What Is Coal Gasification?
The Delhi-based non-profit, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), has raised concerns about the Union Government’s announcement on coal gasification projects in the Budget 2022-23.
- The budget proposed four pilot projects for coal gasification and conversion of coal into chemicals required for the industry.
- According to CSE, the process of coal gasification is not attractive from a climate change point of view.
- Coal gasification is a process in which coal is partially oxidised with air, oxygen, steam or carbon dioxide to form a fuel gas.
- This gas is then used instead of piped natural gas, methane and others for deriving energy.
- In-situ gasification of coal – or Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) – is the technique of converting coal into gas while it is still in the seam and then extracting it through wells.
- Production of Syngas: It produces Syngas which is a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O).
- Syngas can be used to produce a wide range of fertilizers, fuels, solvent and synthetic materials.
- Steel companies typically use coking coal in their manufacturing process.
- Most of the coking coal is imported and is expensive.
- To cut costs, plants can use syngas, which comes from coal gasification plants in the place of coking coal.
- It is primarily used for electricity generation, for the production of chemical feedstocks.
- The hydrogen obtained from coal gasification can be used for various purposes such as making ammonia, powering a hydrogen economy.