Union Minister of Coal and Mines recently addressed a webinar on Coal Gasification and Liquefaction.
India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030 with investments worth over Rs. 4 lakh crores.
For encouraging use of clean sources of fuel, government has provided for a concession of 20% on revenue share of coal used for gasification. This will boost production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, and urea for fertilisers and production of other chemicals.
It is the process of producing syngas, a mixture consisting carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), natural gas (CH4), and water vapour (H2O).
During gasification, coal is blown with oxygen and steam while also being heated under high pressure. During the reaction, oxygen and water molecules oxidize the coal and produce syngas.
Coal to Liquid (CTL) technology, it is an alternative route to produce diesel and gasoline and makes economic sense only in a world of high crude oil prices.
The process involves gasification of coal, which in turn will produce synthetic gas (a mix of CO+H2). The synthetic gas can be liquefied to its fuel equivalent in presence of cobalt/iron-based catalysts at higher pressure and temperature.
However, liquefied coal emits twice as much CO2 as burning oil. It also emits a large volume of SO2.