Coal Gasification: A Source of Clean Energy (CO-05)
Through the process of gasification, Indiana's high sulfur coal can be
converted to an "environmentally clean" fuel. In the gasification process,
the carbon of the coal is converted to a gaseous fuel that lacks the
impurities of coal. To accomplish this, pulverized coal is heated in a
gasifier that is pressurized with steam and air. Hydrogen from the steam
reacts with the carbon to form methane gas. Other carbonaceous gases are
also formed during the reaction, but in later steps they also are
converted to methane, which increases the heating value of the gas. After
purification, the quality and Btu rating of the coal gas are similar to
those of natural gas.
About 30 million tons of coal would have to be
gasified to equal Indiana's present annual consumption of natural gas.
Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: