Living with ‘Syn’
Syngas, also known as synthesis gas, is predominately the mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Other trace gases such as methane and sulfur dioxide can also be found in Syngas, but the aforementioned three gases are generically the properties of syngas.
Syngas is produced by a process known as gasification using a fuel which contains carbon. The fuel is heated to high temperatures in a controlled atmosphere where it breaks down to form syngas. Fuel sources such as coal and biomass are viable suitors for such process. Hydrocarbon feedstocks would also be a candidate too, not only because of their high carbon levels but also the amount which is readily available. Examples are corn starch and other plant materials.
Once Syngas is created, there is an abundance of different applications. Below are just a few examples:
- Thermal energy – as a result of combustion of the syngas, thermal energy is generated which can be utilized in equipment such as cement kilns, ovens and dryers. Thermal energy is vital to an area such as the industrial sector
- Chemical synthesis – once Syngas is transformed due to the chemical transformation process, elements such as Bioethanol and Methanol can be used in the production of transportation fuels
- Agricultural sector – depending on the compounds, Ammonia can sometimes be extracted from the Syngas, and Ammonia is a solid fertilizer
As you’d expect from a gas which is often produced from waste materials, Syngas can contain impurities that can harm the atmosphere. For example, coal gasification still produces more pollution than a host of energy sources. To put into perspective, experts warn this method of gasification produces ‘significantly more greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum’. With such dangers to our environment, instruments that monitor such issues are essential.
Cambridge Sensotec has a range of battery powered portable and fixed installation gas analysers specifically designed for measuring syngas as well as biogas. Our range of multigas analysers – the Rapidox 3100, 5100 and 7100 – all offer high specifications when evaluating not just Syngas but other process gases, too. More importantly complex thermodynamic equations are used to accurately measure the calorific content of the gas and up to eight gas readings are displayed live as well as graphed and data logged. Results can also be thermally printed for permanent record keeping.
To find out more about Syngas and what our instruments can do for you, contact us using one of the methods below: