Syngas is the direct end-product of the gasification process. Though it can be used as a standalone fuel, the energy density of Syngas is only about 50 percent that of natural gas and is therefore mostly suited for use in producing transportation fuels and other chemical products. As its unabbreviated name implies, Synthesis gas is mainly used as an intermediary building block for the final production (synthesis) of various fuels such as synthetic natural gas, methanol and synthetic petroleum fuel (dimethyl ether – synthesized gasoline and diesel fuel). In a purified state, the hydrogen component of Syngas can also be used to directly power hydrogen fuel cells for electricity generation and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) propulsion.
Separating and Purifying Syngas Process Components for Individual Use
In addition to using Syngas to directly manufature products, through various chemical processes and absorption methods, each individual component of Syngas can be isolated and/or purified for other uses or disposal:
- Hydrogen – electricity generation and transportation fuels
- Nitrogen – fertilizers, pressurizing agents
- Ammonia— fertilizers
- Carbon monoxide – chemical industry feedstock and fuels
- Carbon dioxide – injected into sequestration wells
- Steam – turbine drivers for electricity generation
- Minerals and solids – slag for roadbeds
- Sulfur – elemental sulfur for chemical industry
As is evidenced by this list, Syngas is a very diverse product with many far reaching and potential uses.