[In11] Gasification

AUTHOR: James Stopps


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[012]  [Ag11] [Cu11]
Scenario Games: Action Plan: External:
wiki - gasification
foe - gasification
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Biomass Producers; Energy Companies; Waste Management; Government; Planning Officers
Gasification is an industrial process used to break biomass down into simple chemical building blocks that can be transformed into fuels, products and hydrogen. 
The process can be tailored to utilise almost  any carbon-based material such as timber, municipal waste, sewage sludge, coal, and difficult to recycle plastics.  By combusting these under controlled conditions a synthetic gas is produced, consisting primarily of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which can be filtered and ‘scrubbed’ to create syngas.
This offers the opportunity to utilize higher-efficiency power generation technologies such as combined cycle gas turbines and potentially fuel cells.  These are twice and three times more efficient than steam-cycle processes (which are used in standard incineration) respectively.
Recent developments such as fluidised bed gasifiers are beginning to make gasification a viable option for large-scale energy production 150 years after it was first discovered.  Current obstacles, however include a public hesitation toward having such production in their backyard.  To ensure a carbon-neutral process fuel crops have to be utilised  and to do this at their maximum potential district heating schemes will have to be adopted.  Therefore a close relationship has to be developed between the archaic industrial component and our everyday urban/suburban lifestyle.
Under what circumstances does gasification become viable?
What further utility/program does it require?
How could these archaic industrial components sit within an urban/suburban context?
Can the processes involved be communicated to a population, raising awareness of the environmental crisis? 
How can waste products from this industrial process be fully utilised?