel source, it is still one of the cheapest ones available for energy production in use today. Natural gas costs a bit more than coal.


Gas-burning power plant using custom pressure vessel connections

Infrastructure Cost

A coal-fired power plant’s infrastructure is more complex than that for a natural gas-fired power plant and thus costs more to construct and maintain. Some of the reasons why this is the case include:

  • The coal-burning process requires a lot more energy to create the steam needed to generate electric power
  • More water is required within the process to eliminate impurities in the coal for coal-fired power plants. This water needs to be managed through the plant’s infrastructure.
  • Gas-fired power plants use newer technology and have fewer operating parts
  • Coal-fired power plants must use a significant amount of emission control equipment to protect the environment

Environmental Impact

Coal-fired and natural gas-fired plants both have environmental impacts that are concerning.

  • Coal-fired power plants produce ash that requires proper disposal.
  • Coal-fired power plant emissions include CO2. SO2, NOx, and mercury compounds
  • Gas-fired power plant pipeline networks leak methane
  • Natural gas produced for gas-fired power plants come from hydraulic fracturing

Both types of power plants use high-pressure piping networks using reinforced pressure vessels and forged components such as tees, laterals, and wyes to channel steam to the turbines generating electricity. These turbines spin very fast for the giant generators that produce the electricity. As the steam cools, it condenses back into water which flows back to the heating units to start the process over again.

Forged Components Supplies Pressure Vessels for Gas-Fired and Coal-Fired Power Plants

Forged Components manufactures custom forgings for use across the spectrum of the energy production process. From oil exploration and production to electricity production in gas-fired and coal-fired power plants, FCI manufactures a wide variety of heavy wall forged products for application in coal-fired power plants and gas power plants. Our products include, but are not limited to, forged tees, laterals, wyes, hemi heads, venturis, etc. We complete all manufacturing processes in-house so that we have maximum flexibility and efficiency when filling your order. For more information, call us at (281) 441-4088 or contact us online to get a quote from our sales staff.