India aims to achieve 100 MT coal gasification target by 2030: Union Minister

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News: Union Coal Ministry has organised a webinar on Coal Gasification and Liquefaction.During the webinar, Union Minister has said that India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030.

Facts:

  • Coal Gasification: It is the process of producing syngas—a mixture consisting primarily of carbon monoxide(CO), hydrogen(H2), carbon dioxide(CO2), natural gas(CH4) and water vapour(H2O)—from coal and water, air and/or oxygen.
  • Applications: 
    • The syngas can be used in a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products such as fertilisers.
    • The hydrogen obtained from coal gasification can be used for various purposes such as making ammonia, powering a hydrogen economy or upgrading fossil fuels.
    • Methane or natural gas extracted from coal gasification can be converted into LNG for direct use as fuel in the transport sector.
  • Concerns: Coal gasification is one of the more water-intensive forms of energy production.There are concerns about water contamination, land subsidence and disposing of waste water safely.

Additional Facts:

  • Coal Liquefaction: It is a process in which coal is converted into liquid fuels or petrochemicals.There are several processes used to accomplish this task, the two most common being the “indirect route” and the “direct route”.
  • Indirect Route: It is composed of 2 steps: 
    • First, coal is gasified with steam and oxygen to produce a synthesis gas (syngas), which is then cleaned to rid of dust, tar, and acid gases. 
    • The second step reacts the synthesis gas with a catalyst in the Fischer-Tropsch process which converts the syngas into a range of hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel and methanol.
  • Direct Route: In this, coal is pulverized and reacted with a catalyst, then hydrogen is added under high pressures and temperatures in the presence of a solvent to produce a raw liquid fuel.This raw fuel requires refining in order to yield acceptable transportation fuels.