A method of combusting pulverized coal by mixing the pulverized coal and an oxidant gas to provide a pulverized coal-oxidant gas mixture and contacting the pulverized coal-oxidant gas mixture with a flame sufficiently hot to combust the mixture. An oxygen-containing gas is passed in contact with a dense ceramic membrane of metal oxide material having electron conductivity and oxygen ion conductivity that is gas-impervious until the oxygen concentration on one side of the membrane is not less than about 30% by volume. An oxidant gas with an oxygen concentration of not less than about 30% by volume and a CO.sub.2 concentration of not less than about 30% by volume and pulverized coal is contacted with a flame sufficiently hot to combust the mixture to produce heat and a flue gas. One dense ceramic membrane disclosed is selected from the group consisting of materials having formulae SrCo.sub.0.8 Fe.sub.0.2 O.sub.x, SrCo.sub.0.5 FeO.sub.x and La.sub.0.2 Sr.sub.0.8 Co.sub.0.4 Fe.sub.0.6 O.sub.x.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.