Definition - What does Gasification mean?
Gasification is the process of purification of fossil fuels containing carbon materials to form synthetic gas. Organic materials extracted from the earth’s surface contain solid waste, oil sands, heavy oil and many other impurities. The extracted materials react with controlled amount of oxygen at high temperatures without combustion leading to the formation of synthetic gas, also known as syngas. This gas is a great source of renewable energy that is used to generate electricity on industrial scales.
Petropedia explains Gasification
Gasification is a very useful process as it helps refiners to derive useful products like hydrogen, chemicals and electricity from useless or waste streams. For this process, the carbon containing materials are made to undergo various processes in a gasifier.
The fossil or organic material containing carbon undergoes the dehydration process, i.e., a drying process at 100°C. The carbonaceous-material then undergoes pyrolysis where fickle products are released and char is produced at temperatures ranging from 200 to 300°C. The combustion process occurs when some of the volatiles and char react with oxygen and to form carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. Then Gasification takes place when defined amount of oxygen is imported in the reactor that burns the unwanted organic material. Catalysts are also used in the reactors to improve the rate of reaction.
The process was initially used to produce town gas for cooking and lighting but it was later replaced by natural gas and electricity.