Gasification: a thermochemical process that converts organic or fossil based carbonaceous materials (carbon, bio mass, plastics) into a combustible gas, mainly carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
WES International uses Gasification as the primary technology in all of our solutions. Gasification is achieved by reacting materials at high temperatures (>700°C), without combustion, in the presence of a gasifying agent with a controlled amount of air, oxygen, steam and/or hydrogen.
The resulting gas mixture is syngas (from synthesis gas or synthetic gas) or producer gas. Syngas is itself a fuel. The composition of the gas is very dependent on the conditions of the gasification but usually is rich in carbon monoxide and /or hydrogen, with carbon dioxide, methane and other hydrocarbons.
The origin of the carbonaceous materials and the gasifying agent are the parameters that determine the greater or minor energy content (calorific value) of the gas.
Is Gasification a source of Renewable Energy?
- the power derived from gasification of biomass and combustion of the resultant gas is considered to be a source of renewable energy;
- the gasification of fossil fuel derived materials such as plastic is not considered to be renewable energy.
WES International uses gasification due to the fact that 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.
Is Syngas a fuel?
Syngas may be burned directly in gas engines, used to produce methanol and hydrogen, or converted via the Fischer-Tropsch process into synthetic fuel.
Forms of Gasification
Gasification can begin with material, which would otherwise have been disposed of such as biodegradable waste. Or, using pyrolysis, gasification can be used to handle biomass.
In addition, the high-temperature process refines out corrosive ash elements such as chloride and potassium, allowing clean gas production from otherwise problematic fuels.
Gasification of fossil fuels is currently widely used on industrial scales to generate electricity.