What is Gasification ?

What is Gasification Gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This is achieved by reacting the material at high temperatures (>700 °C), without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The resulting gas mixture is called syngas (from synthesis gas or synthetic gas) or producer gas and is itself a fuel. The power derived from gasification of biomass and combustion of the resultant gas is considered to be a source of renewable energy; The advantage of gasification is that using the syngas is potentially more efficient than direct combustion of the original fuel because it can be combusted at higher temperatures or even in fuel cells, so that the thermodynamic upper limit to the efficiency defined by Carnot's rule is higher or not applicable. Syngas may be burned directly in gas engines, used to produce methanol and hydrogen,

A Little History on Gasification

Gasification is an old technology with a long history of development. The process was mainly used from the mid-1800’s through the early-1900’s to produce “town gas” from coal for heating and lighting purposes. The subsequent development of natural gas fields soon replaced “town gas." World War II brought a resurgence of gasification when petroleum starved Europeans used wood gas generators to power vehicles. But the need for liquid fuels remained and German engineers devised a way to make synthetic liquid fuel from gasified coal. The 1970’s brought The Arab Oil Embargo and the “energy crisis” which prompted the U.S. government to support industrial scale gasification projects. From this development came the first Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) electric generating plant. Presently, several IGCC power plants are operating throughout the world. And crude oil price spikes and geopolitical instabilities in major oil-producing countries have generated serious interest in using gasification for GTL (Gas To Liquid) synthetic fuel processes.

 

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