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Siemens to Supply First 500MW Coal Gasifiers to China for Coal to Plastics

Siemens Energy will deliver the first two of five coal gasifiers to Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co. Ltd. (SNCG) in China. (Earlier post.) The coal gasifiers, each with a thermal capacity of 500MW, are destined for the Ningxia coal-to-polypropylene (NCPP) plant in Ningxia Province in northwest China.

Cross-section through the Siemens 500MW gasifier. Click to enlarge.

After completion in early 2010, the plant with its five gasifiers will have an hourly production capacity of approximately 540,000 cubic meters of syngas, which will then be converted in downstream processes to polypropylene plastic.

The Siemens coal gasifiers, which are 18 meters long with an inside diameter of 3 meters and weigh 220 tonnes, are among the world’s largest and most powerful. They are capable of gasifying up to 2,000 tonnes of coal daily.

In the gasification process hard coal, lignite and other substances such as biomass, petcoke and refinery residues will be converted to syngas, and environmental pollutants such as sulfur and carbon dioxide subsequently removed. The syngas can then be used for power generation in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants or as a raw material in the chemical industry, for example in the production of synthetic fuels.

The Siemens 500-MW coal gasifier is characterized by its straightforward design, high availability level, low servicing requirements, and fast startup and shutdown. Work is already in progress on gasifiers in the next higher capacity class.

In 2006, Siemens acquired the technology for the gasification of fossil raw materials and the 50-percent stake in the Chinese joint venture with Shenhua Ninxia Coal Industry Group from the Swiss company Sustec Holding AG.



…carbon dioxide subsequently removed

Were does the Co2 go? Is it sequestered in the ground or expelled into the air. I think into the air.


Some background info here on China and Coal.


co2 is valuable.. they can also ship it to algae growers..



When CO2 is used to boost algae growth:

1) how much of it escapes into the air?

2) how much co2 is recreated when algae is converted to fuel?

3) how much is recreated when the fuel is burnt?

Don't you end up with the same CO2 or more?

Henry Gibson

The US is in a major economic downturn because of the rampant speculation in oil futures and derivatives, and it is helpful to see that there are ways of producing gas and chemicals from abundant coal. With all the wastes of transporting and refining oil from distant locations, it is likely that coal produces less carbon dioxide per unit energy delivered to the customer than does oil. It is obvious that coal is now far cheaper for plastic production than oil since the raw cost is a factor of ten or more. The use of energy recovery for heat and electricity can make the gassification process even more carbon dioxide efficient than oil, besides being far cheaper. There will be no lengthy beach clean up from coal spills.

People, animals and yes plants emit carbon dioxide. At this moment it is economically foolish for the US government to impose limitations on the emissions of carbon dioxide. Small combined cycle electric generators have been economically available for over ten years for use in heating and lighting of businesses and apartments with the reduction of carbon dioxide release and a saving of energy costs of at least forty percent, but the high initial costs for builders trying to meet lowest bids and no US standard building efficiency requirements has prevented the use of this money and energy saving process.

At present natural gas prices, it is cheaper to make natural gas from coal. Yes there is additional release of CO2 but the combined cycle process makes Coal more CO2 neutral and even energy efficient.

The US and China now have failed the world's poor by not using the stability of both countries to convert all electric generation to Nuclear Power plants. Hundreds of identical power plants can be built quite cheaply. The amount of fuel rod wastes for a lifetime of energy would amount to less than ten pounds per person. And many hundeds of tons of CO2 would not be produced. With all the wars and starvation from high oil prices going on, it is obvious that nuclear power would only cause a fraction of the lives to be lost as happens with coal, gas and oil. Two CANDU reactors were built recently in China under budget and sooner than contracted. Many US people believe that no nuclear power plants were built anywhere after Three Mile Island but many were built in France and the rest of the world. France exports Nuclear power to its neighbors who fail to build their own power plants.

The failure of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl caused perhaps a hundred direct deaths, but the stopping of the building of nuclear power plants that they instigated in the US and elsewhere, has caused thousands of deaths by poverty alone in the US and millions of deaths in the rest of the world. ..hg..

Has it ever been economical to have environmental laws? Waiting for the right economic conditions before imposing environmental laws means those laws will never be enacted.
So what if lifeforms emit CO2. It is the CO2 emissions of machines that matters since only machines directly use fossil fuels. It is the use of fossil fuels that needs to be eliminated and that is not in the interest of a small group of very large corporations.
The premature deaths of America's poor has more to do with political factors than energy policy. Universal health care is opposed by a large number of small businesses in America and by the so called health insurance industry. Doing what is morally right has always been opposed by one group of businesses or another going back to the days of child labor, slavery, and debtors prisons. So Mr Gibson who's slave would you like to be since it is so good for somebody's business not to have to pay for labor.


@Henry Gibson

Your post is accurate and persuasive. Also, you are obviously one of the genital hearts in the Vail of Tears we live in.

In preference to the current generation of nukes you covered, I hope someone will take the time to develop and field the high efficiency clean burn reactors that are now possible.

Many of the coal plants in China are newer and very much cleaner than old type plants still in operation in the U.S. I hope the Warner-Lieberman bill will address and correct this issue when perfected and passed.


@Henry Gibson

Correction :gentle hearts not genital hearts


One ton of CO2 is the amount released by burning about 3 barrels of crude.
The price (with actual technology) to sequester 1 ton of CO2 is about 200$ a ton. So, if you use cheap coal instead of expensive oil (three barrels at 133$ makes about 400$) and you even pay for completely removing all the CO2 produced by burning the CO2, you are truely carbon-neutral while still spending less money than if you used crude and emitted every CO2 into the air.

(and notice that these 200$ go to national industries, instead of oil dictators)

Since this would create a huge scale-advantage for the sequestring industry, the price of sequestring would certainly come down soon.

The only problem is that the industry must be forced to spend part of the profit on sequestering the CO2, but that's a political problem just like any other tax system, not an economical problem, and not a technological problem.


The the most share of the carbon atoms are a compound of the produced polypropylene plastic. This is no combustion! Therefore the carbon emissions are comparably low, however they will depend on the process efficiency of the gasification and the polymerization.

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