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Workshop to Assess Gasification Technologies for Biomass and Solid Wastes

NETL representatives are supporting U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efforts to gather information about the status of gasification technologies for biomass and solid waste at a special virtual workshop set for 9 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Nov. 30.

The Status of Gasification Technology of Biomass and Solid Wastes (Waste Coal, Waste Plastics and MSW) and Pathways for Net-Zero Carbon Economy Workshop is being hosted by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM).

Mark Ackiewicz, director of the Office of Carbon Management Technologies at FECM, will deliver opening remarks.

The workshop will help BETO and FECM address barriers in gasification technology through federally funded R&D. The event is free, but registration is required. Visit here to register.

NETL’s Eric Lewis will be featured in a workshop session addressing life cycle analysis and techno-economic analysis of coal, coal/biomass, and biomass gasification technologies with carbon capture and storage.

Gasification of solid carbonaceous feedstocks to produce syngas is an established route enabling production of usable chemicals and viable transportation fuels/hydrogen from materials such as wastes and biomass. The gasification process for conversion of a feedstock to syngas involves high temperature, high pressure, and multiple steps such as feed processing, oxygen separation from air and syngas clean-up. The cost of this complex process remains high despite continuing advances in technology.

Current efforts at technological improvements for gasification vary in approach and perspective. Economies of scale must be balanced against high system costs for larger plants, while deployment of more modular or distributed gasification may dovetail with availability of regional biomass resources and provide a route for disposing of liability/legacy waste materials. Flexible feedstock gasification technologies using biomass combined with carbon capture allow for achieving net-zero carbon or even net-negative carbon energy systems, helping to enable the widely decarbonized economy of the future.

This workshop will discuss the current state of the art of gasification technologies, along with an overview of the challenges that remain. Potential avenues for improving the state of the art will be examined.

NETL’s David Lyons, who helped plan the workshop, said public and commercial-sector participation in this DOE-sponsored event is crucial for the Department to plan and execute the maturation and deployment of clean energy technologies in a manner most likely to achieve the Administration’s milestones in addressing the climate crisis.

“DOE is interested in encouraging dialogue and collaboration among organizations pursuing fossil-sponsored gasification research and development,” he said. “Researchers need to assess specific R&D needs and risks associated with technologies related to feedstocks, air separation, syngas cleanup and ultimate end use. DOE will also use resulting information to identify technologies that can be available for pilot or demonstration scale by the 2035-to-2040-time frame.”

The workshop agenda is available here.

Questions regarding the workshop may be directed to Sonia Hammache (Sonia.hammache@ee.doe.gov) or Jai-Woh Kim (Jai-Woh.Kim@hq.doe.gov).