Gasification is a flexible, reliable, and clean energy technology that can turn a variety of low-value feedstocks into high-value products, help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and natural gas, and can provide a clean alternative source of baseload electricity, fertilizers, fuels, and chemicals.
It is a manufacturing process that converts any material containing carbon—such as coal, petroleum coke (petcoke), or biomass—into synthesis gas (syngas). The syngas can be burned to produce electricity or further processed to manufacture chemicals, fertilizers, liquid fuels, substitute natural gas (SNG), or hydrogen.
- Feedstock/Product Flexibility
The most viable feedstocks are Biomass, MSW (Municipality Solid Waste), Coal, Petroleum Coke (petcoke), and Residual Heavy Oil (resid), including hazardous oil-bearing secondary materials.
Clean power generation is the primary market for gasification technology.
Refinery applications offer economic advantages that make gasification competitive even at today’s natural gas prices.
The relatively low, stable cost of coal and its abundance domestically, and in key regions around the world, make coal gasification the ultimate dominant market for gasification technology.
Gasification is environmentally superior to incineration for disposal of municipal and industrial wastes.
Gasification offers an effective means to convert highly toxic substances, like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), into salable by-products.
Clean Energy Conversion. Synthesis gas derived from gasification represents a fuel for fuel cells and a basis for producing clean fuels.
A near-term opportunity for gasification technologies is provided by the push for ultra-clean transportation fuels.
The combination of gasification with Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) processes has potential in the liquid fuels market to meet a need for low-sulfur, high-quality Diesel fuels. Many nations have access to low-cost refinery wastes to use as a feedstock for integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC).
- Environmental Benefits of Gasification
Coal-Based Systems. IGCC is by far the cleanest coal-based power system available today, yet it is compared against natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) in establishing permitted emission limits based on Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER). This comparison is deemed unfair because IGCC introduces benefits associated with feedstock diversity and energy security and provides an effective means of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2), whereas NGCC does not.
Waste-based systems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized the superiority of gasification in processing refinery wastes and the associated waste source reduction and the recycling of wastes into usable by-products.
• Substitution for expensive fossil fuels,
• Easy way to modify existing boilers for Biomass and/or waste firing,
• High share of Biofuels or waste utilization is possible
• Can accept many types of fuels in the same process
• Syngas from gasification is thoroughly cleansed before it is used in an IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) power plant. Through this it is possible to eliminate emissions of air and hazardous pollutions.
• Gasification based plants are retrofitted to enable carbon dioxide capture if it is required to meet constitutional treaty obligations.
• All or part of the clean syngas can also be used in other ways:
o As chemical "building blocks" to produce a broad range of higher-value liquid or gaseous fuels and chemicals (using processes well established in today's chemical industry);
o As a fuel producer for highly efficient fuel cells
o As a source of hydrogen that can be separated from the gas stream and used as a fuel (for example, in the hydrogen-powered Freedom Car initiative) or as a feedstock for refineries (which use the hydrogen to upgrade petroleum products).
Therefore, each year municipalities spend millions in collecting and disposing waste that would only be stuck in landfills.
Wastes such as grass clipping and leaves, construction and demolition debris could cost more than their municipalities could afford.
Instead of paying and manage waste in landfills that would take years, a feedstock could reduce disposal cost and landfill spaces which can be converted to power and fuel.
By doing this, it could decrease methane emissions from landfills, reduces risk of ground water contaminations and productions of ethanol from food sources.