gasification converts solid coal into a gas that can be used for
generation, chemical production, as well as converted into
Gasification exposes coal to
temperatures that would normally cause the coal to combust but by carefully
regulating the amount of oxygen in the gasifier and adding steam, the coal
does not burn but rather separates into syngas. Syngas is a mixture of carbon
monoxide and hydrogen. The syngas can then be ‘shifted’ with the addition of
more steam to produce more hydrogen and to convert the carbon monoxide into
carbon dioxide (CO2).
The gasification of coal and other substances
(petcoke, refinery bottom waste, biomass etc.) is not new. For example, China
has been successfully gasifying coal for decades for ‘town gas’, chemical
feedstock and for its domestic fertiliser industry.