5 Advantages of Gasification Explained

Advantages of gasification are; relative simplicity, versatility, resource conservation, relatively minimal emission, and relatively low capital investment.

This article discusses the advantages of gasification, as follows;



1). Relative Simplicity (as one of the Advantages of Gasification)

Gasification is a simple process when compared to other types of biomass conversion.

In terms of its structural configuration, as well as number and function(s) of components, gasifiers are simpler than many pyrolytic reactors, anaerobic digesters and integrated biorefineries.

The gasification process is also relatively simple [3]. It involves mainly thermal and chemical conversion, and does not always require catalysts or other auxiliary components.

Based on the reaction pathway involved, gasification can be described as a unidirectional process. It also has fewer stages than other waste-to-energy process like anaerobic digestion.

The products of gasification are relatively simple in their chemical configuration, inter-component mixing, and method of isolation and extraction.


2). Versatility

The gasification process is versatile in terms of its feedstock, mechanism and products.

Feedstock that can be treated by gasification includes all forms of biomass such as wood and organic slurry, as well as fossil fuels like coal [2].

Multiple types of gasification exist, and can be alternated to meet the need at any time, in terms of available feedstock and desired products.

Gasification methods like fluidized bed also encourage the conversion of heterogeneous feedstock, which can be pulverized to small particles and fed into the gasifier.

The primary product of gasification is syngas; which is a flammable material of versatile composition, including gases like carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen [1], and condensable fluids like tar.

Lastly, the application of gasification products is also versatile, and includes electricity generation, domestic heating, and transport.

Hydrogen which is a component of syngas can be liquefied (thereby being converted to liquid hydrogen) and used in hydrogen fuel cells or in specialized engines for hybrid cars.

Advantages of Gasification: Versatility (Credit: U.S. Department of Energy 2014)
Advantages of Gasification: Versatility (Credit: U.S. Department of Energy 2014)


3). Resource Conservation (as one of the Advantages of Gasification)

Gasification is a conservative process that is suitable for application in a circular economy.

This is because recycling of gasification agents and products occurs in the gasification process.

Product gases as well as heated feedstock can be used as gasification agents to transfer heat to biomass in the gasifier, thereby achieving energy conservation and efficiency.

Water conservation and soil conservation can also be said to be achieved during gasification.

Water is conserved through the recycling of coolant fluid in the gasifier, while soil is conserved by the reuse of bed material (which may include sand).

These savings imply that the gasification process is relatively inexpensive and can be used as an economic alternative to other conversion methods in certain scenarios.


4). Relatively Minimal Emission

Gasification is a viable means of mitigating environmental degradation, and all forms of undesired environmental impacts associated with bioenergy production and biomass conversion.

Because gasification includes measures to isolate and recover most byproducts formed in the process, there is less risk of the release of these materials into the environment as greenhouse gases or toxins that can reduce air quality.

This implies that gasification can be categorized among approaches that help ensure sustainability, such as energy recovery, remediation, recycling, and carbon capture.

Although some greenhouse gases and potential toxins are produced in the process, their quantity and mode of handling are generally better than those of other practices like incineration and open combustion.

Gasification is also sustainable compared to most processes that are used in a biorefinery to treat organic feedstock, and it can be integrated with carbon capture and storage to optimize its sustainability.


5). Relatively-low Capital Investment

Capital cost required to set up a gasification facility is low relative to other conversion systems.

This advantages can be attributed to the relative simplicity of the gasification process, which implies less need for specialized, highly-sophisticated, or heavy duty equipment.

The low cost of gasification can be evaluated especially when the factor of electricity generation and biofuel production is considered. As an energy-producing system, gasification plants and their associated utilities are much cheaper than other electric generators, fuel producers and power plant facilities.



Advantages of gasification are;

1. Relative Simplicity

2. Versatility

3. Resource Conservation

4. Relatively Minimal Emission

5. Relatively-low Capital Investment



1). Monteiro, E.; Couto, N. D.; Bouboa, A.; Silva, V.; Bouziane, K. (2013). “Influence of the Biomass Gasification Processes on the Final Composition of Syngas.” Energy Procedia 36. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2013.07.068. (Accessed 6 October 2022).

2). Ruoppolo, G.; Cante, A.; Chirone, R.; Miccio, F.; Stanzione, V. (2011). “Fluidized Bed Gasification of Coal/Biomass Slurries.” Available at: https://doi.org/10.3303/CET1124003. (Accessed 8 October 2022).

3). Zhang, Y.; Cui, Y.; Chen, P.; Liu, S.; Zhou, N.; Ding, K.; Fan, L.; Peng, P.; Min, M.; Cheng, Y.; Wang, Y.; Wan, Y.; Liu, Y.; Li, B.; Ruan, R. (2019). “Gasification Technologies and Their Energy Potentials.” Sustainable Resource Recovery and Zero Waste Approaches (pp.193-206). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-64200-4.00014-1. (Accessed 8 October 2022).

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