Everything You Need to Know about Syngas
Syngas consists of hydrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, and much more. It is widely used in fermentation and pyrolysis procedures. One can find an application of syngas in various fields such as energy generation, fertilizer, and the chemical industry.
Chemistry is a vast subject, the more you explore the more complicated theories or lab work become. The subject is not limited to only chemicals, the periodic table, chemical formulas, or reactions. There is more to it such as thermodynamics, equilibrium, viscosity, and so on. Syngas concept is one of the important topics of chemistry as it aids in energy generation, making fertilizers, and roadbeds. Read on to know in-depth about syngas.
What is Syngas?
Syngas is also known as synthesis gas, which is a mixture of molecules comprising methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, water vapors, carbon dioxide, condensable compounds, and hydrocarbons. Syngas is the major product of gasification. Also, it plays a vital role during pyrolysis initiated on residues, biomass, and waste.
Syngas via Pyrolysis
- pyrolysis carried out in the lack of oxygen creates calorific syngas at extraordinary heating values. Further, most of the energy-enriched gases are acquired from raw materials consisting of high calorific values like polymers, plastics, and calorific fractions of municipal garbage. Apart from this, the syngas that exists from a reactor is a super-hot mixture of condensable and non-condensable components. The mixture of syngas mainly depends on the source items and operating conditions of pyrolysis. Hydrogen, methane, dioxide, carbon dioxide, and higher hydrocarbons are typical gases of pyrolysis. These gases contain hydrocarbons to make a high calorific value and the gases are essential for energy & chemical industries. Apart from this, syngas consists of permanent and condensable gases during hot state; therefore it is the best alternative for renewable energy or high-temperature syngas burners.
What is Syngas Fermentation?
Syngas fermentation is a process consisting of micro-organisms. The syngas is utilized as a source of energy and carbon, followed by the conversion into fuels and chemicals with the aid of microbes. Some major products of syngas fermentation are methane, acetic acid, butyric acid, ethanol, and butanol. Furthermore, the production of fuels and chemicals is completed with the help of acetogens such as Eurobacterium limosum, Clostridium carboxidivorans, Peptostreptococcus, and Butyribacterium methylotrophicum.
Some key advantages of syngas fermentation are as follows:
- Low pressure and temperature
- High reaction specificity
- A specific ratio of CO to H2 not required
- Bear compounds with high sulfur quantity
Syngas fermentation comes with some drawbacks such as low volumetric productivity, inhibition of microbes, and liquid-gas mass transfer limit.
What is Syngas Conditioning and Cleanup?
Raw syngas procured from the gasification process needs cleaning to meet environmental emission rules and protect the downstream processes. Some of the common contaminants of raw syngas are chlorides, mercury, ammonia, fine particulates, sulfur, and heavy trace metals. The hydrogen-to-carbon monoxide ratio can be altered by conditioning syngas during the downstream processes.
Conditioning and cleanup process of syngas consist of:
- Wet scrubbing to eradicate ammonia, chlorides, and fine particulates.
- Separating huge particulates by filters and cyclone.
- Eliminating mercury and heavy trace metals by solid absorbents.
- Usage of catalytic hydrolysis for changing carbonyl sulfide to hydrogen sulfide.
- Altering hydrogen-to-carbon monoxide ratio via water-gas shift.
- Removal of acid gas for acquiring carbon dioxide and sulfur-bearing gases.
Applications of Syngas
Some of the promising applications of syngas are listed as follows:
- The steam is used in turbine drivers to generate electricity.
- Nitrogen is used as fertilizers and pressurizing agents.
- Ammonia is utilized for fertilizers and plastic products such as nylon & polyurethane.
- Methanol is used for the manufacturing of resins, plastics, pharmaceuticals, paints, adhesives, and fuels.
- Sulfur is used in the chemical industry.
Covid-19 Impact on the Syngas Market
As per a report offered by Research Dive, the global syngas market is predicted to enhance at a CAGR of 6.1% during 2020-2027 timeframe. The global syngas market is experiencing a slow growth during the Covid-19 emergency due to disruptions in the demand and supply chain, thus resulting in the delay of syngas production. However, several syngas companies like Linde plc, a German-based chemical company, are coming up with effective tactics to keep the businesses running despite the coronavirus setbacks.
Syngas can be blended into dozens of mixtures and used for all industry types. There is more to syngas than fermentation or pyrolysis. Discoveries are constantly being made in the field of chemistry and there is tremendous potential to explore deeply the subject of syngas.