NRGLab leader highlights new tech for coal gasification


Coal Gasification Conference: Conference panelists Takuya Watanabe (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), Naveen Ahlawat (Jindal Steel and Power Limited), Ana Shell (NRGLab), George Gruber (Black & Veatch Corporation)
Coal Gasification Conference: Conference panelists Takuya Watanabe (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), Naveen Ahlawat (Jindal Steel and Power Limited), Ana Shell (NRGLab), George Gruber (Black & Veatch Corporation)

New technologies now exist for producing profitable coal gasification, NRGLab’s Ana Shell announced during a presentation at the premiere Coal Gasification conference in Singapore Nov. 19-22.

Shell was the only conference speaker to present a unique, cost-effective method of coal gasification at scale using NRGLab’s proprietary technology, including reactors developed by Viscoil, an NRGLab partner.

There are many applications for this technology, Shell said. Converting biomass material through gasification allows a nation to replace expensive coal, gas or oil for electricity production. Shell’s presentation outlined how NRGLab technology also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75 percent.

As an example, Shell said 10 million tons of rice waste from farmers at a price of $25 per ton, would equal a fuel cost of $250 million. Using that volume of rice waste with NRGLab reactors will produce 14 billion kWh of electricity that can be sold at 12¢ per kW for $1.6 billion, or an annual profit of almost $1.35 billion before tax.

Other systems are more expensive – so much so that until now it really was not profitable to pursue coal gasification as a meaningful energy solution. NRGLab is changing that.

Coal Gasification Conference: Balt Lucarelli (Roleva Energy Ltd)
Coal Gasification Conference: Bart Lucarelli (Roleva Energy Ltd)

“There are four main costs associated with sustaining a traditional gasification plant:  maintaining a stable coal supply and price; meeting government standards; proving the innovation to get a government support; and secure stable consumers,” Shell said. “Why so expensive? Well, coal has to be prepared in a mill — otherwise it can’t burn — then you need to produce oxygen, and that involves oxygen station electricity consumption, and we must produce steam, and then you must burn this coal-oxygen-steam mix in the reactor. Above all, you need to have energy to gasify it in the reactor (up to 1300 C), then this obtained syngas has to go to a gas cleaning station — so in the end the price of the syngas comes to about $250 for 1000m3.”

There is an alternative, Shell explained.

“In our NRGLab process we have the same technical cycle with coal, oxygen and steam preparation. The only difference is our intellectual Gas Turbine makes syngas $120 for 1000m3 – less than half the cost of traditional methods.”

From an investor’s point of view, standard coal gasification by plasma is not a reasonable solution because the costs are equal to profits, which amount to about $900 USD per ton. As Shell told the conference participants, with traditional methods there are no profits, just a zero balance.

But the NRGLab solution, using microgasification and new turbine technology, the costs per ton are not more than $160USD which leads to profits of $300USD per ton.

The key to NRGLab’s solution is the use of an efficient turbine in place of a gas generator.  One of the highlights of Shell’s presentation showed how the scattered island nation of The Philippines can benefit from NRGLab systems. Philippine farmers produce 1 billion tons of biomass annually. This material holds the energy equivalent to approximately 200 million tons of liquid natural gas (LNG).

NRGLab in partnership with Viscoil ( have developed turbine systems that make gasification profitable for the first time. NRGLab is a science-driven company based in Singapore. The company researches and develops alternative-energy technologies for clean, reliable and affordable electrical power on a global scale.


2013-11-26 - Coal Gasification Conference - Ana Shell Presentation - 2

Shell was one of the key speakers during the Coal Gasification conference, which was an opportunity for investors and energy producers to learn about new gasification methods, business opportunities and potential locations for production.

“I especially want to thank the organizers of the Coal Gasification conference,” Shell said, “and our host, Bart Lycarelli, for making everyone feel welcome and prepared to enjoy a valuable and educational experience.”


Report prepared by Mike Burd

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