Imagine a technology that allows you to take any form of organic feedstock (in particular, waste) and turn it into fuels, chemicals and useful elements such as sulphur.
What I really love about gasification technologies, and their related downstream processes, is the ability to mix and match constituents to produce a product that has a high value use.
If the feedstock is waste, you are then able to generate renewable fuels and chemicals, which allows us to address ‘difficult to decarbonise’ applications such as vehicle fuels and fertiliser manufacture.
Renewable liquid fuels can feed our existing fleet of road vehicles and aircraft, without major alterations to logistics supply chains or vehicle technology.
I love the concept that my waste chicken scraps might one day power my car (yes I am quite happy to run my Land Rover on renewable chook diesel).
By varying the blend of gasification agents (e.g. oxygen, steam, hydrogen), you can influence the blend of syngas that comes out of the gasifier. You can even form solid carbon products to (almost) completely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions.
Downstream processing such as the water to gas shift then allows you to control the hydrogen to carbon mix and to produce a stream of pure hydrogen and a pure stream of carbon dioxide for sequestration or re-use. Acid gas removal allows you to remove sulphur and nitrogen for beneficial reuse in fertilisers, chemical manufacture or as sulphuric or nitric acid.
Further downstream processing (such as the Fischer-Tropsch process) allows the formation of whatever hydrocarbon mix or liquid fuel the market requires.
The technology is complex; however, it does open the door to renewable liquid fuels and fertilises.
At Arche Energy, we love complex processes; we have recently undertaken a number of gasification related studies and are having a lot of fun coming up with new applications for these processes.