Blog icon

Coal or oil is heated in the absence of oxygen, in order to degrade it into char, pyrolysis oil and syngas.


Technology

What is it?

Coal or oil is heated in the absence of oxygen, in order to degrade it into char, pyrolysis oil and syngas.

Why is it important?

This process is well understood, established at industrial scale, and produces other useful by-products alongside hydrogen.

Characteristics

  • Inputs: Heat, coal or oil
  • By-products: CO2, ethylene, acetylene, carbon
  • Operating temperature: >500°C

Benefits

  • Toxic components are degraded by high temperatures
  • Established industrial process
  • A range of useful by-products
  • Can accept varied quality of feedstock
  • No water required

Limitations

  • Produces lower quantities of hydrogen per unit coal than in coal gasification
  • High operational costs
  • Purification system required to treat flue gases from the process
  • By-products contain high heavy metal content
  • Requires CCUS to achieve low carbon emissions

RD&D priorities

  • Develop cheap and effective hydrogen separation systems to obtain appropriately pure hydrogen for specific applications
  • Develop and demonstrate effective means of integrating carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) to achieve zero-to-low carbon emissions
  • Improve appliance and plant design for greater flexibility in ramping up and ramping down
  • Integrate renewable energy sources. For example, concentrated solar power can act as a thermal energy source for the process
  • Establish environmentally suitable treatment of waste by-products
  • Improve reactor design to accommodate highly exothermic or endothermic reactions (e.g. staged introduction of reagents, better designed heat transfer surfaces, process intensification, advanced materials, reaction monitoring/control, pre-treatment of waste streams)

Known active organisations

  • CSIRO
  • The University of Newcastle
  • The University of Western Australia

Other opportunities like this

  • A chemical loop utilises a recyclable metal with water and hydrocarbon feedstocks to produce hydrogen, water and carbon dioxide. The metal is involved in a repeating cycle of reaction steps

  • Coal is reacted with controlled amounts of oxygen and/or steam at high temperatures to produce syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide) which also contains carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour. Gasification involves four stages: drying, pyrolysis, combustion, and gasification reactions.

Process group

Readiness Level

Contact us

Find out how we can help you and your business. Get in touch using the form below and our experts will get in contact soon!

CSIRO will handle your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and our Privacy Policy.


First name must be filled in

Surname must be filled in

I am representing *

Please choose an option

Please provide a subject for the enquriy

0 / 100

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer

0 / 1900

You shouldn't be able to see this field. Please try again and leave the field blank.