Current Affairs

Coal Gasification

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.