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Coal gasification

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 12, Apr 2022
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Reference News:-

Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) has plans of setting up a coal gasification plant — the second in the country — at its Raigarh plant in Chhattisgarh.


India is committed to cut consumption of coal, a primary pollutant, in power plants to half by 2030 and reduce its overall carbon footprint. Coal gasification is considered a greener alternative to burning the fossil fuel in furnaces.

What is coal gasification?

It is the process of producing syngas, a mixture consisting of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), natural gas (CH4), and water vapour (H2O).

  • During gasification, coal is blown with oxygen and steam while also being heated under high pressure.
  • During the reaction, oxygen and water molecules oxidize the coal and produce syngas. 


  1. Transporting gas is a lot cheaper than transporting coal.
  2. Help address local pollution problems.
  3. Has greater efficiency than conventional coal-burning because it can effectively use the gases twice: the coal gases are first cleansed of impurities and fired in a turbine to generate electricity. The exhaust heat from the gas turbine can be captured and used to generate steam for a steam turbine-generator.

Concerns and challenges:

Coal gasification is one of the more water-intensive forms of energy production.

There are also concerns about water contamination, land subsidence and disposing of waste water safely. 

Coal dependency of India:

India is the second largest importer, consumer and producer of coal, and has the world’s fourth largest reserves. 

Recent Reforms In Coal Sector:

  1. Commercial mining of coal allowed, with 50 blocks to be offered to the private sector.
  2. Entry norms will be liberalised as it has done away with the regulation requiring power plants to use “washed” coal.
  3. Coal blocks to be offered to private companies on a revenue sharing basis in place of fixed cost.
  4. Coal bed methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from Coal India’s coal mines.