India's economy and consequently, hunger for energy, are growing at a fast pace - faster than renewable energy can alone complete them. Hence, more efficient use of coal is needed.
While launching the 6th round of coal mine auction by the Ministry of Coal, the finance minister said:
"A fast-growing economy like India needs greater investment in coal production and gasification projects. Globally, energy prices especially that of gas are going up."
Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the coal ministry is exploring alternative methodologies for enhanced use of coal. Gasification might be considered one such alternative methodology.
Coal gasification has quite a few benefits.
As per NETL (The United States' National Energy Technology Lab), some benefits are:
- Relatively high concentration of pollutant species and pollutant species precursors (most notably hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in syngas which would form sulfur oxides (SOx) upon syngas combustion), versus much lower concentration that would be found in the combustion flue gas, improves removal;
- High-pressure gasifier operation significantly reduces the gas volume requiring treatment;
- Conversion of H2S into elemental sulfur (or sulfuric acid) is technically much easier and more economical than capture and conversion of SO2 into salable by-products;
- The higher temperature and pressure process streams involved in gasification allow for easier removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) for geological storage or for sale as a byproduct;
- The oil and gas industries already have significant commercial experience with efficient removal of acid gases (H2S and CO2) and particulates from natural gas.
- Removal of corrosive and abrasive species prevents potential damage to the conversion devices such as gas turbines, resulting from contamination, corrosion, or erosion of materials.