On November 30th, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will host the Status of Gasification Technology of Biomass and Solid Wastes (Waste Coal, Waste Plastics and MSW) and Pathways for Net-Zero Carbon Economy workshop.
The workshop will assess the state of gasification technologies currently used or being developed for biomass and solid wastes, in addition to helping BETO, FECM, and NETL address barriers in gasification technology through federally funded research and development (R&D).
Gasification of solid carbonaceous feedstocks is an established route to produce syngas enabling production of usable chemicals and viable transportation fuels/hydrogen from inexpensive materials such as wastes and biomass. The gasification process for conversion of a feedstock to syngas involves high temperature, high pressure. and multiple steps, including feed processing, oxygen separation from air, and syngas clean-up. The cost of this complex process remains high despite continuing advances in technology.
Current efforts to improve technologies for gasification vary in approach and perspective. Economies of scale must be balanced against high system costs for larger plants, while deployment of more modular/distributed gasification may dovetail with availability of regional biomass resources and provide a disposition route for liability/legacy waste materials. Flexible feedstock gasification technologies using biomass combined with carbon capture allow for achievement of net-zero carbon or even net-negative carbon energy systems, helping to enable the widely decarbonized economy of the future.
This workshop will discuss the current state of the art of gasification technologies, along with an overview of the challenges that remain. Potential avenues for improving the state of the art will be examined.
Desired Outcomes of the Workshop
- Encourage dialogue, cross-sector learning, and collaboration between biomass- and fossil-sponsored gasification R&D.
- Assess R&D needs and risks associated with individual technologies (feedstocks, air separation, syngas cleanup, and end use).
- Identify technologies expected to be available for pilot demonstration scale by the 2035–2040 timeframe.