Gasification and Pyrolysis systems are used to convert waste into energy-rich fuels by heating them under controlled conditions. The process deliberately stops short of combustion, and instead converts the waste into intermediates that can be further processed, either for energy recovery or materials recycling. The basic technology is not new. However, recently, several new proprietary processes have been developed. Advanced gasification and pyrolysis systems are gaining popularity in the market. The outlook for these systems appears to be positive.
The primary difference between gasification and pyrolysis, and incineration, is that the former uses much less oxygen as compared to the latter. However, despite this environmental benefit, the process is classified as incineration in the European Union (EU)’s Waste Incineration Drive, and has to meet mandatory emissions limit.
Advanced gasification and pyrolysis systems are commonly used to obtain chemicals such as ammonia and methanol. This application is likely to remain the most important in the near future. Another usage of these systems is to obtain liquid and gaseous fuels such as gasoline. However, demand for transportation fuels has declined significantly in developed countries, while it has increased substantially in developing countries. Apart from these applications, advanced gasification and pyrolysis systems are used to obtain substitute natural gas. The abundant supply of this gas in North America has lowered the demand for such gasification plants in the region. Such plants are primarily located in Asia where the cost of importing liquefied natural gas is high.
Asia Pacific accounts for a large number of gasification and pyrolysis plants, followed by Europe and Middle East & Africa. Many such plants are also located in North America. On the other hand, Latin America has less number of such plants. Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa are anticipated to possess most of these plants in the near future.
Advanced gasification and pyrolysis systems can also be classified by the type of feedstock. Until the past few years, petroleum was the commonly used feedstock. However, petroleum has been replaced with coal as the primary feedstock due to the rise in crude oil prices. Other feedstock used in the industry include natural gas, biomass, and waste. The popularity of waste and biomass as feed is expected to increase in the next few years primarily due to their easy availability and affordability. Another reason for plants with these feedstock to become more popular is their modular nature. In other words, their capacity to process feedstock can be adjusted and rotated among units on the basis of requirement. This unique feature among energy generation plants is also driving the advanced gasification and pyrolysis systems market.
Gasification and pyrolysis systems have witnessed considerable advancement in technology in recent years. Thus, plants can be tailored according to their purpose. As a result, plants are now being developed in many capacities, small and big as per the requirement. The size and capacity of gasification and pyrolysis plants has increased in the petroleum industry. On the other hand, plants using biomass and waste as feed have become smaller and modular.
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Several manufacturers such as the U.S.-based Klean Industries, Denmark-based Dong Energy, Italy-based Advanced Gasification Technologies, Australia-based Ausprolec, India-based Agni Energy Services, and China-based Century New Power and Zhengzhou Sinoder Indutech Machinery Co., Ltd. provide advanced gasification and pyrolysis systems.