- September 19, 2019
- Posted by: InsightsIAS
- Category: INSIGHTS
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
What to study?
For Prelims: What is coal gasification? Byproducts.
For Mains: Benefits, concerns and challenges.
Context: Government has awarded Lump Sum Turn Key (LSTK) contract for Coal Gasification Plant PF Talcher Fertilizers Limited to M/s Wuhuan Engineering Co. Ltd, China as a part of measures to revival closed units of Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd. (FCIL) and Hindustan Fertilizers Corporation Ltd (HFCL).
Benefits of gasification:
- Transporting gas is a lot cheaper than transporting coal.
- Help address local pollution problems.
- Has greater efficiency than conventional coal-burning because it can effectively use the gases twice: the coal gases are first cleansed of impurities and fired in a turbine to generate electricity. Then, the exhaust heat from the gas turbine can be captured and used to generate steam for a steam turbine-generator.
Concerns and challenges:
- Coal gasification is one of the more water-intensive forms of energy production.
- There are concerns about water contamination, land subsidence and disposing of waste water safely.
What is Underground coal gasification?
The process involves pumping oxygen and steam through a small borehole into the coal seam to produce a small and controlled combustion. Unlike coal-bed methane, therefore, the actual coal is converted from a solid state into gas. The hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide and CO2 are then siphoned off through a second borehole.