Gasification of coal was used in England and in the United States to produce "town gas" to light the city streets over a hundred years ago. The German war effort was fueled by coal gasification during World War II. Currently over 40% of South African motor fuel is derived from coal gasification, as well as 100% of their aviation fuel. Major suppliers of gasification technology include Sasol Lurgi, GE, Conoco-Phillips, and Shell with dozens of large, expensive plants operating worldwide. In the U.S. a large gasification plant is producing synthetic natural gas in North Dakota, and two integrated combined cycle (IGCC) demonstration plants are generating electricity - one in Florida and the other in Indiana. Eastman Chemical's coal gasification plant located in Tennessee once produced all Kodak film for the photography industry. It has operated successfully for over 25 years and continues to produce methanol, plastics, and other products for the chemical industry.
Gasification is accomplished with heat, pressure, and the injection of ionized water. The basic chemical reaction used in gasification is C + H2O = CO + H2. This process begins in a heated, oxygen-starved environment (known as the pyrolysis chamber), which drives off moisture and volatile gases contained in the feedstock. Pyrolysis produces carbon char and ash that moves into a separate, externally heated gasification reactor, which converts the solid carbon molecule into a gaseous state. Next, in TCG's process we inject ionized water in a process known as steam reformation to create a water shift reaction to produce Syngas. The hot Syngas is water quenched and cleansed of its impurities in a proprietary, ionized water treatment system, thus delivering a clean, dry Syngas with no liquid discharge from the plant operation.It is important to note that the TCG process is not a typical gasification process, which requires the injection of oxygen for the reaction: 2C + O2 + H2O = CO + H2 + CO2, nor is it heated by internal feedstock combustion which is represented by C + O2 = CO2. Conventional gasification plants produce high amounts of carbon dioxide in their internal combustion processes. The externally heated TCG process actually reduces CO2 through the following reaction: CO2 + C = 2CO and does not produce harmful combustion by-products.