Washington, DC - The Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has launched a new public website called "Gasifipedia," a comprehensive online collection of resources to promote better understanding of gasification technology. Gasification offers an alternative to more established ways of converting feedstocks such as coal and biomass into useful products such as electricity or fuels. It is anticipated to be the technology of choice for future near zero-emissions, coal-based plants that produce power, fuels, and/or chemicals.
Gasification is a technological process that uses heat, pressure, and steam to convert any carbon-based raw material into synthesis gas, or syngas. Composed primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, syngas has a variety of uses; for example, it can be refined into pure hydrogen, transformed into liquid transportation fuels, or used to create electricity.
The advantages of gasification, particularly in the generation of electricity from coal, may make it an increasingly important part of the world's energy and industrial markets. The use of gasification in more than 20 industrialized countries, and the diversity of its products, illustrate the enormous potential for the continued growth of the gasification industry.
The Gasifipedia website contains both introductory and in-depth information about gasification fundamentals, supporting technologies, gasification applications, environmental benefits, and the status of the latest research and development. Accessible from the NETL website, Gasifipedia features the following sections:
- Introduction to Gasification provides an overview of the gasification process, how the technology has been used in the past, and what forces have caused recent interest in the technology.
- Gasification in Detail delves into the chemical reactions taking place during the gasification process, and provides an introduction to the various types of gasifiers.
- Supporting Technologies details the other supporting technologies used in a typical gasification plant that are integrated with the gasification island. These technologies include coal storage and feed preparation, air separation, syngas cooling and heat recovery, syngas cleanup and conditioning, power train, and syngas conversion processes.
- Applications of Gasification Technology describes the numerous types of gasification facilities: integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) for electrical power, coal to liquid fuels, coal to synthetic natural gas, coal to hydrogen, coal to chemicals, and co-generation plants.
- Main Advantages of Gasification discusses the main reasons why gasification is considered the best clean-coal technology option for future near-zero-emissions power, fuel, and chemical plants.
- Gasification Research and Development details the wide range of research, development, and demonstration activities being conducted to improve the efficiency, feedstock and product versatility, and economics of gasification processes.
As part of the Energy Department's efforts to tap the full potential of the America's abundant fossil energy resources in an affordable and environmentally acceptable manner, FE's Advanced Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle program supports development of advanced gasification-based technologies that will reduce the cost of coal-based IGCC plants, improve thermal efficiency, and achieve near-zero atmospheric emissions of all pollutants.