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Eastman to Develop $1.6B Gasification Facility in Texas; Air Products to Sell the Hydrogen

27 July 2007

Gasification_basics2
The basic gasification process. Click to enlarge. Source: Eastman

Eastman Chemical Company plans to develop a $1.6 billion petroleum-coke fed gasification facility to be located in Beaumont, TX.

The plant will produce low-cost intermediate chemicals such as methanol, hydrogen and ammonia. The Beaumont facility will also be designed to capture and sequester the “vast majority” of its carbon dioxide.

Fluor Corporation will support the front end engineering design (FEED) effort. Eastman has licensed gasification technology from GE Energy for the project. Air Products has signed of a Letter of Intent to purchase hydrogen produced by the project on a long-term basis. Air Products will also construct and operate new air separation units (ASU) to produce more than 7,000 tons per day (TPD) of oxygen, essential to the gasifier operation.

In the project, which will be one of the first major solid-fuel gasification facilities in the Gulf Coast, Air Products will market hydrogen produced by the operation to its Gulf Coast hydrogen supply pipeline network.

The gasification project and our involvement represent a unique opportunity for Air Products to provide our world-class ASU technology, key to the operation of the gasifier, and to supply our West Gulf Coast pipeline system with hydrogen generated from petroleum coke fuel. This source of hydrogen diversifies our feed for our pipeline network and, in combination with our multi-plant system, will continue to provide refiners with a very highly reliable supply of hydrogen to make environmentally beneficial cleaner burning transportation fuels.

—Alex Masetti, Vice President, Tonnage Gases North America for Air Products

Air Products’ Gulf Coast pipeline network extends from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to Lake Charles, La. The company’s Mississippi River corridor pipeline reaches from Baton Rouge to Norco, La., and east of New Orleans. These pipeline networks provide very highly-reliable hydrogen supply to approximately 50 refinery and process industry customers.

July 27, 2007 in Gasification, Hydrogen Production | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

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How does the carbon , or CO2 , get sequestered ?
Can the process convert the majority of carbon in the coal into solid carbon such as carbon black ?

The problem with allowing carbon black is that you would not release the Hydrogen. It's the liberaton of C to CO that lets the Hydrogen float off in a gasous form. That's the beauty of a syngas, not enough Oxygen for full combustion so the syngas is inherently cleaner than just burning coal because you can now filter the gas prior to combustion.

Most of the carbon leaves as gaseous CO2, which is separated by their gas cleanup process, but there is no description of any actual sequestration. They are trying to produce hydrogen, a valuable commodity, not reduce CO2 emissions (well at least it doesn't appear that they are). If they are considering sequestration like they claim, then most likely it would be for enhanced oil recovery if there are any oil fields nearby, which in Texas is a good bet. The injection of CO2 into an oil field would help to extract more oil, which would be combusted eventually and produce more CO2 than was injected into the ground in the first place.

There would be a small amount of solid carbon char that would be generated from the gasifyer, which could in theory be used as carbon black or activated carbon, but this would be a small portion of the total carbon feed.

Using oxygen rather than air for gasification automatically simplifies separation of CO2 for possible use or sequestration.

Coal is largely carbon. The best form of carbon sequestration is not using coal at all, and moving on to solar, wind and waste biomass as future energy sources.

They are trying to produce hydrogen, a valuable commodity, not reduce CO2 emissions (well at least it doesn't appear that they are).

The other reasons for doing this are to limit sulfur emissions (since petcoke is usually high in sulfur, and gasification is more effective at removing the sulfur in saleable form), and perhaps to allow trace metals in the petcoke to be recovered (nickel, vanadium) which would not be possible if it were cofired with coal.

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