2011 Gasification Technologies Council Conference

Emerson’s Alan Novak, who leads the alternative energy industry team, shares his thoughts from a recent gasification conference:

The Gasification Technologies Council (GTC) annual conference was held this week in San Francisco, California USA. Emerson is a member of the GTC and I had the opportunity to attend and note a few interesting themes.

The combination of a weak US economy and an uncertain regulatory environment has put a damper on interest in domestic fossil fuel-based alternative energy projects. Attendance for the event was approximately 600 people, well off the 1,000+ who attended just a few years ago.

While the US market may have slowed, the rest of the world is moving ahead with innovative energy projects, many of which involve converting coal or petroleum coke (a solid high carbon substance which remains after refining a barrel of oil) into higher value products (natural gas, fuels, chemicals) through a high temperature/pressure process called gasification.

The most active (and largest) gasification projects are occurring in China, India and South Korea. They are being driven by a desire for greater energy diversification and the high cost of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in Asia. LNG is currently priced at about $14/mmBtu versus an estimated cost of $5/mmBtu for coal. Substitute Natural Gas (SNG), a direct replacement for LNG, can be made more cheaply by gasification of coal, as seen in this picture from the POSCO GwangYang project presentation.

Phil Amick of ConocoPhillips noted that a large portion of the increased LNG demand is the result of Japan moving away from nuclear and toward natural gas-based power generation.

Several US companies provide some of the leading process technology for coal gasification. GE, ConocoPhillips, and new companies such as Synthesis Energy are all securing orders for their technology licenses, all for projects occurring outside the US.

As I’ve highlighted in an earlier post, the US has the largest reserves of coal in the world while China has the third largest (picture from the AsiaChem GTC presentation). Yet the majority of advanced coal utilization projects are occurring in China.

This will be an interesting market to watch as it develops. The big question is whether the US will adopt this approach in the future.

4 comments

  1. Respected Sir / Madam,

    Your extreme enthusiasm & restless support have mitigate Mission Energy Foundation (a not-for-profit organisation) to bring a focus to the potential of gasification in India and successfully delivering series of annual conferences started as “COAL GAS” beginning in 2008 to last year 2015.

    Every year, the conferences have attracted 275+ participants across the globe with outcome of various discussion related to science, technology and policy of gasification of coal, biomass and other carbonaceous feedstock’s, as well as applications to power generation, production of liquid fuels, and related topics. Over the years now, the international summits have covered the entire field related to science, technology and policy of gasification of coal, MSW, Petcoke, Biomass and other carbonaceous feedstock’s, as well as applications to power generation, production of liquid fuels, and related topics.

    Continuing the patronage we are glad to announce the 7th international conference & EXPO on technologies for fuel, power and chemical products “GASIFICATION INDIA: 2016” scheduled on 11th to 12th February 2016 in New Delhi, India.

    The 7th year of the international summit & EXPO GASIFICATION INDIA: 2016 is a timely event that identifies the opportunities to invest and implement various gasification technologies. It brings together gasification investors & operators, owners, synthetic gas users including power, fertilizer and chemical companies, technology and financiers to discuss critical issues facing the growing sector today!

    Additionally, the two day summit shall special focus on Biomass: Feedstock & Technology and Waste-to-Energy: Transforming Waste to Green Future! and co-host an International EXPO (11th & 12th February 2016) for both the days, that shall drive on the basis of various feedstocks like Biomass / Waste, Coal, Natural Gas, & Petroleum with its applications to Chemicals, Liquid Fuels, Power & Gas Fuels using Gasifier type like Moving / Fixed bed, Fluidized bed, Entrained, Others (Plasma, FCC-Fluid Catalytic Cracking).

    Further, as per discussion we would be glad if you can get some funds from government supporting he above said conference that shall help us to deliver another successful summit in wake of the summit theme The Gateway to India’s Cleaner Future.

    You can visit the summit website http://gasification2016.missionenergy.org for updates.

    Look forward for your response at the earliest.

    Thanks & Regards

    Sanjay Dua | EA to Director General
    +91-9820814644
    sanjay@missionenergy.org

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