Pyrolysis and gasification
Pyrolysis is a heat treatment process conducted 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 has significant calorific power and so can be used as a fuel, permitting valuable energy recovery.
In gasification plants, partial oxidation of the hydrocarbon is performed 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, what is needed for the reaction is supplied 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, thanks to SOL usage technologies, permits accurate process control and the efficient running of the plant.