Synthesis Energy Systems’ (SES) 95%-owned Hai Hua joint venture project in Shandong Province, China, has completed a successful commercial-scale gasification demonstration, converting lignite coal from the Inner Mongolia region of China to syngas. (Earlier post.)
Lignite and sub-bituminous coals are abundant in many regions of the world and are typically the lowest cost coals to mine. In China, for example, these lignite coals can cost up to 75% less on a thermal basis than more widely used bituminous coals. This savings can be translated into more attractive economics for coal-based energy and chemical projects.
We have been running with the lignite fuel for the past two weeks and during this entire demonstration our plant continued to supply specified quality syngas to Hai Hua without interruptions. Our gasifier operated very well on the lignite, achieving a high 96% conversion efficiency and without producing undesirable tars and oils. U-GAS technology has significant pilot unit experience operating on lignite coals; however, this successful commercial-scale demonstration of lignite operation in a U-GAS gasifier is a major milestone for the technology.
—Francis Lau, SES’ Chief Technology Officer
Overall plant availability for the last quarter to date is over 95% and has met the Hai Hua syngas demand and quality requirements over 98% of the time. Since its commissioning, the Hai Hua Joint venture has demonstrated its ability to efficiently gasify a wide range of fuels including coal washing wastes with an ash content of up to 45%, a variety of run of mine bituminous coals, a high ash sub-bituminous coal from the Yima Coal Industry Group, and now lignite from the Baiyinhua region of Inner Mongolia.
SES builds, owns and operates coal gasification plants that utilize its proprietary U-GAS fluidized bed gasification technology licensed from the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) to convert low rank coal and coal wastes into higher value energy products, such as transportation fuel and ammonia.