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Production of Syngas with Hybrid Gasifier

Efficient & Flexible H2/CO Ratio Production of Syngas with Hybrid Gasifier - Steam Methane Reformer
Production of Syngas with Hybrid Gasifier

Improved gasification efficiency and lower CO2 emissions during production of valuable high H2/CO ratio syngas


The gasification process involves heating carbon-based materials, such as fossil fuels (eg. coal) or organics (eg. biomass) at extremely high temperatures in the presence of a controlled amount of oxygen or steam, resulting in conversion to synthesis gas (syngas). Steam methane reforming is an endothermic process that occurs at high temperatures between steam and methane or biogas to produce syngas.

McMaster researchers have simulated and optimized the design of a gasifier with an integrated steam methane reformer. The hybrid system cools hot syngas from the gasifier while repurposing waste heat for steam methane reforming, resulting in highly efficient production of syngas with flexible H2/CO ratios between 3.5 and 8.5. Traditional gasifiers produce H2/CO ratio between 0.75 and 1.1, which necessitates employing further downstream processing to improve H2 content downstream at additional cost. This system will provide much needed flexibility and efficiency for syngas production at polygeneration plants.

Applications & Advantages

Possible commercial applications include use in existing entrained bed gasifiers in the chemical and petrochemical industry. For example, gasifiers of this type are used throughout the world in major chemical and petrochemical processes including synthetic fuel production, petroleum refining, methanol production, dimethyl ether production, and the production of other major commodity chemicals.

Future applications include the design of new and improved next generation gasifiers for advanced synthetic fuel production and for power production from coal with low CO2 emissions. In addition, this hybrid system is useful wherever natural gas reforming is used, such as in the production of valuable hydrogen gas, and the production of synthetic gasoline from natural gas or shale gas, of which a new major market is emerging.

Advantages include:

  • Flexible H2/CO ratios between 3.5 and 8.5 without additional downstream processing
  • Enables of valuable petrochemicals, such as hydrogen gas, methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), and synthetic fuels
  • Improved efficiency
  • Lowers CO2 emissions
  • Option to retrofit existing entrained-bed gasifiers

Tech ID



T. Adams II
J. Ghouse

Patent Status

US Patent filed

Stage of Research

Proof of Principle data available


Jonathan Boulanger
Business Development Officer
W: 905-525-9140 ext. 28209
C: 905-630-7378