Raghubir Gupta presented an invited paper at the 2018 Global Syngas Technologies Conference on October 30 in Colorado Springs on “India’s Methanol Push – New Opportunities for Coal Gasification in India” (we can attach a pdf copy of the presentation)
The Government of India has launched a major initiative in 2017 to develop a methanol economy in India to address a number of issues, including reducing crude imports, reducing air pollution, providing clean cooking fuels and creating employment in the depressed mining sector. In 2015, India only produced less than 200,000 tons of methanol, compared to 85 million tons in China. In 2017, Indian parliament set up a methanol fund of about $750 million (USD) to support R&D leading to a demonstration plant using coal as a feedstock. Indian coals are typically high-ash containing coals which are difficult to gasify. There are only few commercial surface gasification technologies that can effectively gasify Indian coals. This provides an opportunity to make design changes to the existing gasifiers to adapt them to Indian coals. Indian Government is also funding an effort to develop indigenous gasification technology suitable for gasifying Indian coals. This presentation discussed technical and business challenges associated with developing cost-effective coal-to-methanol conversion technologies in India.