Pyrolysis and gasification
Pyrolysis is a heat treatment process in the absence of oxygen, that converts the hydrocarbon into a gaseous state (syngas) and a liquid state (tar): in these conditions, the gaseous phase is characterised by significant calorific power, and so can be used as a fuel, thus permitting valuable energy recovery.
In gasification plants, partial oxidation of the hydrocarbon is achieved in a sub- stoichiometric atmosphere so as to produce a gaseous phase made up of products characteristic of the process, such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen. In this case, the heat needed for the reaction is provided by the partial combustion of the hydrocarbon with the process oxygen.
The use of an inert gas such as nitrogen as an energy vector for pyrolysis, and of pure oxygen as a combustion agent for gasification, with SOL usage technologies, makes the accurate control of the process and the efficient running of the plant possible.