One of the most compelling challenges of the 21st Century is finding a way to meet national and global energy needs while minimizing the impact on the environment. Gasification can help meet those challenges.
- Gasification is a time-tested, reliable, and flexible technology that converts carbon-containing materials, including waste and biomass, into electricity and other valuable products, such as chemicals, fuels, substitute natural gas, and fertilizers.
- Gasification does not involve combustion (burning), but instead uses little or no oxygen or air in a closed reactor to convert carbon-based materials directly into a synthetic gas, or syngas. It is this intermediate product, syngas, that makes gasification so unique and different from combustion.
- The gasification process breaks these materials down to the molecular level, so impurities like nitrogen, sulfur, and mercury can be easily removed and sold as valuable industrial commodities.
- Gasification can recover the energy locked in biomass and municipal solid waste, converting those materials into valuable products and eliminating the need for incineration or landfilling. Biomass can also be blended with coal as a feedstock for electricity generation to lower its carbon footprint.
- Gasification has been reliably used on a commercial scale for more than 75 years in the refining, fertilizer, and chemical industries, and for more than 35 years in the electric power industry.
- Gasification produces electricity with significantly reduced environmental impact compared to conventional technologies.
- Gasification plants bring good jobs to a community – construction jobs needed to build a plant, and well-paying permanent jobs needed to run the plant. Compared to the old coal-burning plants, gasification can capture carbon dioxide much more efficiently and at a lower cost. This capture technology is being successfully used at gasification plants in the U.S. and worldwide.
- World gasification capacity is projected to grow by more than 70% by 2015. Most of that growth will occur in Asia, with China expected to achieve the most rapid growth
- Gasification is an investment in our energy future.