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Gasification of coal

Gasification of coal to methanol

India is on the verge of a huge transformation from a developing country to a developed country and energy is considered as one of the key requirements for economic development of a country.

As India is advancing on its path of development, its energy demand is expected to rise at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.5% till 2040.

Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) is used in India as the cooking fuel. As per the estimates of International Energy Agency (IEA), India houses 800 million people who do not have access to clean cooking fuel.

In view of the above , Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by the government of India in  May, 2016 under which 5 Cr LPG connections are distributed to households which are Below Poverty Line (BPL).

According to the recent data available, India imports a million tonnes of LPG (60% of total LPG requirements) every month to meet the increased demands of LPG which costs billions of dollars.

India has  large coal reserves which can be used for the production of methanol using coal as a feedstock and can play an important role in order to contain the rising imports and energy security of India.

Government of India is also promoting the gasification of coal to methanol that can be used as a cooking fuel.

The main aim to produce methanol using coal is to decrease the dependence of India on Middle Eastern producers like Saudi Aramco, Qatar’s Tasweeq, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. and save billions of dollars which are spent on the import of LPG.

China is the leading producer of methanol in the World that accounts for the 55% of the global methanol production. China produces 70% of its methanol from coal as it has the third largest coal reserves in the World.

India has the 5th largest coal reserves in the World and thus can contribute significantly to methanol production.

According to a research at Tech Corp International Strategist (TCIS), India, we researched patented technologies to produce methanol from coal . US patent number US 4430096 filed on 8 March 1982, pertains to a method of production of methanol using a slagging gasifier using solid carbonaceous material like coal.

Gasifier contains a gasification chamber having an upper and a lower wall inlet. Upper wall inlet for feeding coal and a lower wall inlet for introducing gas in the chamber.

Coal is heated and converted to ash and the gases released are mixed with water to form a gaseous quencher output comprising hydrogen, carbon monoxide and water. A catalyst converts hydrogen and carbon monoxide into methanol. This method converts coal almost exclusively to methanol and was given by Conoco Inc. (Wilmington, DE).

US patent number US 20020159929 filed on 29 Feb 2000. In this method, Methanol is synthesized from a gas produced through gasification of biomass serving as a raw material, making use of a biomass feeding means for feeding biomass into a furnace main body and, located above the biomass feeding means, combustion- oxidizing- agent- feeding means for feeding into the furnace main body a combustion-oxidizing agent containing oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and steam.This method was given by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP).

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