A coal chemical project in Henan province got a shot in the arm by the recent arrival of new technology that converts coal into gas for use in the production of chemicals, such as fertilizers.
As China's first domestically produced pulverized coal pressurized gasifier, the equipment marks a significant milestone in China's ongoing efforts to promote the use of coal as a chemical raw material.
Built by the Sichuan BlueStar Machinery Co, it is equipped to accommodate a daily coal feed of 1,300 tons and can achieve a carbon conversion rate as high as 99 percent. Using a quenching technique, it can process a wide variety of coal ash.
"Most of the similar equipment previously in use were imports because of the difficult manufacturing procedure, especially in the internal components and the case," explained an official of Sichuan BlueStar, a subsidiary of the China National Chemical Corp.
"Besides, those imported machines cost a lot, and local companies also had some problems maintaining them," he added.
Pulverized coal has been widely used in China for the production of synthetic gases, which are important raw materials for the production of methanol, acetic acid and fertilizer. It is becoming more popular because it is by far cheaper than oil as a raw material.
Currently, General Electric in the United States and Shell in the Netherlands have the most popular coal gasification technologies, but their high price and relatively short service life have greatly hindered their application in China.
This locally built gasifier represents a breakthrough in China's chemical equipment manufacturing technology, with all its components being developed and manufactured by a number of domestic enterprises.
Taking the place of imported models, it will greatly bring down costs for coal chemical companies. Furthermore, it is said to be able to deliver stable performance by keeping the coal ash from sticking together.
The gasifier was developed and designed by the China Wuhuan Engineering Co and manufactured by Sichuan BlueStar Machinery.
Back in 2006, Sichuan BlueStar developed a prototype of a pulverized coal pressurized gasifier, which has now been in trial operation for six years.
The company has 46 years of experience in producing pressure vessels for chemicals and other advanced chemical machines.
It has two production facilities, respectively located in Deyang and Shifang, both of which are in Sichuan province.
The photo shows the pressurized gasifier leaving the factory.