Top 5 Things One Should Know About the Gasification Process
The process of gasification converts coal and feedstock into clean and usable gas. Gasification also convert a plethora of domestic resources including coal, biomass, and petroleum residues derived from domestic refineries and converts them into syngas – a clean gas that can be utilized as natural gas on a cheaper basis. Syngas helps in enhancing domestic energy security and the process itself creates several domestic industrial jobs within the country.
Being a reliable technology, gasification is now instrumental in waste clearance and its transformation into energy in more than hundred global sites, but India is yet to embrace it as much as it can. Although the technology is prevalent since the 1980s in the US, India has been slow to progress in leveraging the technology other than a handful of sites. Efforts are on in this regard.
Aside from the introduction of the process, here are the top 5 facts that one should be aware of, about the gasification process:
- Cleanest Commercial Energy Technology: Gasification is touted to be the cleanest of all coal-based technologies, especially on a commercial basis. The process of gasification can produce near-zero air emissions and reduces the amount of solid wastes and wastewater drastically, with near zero-discharge. Sulfur, slag, and carbon dioxide can be easily recovered in their complete purity and applied for productive uses especially in fertilizers, building materials, and the like.
- Conservation of water resources: Gasification helps in conserving valuable water resources as it utilizes nearly 30-40% less water to generate electric power from coal compared to other coal-based generation technologies. Water is already a valuable resource in many places in the country and the world. Gasification goes a long way in conserving water and our future life on the planet.
- Helps in Mercury Removal: Gasification can eliminate volatile mercury and is the only coal-based technology that has already demonstrated volatile mercury removal at its deepest levels, from its product gas over the course of two decades. It is estimated through a DOE-based study that gasification facilitates elimination of more than 90% volatile mercury from coal thus costing a measly 25 cents per MW-hour. The new restrictions on mercury emissions restricts conventional combustion technologies drastically but gasification already offers a more-than-viable solution.
- Gasification costs: The costs involved in gasification are quite competitive. The high prices of natural gas prices has made coal-based technologies increasingly attractive. Capital costs and cost of electricity involved in gasification power generation plants are now less expensive than other coal-based power generation technologies and will further drop even more when commercialized. The technology providers have formed strategic alliances with several engineering firms to standardize plant designs, lower capital costs, and provide decent overall performance warranties for the latest gasification plants.
- Captures carbon-dioxide at low cost: Gasification provides the best and lowest-cost approach for capturing carbon dioxide. The greenhouse gas is often associated with global warming and restrictions are now in place in various areas to thwart its negative impact. Carbon -dioxide captured from gasification plants require lower parasitic power losses and lower additional capital costs than several fossil fuel-based power generation plants. Gasification is easier and quite less expensive in terms of retrofitting for enabling future carbon-dioxide capture.
Other than the afore-mentioned facts, gasification can help in creating new products that are being used everyday including electric power, photographic films, screwdriver handles, tapes, pain relievers, automotive coatings, and several pharmaceuticals. Gasification continues to be a reliable technology that helps the environment and even generates great products.