History of Gasification
  Great Plains Synfuels Plant
  Great Plains Synfuels Plant, Beulah, North Dakota
(source: Dakota Gasification)

Renewed Interest in the New Millennium

In the 1990s, with oil prices on the rise, volatility in the Middle East again increasing, and new awareness of the environmental impacts of energy production, American and European support for cleaner production of electricity from coal and other fuels again revived interest in gasification technology. Backed by public funding, the feasibility of IGCC was proven by various demonstration projects to a point where commercial developers began reconsidering gasification applications.[1] Texaco gasification technology (now owned by GE) was used in building the Polk Power Station near Mulberry, Florida, in the early 1990s, becoming the Nation's first "greenfield" (built as a brand new plant) IGCC power station.  In 1994, an IGCC plant was commissioned in Buggenum, Netherlands, based on technology developed by Shell.  Technology developed by Dow Chemical (now owned by ConocoPhillips) was implemented at the Wabash River Coal Gasification Repowering Project near Terre Haute, Indiana, becoming the first full-size commercial “re-powering” IGCC plant in the United States in 1995.[2]

Following up on the successes of the 1990s, more and more gasification plants began to be built for production of fertilizers and chemicalssynthetic natural gas and hydrogen, and liquid fuelsNETL's 2010 World Gasification Database[3] (Oct 2010) shows there are 144 operating gasification plants worldwide with a total of 427 gasifiers in operation (including spares) in 27 countries. 

  Polk Power Station
  Polk Power Station Tampa Electric's Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Plant (source: Tampa Electric)

Today and Tomorrow
Many countries and enterprises are focusing extensive programs on performing the research, development, and demonstration necessary to maximize the potential for gasification in the future.  A full 400 years after Van Helmont's discovery, efforts to better understand and improve the gasification process continue – ranging from DOE's R&D activities in the area, to gasification development around the world.

 


1.
About Gasificationclean-energy.us
2.
Pioneering Gasification PlantsUS DOE
3.
NETL's 2010 World Gasification Database (Oct 2010)

Gasification Background

 

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