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Recently, the Ministry of Coal in the Indian government has formulated a policy to promote coal gasification:

A provision has been made for 50% rebate in revenue share for all future commercial coal block auctions for the coal used in gasification purpose provided the coal quantity used for gasification is at least 10% of total coal production.
Source: Ministry of Coal

Why is the Indian Government incentivising this coal gasification?

1 Answer 1

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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:

  1. 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;
  2. High-pressure gasifier operation significantly reduces the gas volume requiring treatment;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. The oil and gas industries already have significant commercial experience with efficient removal of acid gases (H2S and CO2) and particulates from natural gas.
  6. 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.
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    Good answer, but I wouldn't be surprised that the actual outcome, as opposed to claimed outcome, ends up just greenwashing some coal emissions. That would be in line with a lot of other similar schemes elsewhere, not least the rather useless ethanol regulations in North America. Feb 14, 2023 at 1:53
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica You are absolutely right. What this answer fails to mention is how Modi's industrial policies are all designed to benefit him through crony capitalists without any regards to the environment. See India plans to fell ancient forest to create 40 new coalfields and How political will often favors a coal billionaire and his dirty fossil fuel
    – sfxedit
    Feb 14, 2023 at 15:55
  • @sfxedit Please write your own answer. I did not fail to mention anything. While your allegations may be in scope of a question about "Why did Adani get control of the Mumbai Airport", they are not relevant to a question of "Why coal gasification".
    – whoisit
    Feb 14, 2023 at 23:52
  • @whoisit Your answer is "good enough" and my comments add to it. Note that the question is why does the Modi govt. want to incentivise coal gasification. And I have pointed out some more reason (that others have mentioned too) - to ward of some criticism. In addition, I have also highlighted that prioritising coal for energy security was done to specifically favour certain businessman. While I have cited only two sources, there is ample media debate on this subject suggesting the same. I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to include these info and improve your answer.
    – sfxedit
    Feb 15, 2023 at 7:01

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