Drivers for Gasification Technology
The need for low-cost power produced in an environmentally sound way is certain, even if the future of regulations limiting the emission and/or encouraging the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2), and the price and availability of natural gas and oil are not. Gasification is not only capable of efficiently producing electric power, but a wide range of liquids and/or high-value chemicals (including diesel and gasoline for transportation) can be produced from cleaned syngas, providing the flexibility to capitalize on a range of dynamic changes to either domestic energy markets or global economic conditions. Polygeneration—plants that produce multiple products—is uniquely possible with gasification technologies. Continued advances in gasification-based technology will enable the conversion of our nation's abundant coal reserves into energy resources (power and liquid fuels), chemicals, and fertilizers needed to displace the use of imported oil and, thereby, help mitigate its high price and security supply concerns and to support U.S. economic competitiveness with unprecedented environmental performance.
Consistent with these drivers, the Department of Energy's vision for Advanced Gasification is to convert coal into clean power, with plant exhaust being primarily water, the sulfur being converted to sulfuric acid, the slag being used in construction products, and the carbon from the coal converted into CO2 used to produce increased oil from old oil fields using Enhanced Oil Recovery – while simultaneously and permanently removing the CO2 from the earth's atmosphere.
|Gasifier installation at Mississippi Power's Kemper County Energy Facility, September 2012.1