“The Coal-to-Hydrogen Revolution? Plasma Gasification Revealed!”

Author: Vlastimil Vilímek | Prague on 28.11.2023

Plasma gasification is a modern technology to create a mixture of different gases from coal.

In this process, the coal is placed in a special high-temperature environment called plasma.

In this hot environment, the coal is converted into a gas that contains carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane and several other gases.


Studies clearly show that plasma gasification is an excellent way to efficiently convert coal and produce hydrogen with minimal environmental impact in the form of low CO2 emissions.

Plasma gasification is an innovative technology whose key attribute is the use of extremely high temperatures to efficiently convert coal into syngas.


The process can be divided into several categories, depending on the specific type of gasification reagents used in the process.


Plasma gasification is a fascinating process that takes place at really high temperatures, in the range of 1200-1700 °C.


This is the key to its extraordinary efficiency in converting coal. The results of this process are synthesis gas and slag.


The main advantages of plasma gasification include the ability to turn organic wastes into a practical gas and to extract waste metals efficiently.


Research and development in the field of coal plasma gasification is evolving rapidly.


A number of factors such as plasma power, equivalence ratio and others can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the gasification process.


Modern methods such as 3D numerical simulation are valuable tools for research and development in this area.


5 key processes:

1.Coal preparation:

Before gasification, the coal must be prepared. This involves crushing it into smaller particles, removing impurities and drying it to reduce the moisture content and increase the efficiency of the process.

2.Plasma reactor:

The coal is then loaded into a plasma reactor where it is exposed to high temperature plasma. The plasma is generated by an electric arc or radio frequencies and reaches temperatures many times higher than the combustion temperature, allowing the coal to break down into its constituent molecules.


At high temperatures, thermochemical decomposition of carbon materials occurs, transforming coal into syngas, a mixture of primarily hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO), with smaller amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) present.

4.Cooling and purification of syngas:

The syngas produced is then cooled and undergoes a series of purification processes to remove impurities such as heavy metals, sulphur and other contaminants. This is important to protect downstream facilities and to ensure the quality of the syngas for future use.

5.Syngas recovery:

Clean syngas can be used as a fuel for power generation in gas turbines or as a feedstock for chemical synthesis, for example for the production of methanol, ammonia or other chemicals.


Alternatively, syngas can be processed in the Fischer-Tropsch process to produce liquid fuels.


Plasma coal gasification is significant because of its ability to convert coal into a useful and relatively clean gas, which can reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional coal combustion.


Plasma gasification is a technology full of advantages, including reduced tar production, efficient conversion of organic waste, high quality hydrogen-rich syngas produced, and low CO2 emissions.


However, despite advances and in-depth studies, it still faces some challenges.

These include:

a) Cooling the hot syngas generated during plasma gasification

b) Catalysts can improve the performance of plasma gasification, but questions arise as to their cost and resistance to impurities.

c) There are technical problems associated with the high energy consumption and short lifetime of the electrodes in plasma torches.


In evaluating the potential of plasma gasification for commercial hydrogen production, we must consider a number of factors, including fuel conversion, carbon storage, CO2 emissions, and the cost of extracting hydrogen from the gas after processing.


However, this technology is still under development and its economic and environmental viability will depend on further research, development and scaling.


In a series of follow-up articles, we have reviewed the supercritical water gasification (SCWG) technology, as well as major innovative coal gasification techniques that are attracting increasing interest, and in subsequent articles we will discuss the results of a comprehensive study funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Basic Science Center Program for Ordered Energy Conversion of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China,

and why CHINA?

China is not only the premier producer of coal, but also sits on the throne as the largest consumer of this commodity energy source.

We are therefore very interested in what studies are taking place at the heart of the Chinese energy scene, particularly in the coal mining and consumption sector.


Join us and follow us for more fascinating information.


In the next installment, we’ll take a closer look at CLGa new way to convert coal into a synthetic gas with a high hydrogen content. This method does not need oxygen separation and also reduces the amount of harmful substances that are released into the air.


If you would like to read the full detailed study now, we will be happy to send you the original English version on request in PDF.

Simply email us at our website https://theory72.com to request

“send the full study – Coal Gasification”.


We look forward to your cooperation and hope that you will find our friendly tone engaging.

Our primary goal is to constantly increase energy savings in the industrial supply sector.





Vlastimil Vilímek


+420 604 283 877

Czech Republic

Vlastimil Vilímek


+420 604 283 877


Vlastimil Vilímek


+420 604 283 877

Contact details


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Hulváky 709 00

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18. 2. 2021

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