Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Plasma Expects the Fastest Growth Among Gasifiers with a 60.3% CAGR

The gasifiers sector has become a proven yet quickly evolving energy conversion and chemicals production technology. Needs of the present and the future are pressing them into adoption for bulk power generation, fuel production, oil refining and energy, industrial chemicals production, municipal waste treatment, and as a means to supply thermal and electrical energy at any scale in rural areas connected to and away from the power grid.

A primary driver of the markets for gasifiers is the need for energy in the forms of electricity and liquid fuels. Roughly half of the world’s most affordable electricity is fueled by coal, which is bountiful on all inhabited continents and some islands as well. Coal in its various forms is well-understood for power generation and conversion to transportation fuels, as well as serving as a low-cost source for carbon-based chemicals. A host of environmental and health protection constraints have been put in place to limit the quantities of pollutants allowable from coal use.
 Gasifiers have emerged as an effective technology for accessing the chemical energy and content of coal in a manner that makes it quite a bit safer, less polluting, and a more efficient to use. It is affordable when other energy and fossil fuel sources are scarce.

Gasifiers are proving to be an effective means of supplanting dwindling fossil fuel resources while raising efficiency when using fossil fuels. This is a necessity, since civilization has entered the era of unconventional sources of fuel (deepwater drilling, underground coal gasification, shale gas, coal-to-fuel, biomass-to-liquids [BTL], and so on). By using gasifiers, coal, petcoke, peat, biomass, and municipal and industrial waste can be converted to power, heat, drop-in liquid fuels, and chemical feedstocks.

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The market for gasifiers has seen an ebb and flow for a century. It is now coming into its own, with devices from the very largest, such as integrated gasification and combined cycle (IGCC), a baseload power plant, to the very small, such as those for cooking heat in remote village homes. The largest gasifiers are the size of rocket boosters and are powering China’s continued industrialization using low-grade coal. The smallest are camp-stove-sized, utilizing twigs, nutshells, and leafy materials. In between, an entire spectrum of sizes and capabilities are now powering industrial parks, villages, microindustries, refineries, buildings, and villages in developed, transitioning, and developing regions of the world.

The four highest growth rate gasifier market sectors are: plasma gasifiers (the fastest expansion by far), CTL (coal-to-liquids), petcoke/residuals, and CTE (coal-to-energy). Direct reduction iron (DRI) melt gasifiers are in a bit of a slump due to steel market conditions in the United States and China. Petcoke/residuals gasifiers are essentially waste-conversion tools, and provide value to what would otherwise be toxic materials that are the residue of the refining and extracting industries. The low value of petcoke and its high carbon content make it an ideal feedstock for cogeneration applications at refineries and for power generation at utility power plants in emerging economies.

Continued strength of the CTE sector is almost strange unless the China effect is taken into account with the India effect. Both are emerging economic giants, account for a third of the world’s population, remain intense coal consumers, and have their own reserves. If the atmosphere and climate are to be saved, then proven, affordable, sustainable carbon capture and sequestration technology are necessary. The same could be said for CTL usage and petcoke/residuals gasification, both of which are expanding as quickly as CTE.

Biomass-to-energy (BTE) has bas become a fairly stable market expanding on a large base (for gasifiers). It will begin to accelerate later in the forecast interval due to proving out of new, well supported, reliable power generation options around the 1 megawatt (MW) level. Note that the BTE gasification aggregate total annual market exceeds all other gasifier segments combined. The market for very small gasifiers is also poised for explosive growth due to robust, simple, low-cost, well-engineered cook stove gasifiers that are beginning to be shipped in quantity from many Western Europe, U.S., and Indian manufacturers to developing regions everywhere.

The last and fastest-growing segment is plasma, which may be the best technology for waste-to-energy (WTE) applications and beyond, with the capability of destroying hazardous waste, medical waste, construction debris, unrecyclable parts of whole cars, almost anything nonradioactive.

GLOBAL MARKETS FOR GASIFIERS (EGY106A) identifies, characterizes, describes, and forecasts world markets for gasifiers on global and regional bases. Attention is given to national/state incentives, international agreements, regulatory regimes, and political policies that foster, hinder, or neglect (whether benignly or otherwise) the implementation of gasifiers.

Forecasts are provided to estimate the robustness of gasifier markets in their different size ranges, feedstocks, and applications over time, covering the period from 2012 through 2017.

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