Grupa Azoty intends to become involved in Polish mining, and work on the launch of a coal gasification installation in Kędzierzyn-Koźle works. The company has allocated 300 million PLN to the investment. The project may bring benefits for the mining sector and energy sector.
The coal gasification aims at producing gas by burning coal, using oxygen (air) and water vapor. The process is possible in the temperature of 800–2000°C and either in atmospheric pressure or in hypertension (about 2,5 MPa). The heat necessary for coal gasification is generated by burning about 30% of the coal used. The process yields gas made up mainly of H2, CO, CO2 and CH4.
Benefits for energy industry and chemical industry
Preliminary analysis shows that the installation is to process about a million ton of coal annually, and will be capable of producing about 500,000 tonnes of methanol per year. At present, 600,000 tonnes of methanol are imported to Poland each year, as the resource is used for the production of a number of chemical products. It is important for the venture that the cost of methanol production by coal gasification is well below the market price of the resource.
At the same time, the installation makes it possible to manufacture hydrogen, which is used in the manufacturing of nitrogen-based fertilizers, ammonia and synthesis gas. The investment will therefore enable to reduce the cost of importing gas from foreign suppliers. Additionally, 3,000 jobs will be created for the duration of the construction, and about 150 people will staff the facility once it launches.
Support for Polish coal
According to research, Polish coal is suitable for gasification, despite its sulphur content. The properties of the element make it one of the first substances trapped in exhaust gas purification process. Desulphuring installation will capture resource which can be reused, for example in synthetic gypsum and sulfuric acid manufacturing.
Coal gasification in the world
About 272 coal gasification installations operate in the world today. In the USA, Eastman turns out about 500,000 tonnes per year. In China, Xianyang produces 2,000 tonnes every 24 hours, Zhongyuan Dahua – 1,500 tonnes / 24 hours, Tianjin Soda – 1,500 tonnes / 24 hours, Guizhou Jinchi – 1,000 tonnes / 24 hours and Guizhou Tianfu – 750 tonnes / 24 hours.