Global syngas and derivatives market size is estimated to exceed 210,000 MWth by 2022 and is expected to witness an estimated CAGR of over 9% from 2015 to 2022. Rising fuels and energy demand is anticipated to drive market growth over the forecast period.
Rising consumer disposable income coupled with growing urbanization is expected to steer forward the transport and electric systems consumption trend. This in turn is anticipated to increase the global energy demand and transport fuel consumption over the forecast period. Major challenge lies in developing sustainable solution to address these demands and manage carbon footprint during the production process.
While conventional sources of liquid fuel are expected to witness opposite trend of growing consumption, it offers new frontiers for oil discovery and feasible alternate fuel production. Feasibility of replacing conventional resources is determined by cost, production efficiency, and transport vehicle modifications to cater to the new fuel types.
Another approach lies in utilization of by-products and modification of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process that leads to syngas production. Hydrocarbon feedstock such as natural gas, coal, and biomass are utilized in this process. Producer gas is formed as an intermediate resource that enables production of methanol, hydrogen, and ammonia.
Conversion of underground coal gasification (UCG) for developing FT liquid fuels offers ample opportunities for developing energy blends as alternative fuels. It also offers potential for greenhouse gas emissions’ sequestration in upstream activities, thereby providing significant life cycle reductions as compared to crude oil derivatives.
Major automotive segments are compatible with FT diesel, and thus, requirement of large-scale modifications is reduced. Gasoline production also offers new opportunities in aviation sectors and is expected to steer jet fuels demand in commercial passenger airlines. Other products formed in the FT gas to liquid (GTL) process include ethanol, methanol, and ethers for production of specialty and commodity waxes, polymers, and oils.
While coal forms an abundant energy resource in various regions, harnessing its energy requires a greener and cleaner approach. This is anticipated to instigate research for developing efficient and eco-friendly coal technologies. Integration of UCG and GTL technologies is expected to add benefits to the processes such as carbon capture and sequestration, thereby minimizing production costs.
Rising concerns over environmental and urban waste are anticipated to steer the energy management demand for biomass and its derivatives. By-products of biomass conversion process including tar, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide are expected to raise concerns about cleaning process. This provides new frontiers for enhancing the production units and develops efficient storage and disposal systems.
Untreated producer gas contains traces of impurities that upon disposal lead to the formation of sulfuric acid and oxides of nitrogen that contribute to the acid rain production. Post-treatment of syngas forms an essential part of the production process. Major constituents such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen provide opportunities for R&D initiatives to explore potential in chemical industry.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period on account of increasing power sources demand coupled with availability of coal reserves. Growing energy sector in the region, particularly in Japan, China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan is anticipated to have a positive effect on market growth. European and North American counties including the U.S., the UK, Norway, and Canada have been exhibiting rising syngas demand for production of various chemicals.
Various companies have invested in developing integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and co-production plants to enhance their environmental performance and power generation efficiency. Major industry players include KBR, Inc., Haldor Topsoe, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nippon, Oxea GmbH, Methanex, Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens AG, GE Energy, Dow Chemical, BASF, Chicago Bridge, Iron Company, and Linc Energy.
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