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Economic Benefits

The economic benefits of producing high-value, clean energy products from low/no cost feedstocks are significant. Gasification recovers the full energy potential of these feedstocks while greatly reducing disposal costs and environmental impact.

Preliminary estimates show production costs of coal-to-synthetic natural gas (SNG) are about $113/’000 cm, less than half of average price of natural gas ($250/’000 cm).

Today’s cost of gasoline is ~$800 a ton, whereas production using coal gasification would cost $210/t. Although the capex of a coal-to-gasoline plant is higher than a coal-to-SNG facility, the economic benefit is striking for both cases.

Economics of Gasification

Gasification has been used on a commercial scale for more than 50 years in the chemical, refining, and fertilizer industries, and for more than 35 years in the electric power industry. There are more than 140 gasification plants currently operating worldwide with impressive results:

  • Typically, chemical plants use the gasification process to produce mainly methanol, ammonia and urea, which form the foundation of nitrogen-based fertilizers.
  • Gasification helps convert oil sands deposits into marketable products in Canada.
  • Gasification can create cheap SNG for countries with abundant coal resources and poor oil reserves such as the United States, Ukraine, India, Kazakhstan, South Africa etc.
  • Gasification can be used for power generation, a technology commonly referred to as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC).
  • Gasification provides the lowest cost route to produce hydrogen from fossil fuels, the foundation of any future hydrogen-based economy.