Driven by its inevitable strategic choice, China has been pushing for coal gasification technology in a major way, not only by employing Western-developed gasifiers to gain operational experience but also by developing indigenous gasifiers. The development of China's coal gasification technology has the potential to reshape the global gasifier industry. Meanwhile China has started or planned several large-scale projects for coal to alternative fuels and chemicals such as olefins (beyond traditional methanol, ammonia and PVC products). The outcome of these projects will not only affect the future supply of energy and key chemicals in China but will impact global supply dynamics.
PEP's ultimate goal is to assess process economics of major coal-based processes in China. To provide a solid basis for such analysis, this review first examines the development of indigenous gasification technologies in China. A search of Chinese patents and other published literature on gasifiers was conducted to identify the major technology developers and their claimed proprietary features, which were then compared to the key performance indicators of Western-developed gasifiers. We have compiled a list of domestically-developed or foreign-supplied gasifiers deployed in China to provide a view of the competitive landscape.
The following PEP review 2012-04 will investigate the conversion processes employed in major coal-to-olefin projects and provide economic analyses for assessing their competitiveness versus naphtha-based processes. Additional reviews on other coal-based chemicals and alternative fuels will follow.