Coal Gasification 

#GS3 #Energy 

India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030 with investments worth over Rs 4 lakh crores, the Union Minister of Coal and Mines has confirmed. 

  • For encouraging use of clean sources of fuel, government has provided for a concession of 20% on revenue share of coal used for gasification.  
  • It will boost production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, urea for fertilisers and production of other chemicals. 

What is ‘coal gasification’? 

  • The coal gasification is the process of converting coal into synthetic gas, which is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. 
  • This can be used in a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products, such as fertilisers. 

Benefits  

  • The process of Coal Gasification chemically transforms coal into Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), instead of burning the coal. It produces Syngas which is a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O). 
  • India imports 50-100 lakh tonnes of urea every year, hence the revival of energy plants using coal gasification technology will help increase availability of domestically produced fertilisers. 
  • With coal being the most abundantly available fossil fuel across the world, the potential of coal gasification is huge. Even low grade coal can be used in this process. 
  • This process is around 17 to 20% more efficient than conventional coal-burning to produce electricity. Hence, it reduces the dependency on coal mining for energy generating power plants. 
  • It can be used in hydrogen fuel cell production because gasification of coal is one method that can produce power liquid fuel chemical and hydrogen. 
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