Gasification technology is often seen as a synonym for the clean and efficient processing of solid fuels into combustible gas containing mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, the two basic components of synthesis gas. First and foremost, the facts that gas may be cleaned and that a mixture with any composition may be prepared in a relatively easy and inexpensive manner influence the possibility of using gas produced in the energy and chemical industries. In the energy industry, gas may be used directly to generate heat and electricity in the systems of a steam power plant or in combined cycle systems. It is also possible to effectively separate CO2 from the system. However, in chemistry, synthesis gas may be used to produce hydrogen, methanol, synthetic gasolines, and other chemical products. The raw material for gasification is full-quality pulverized coal, but a possibility of processing low-quality sludges, combustible fractions separated from municipal waste as well as industrial waste also exists. Despite such a wide application of technology and undoubted advantages thereof, making investment decisions is still subject to high uncertainty. The paper presents the main technological applications of gasification and analyzes the economic effectiveness thereof. In this context, significant challanges for the industrial implementation of this technology are discussed
Nowadays, actions allowing for a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission are taken worldwide. Great emphasis is placed on reducing mercury emission from the processes of energochemical coal conversion, mainly from the coal combustion processes. One of the methods which enable a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission is the removal of mercury from coal before its conversion. It should be pointed out that mercury in hard coal may occur both in the organic and mineral matter. Therefore, a universal method should allow for the removal of mercury, combined in both ways, from coal. In the paper, a concept of the hybrid mercury removal process from hard coal was presented. The idea of the process is based on the combination of the coal cleaning process using wet or dry methods (first stage) and the thermal pretreatment process at a temperature in the range from 200 to 400 °C (second stage). In the first stage, a part of mercury occurring in the mineral matter is removed. In the second stage, a part of mercury occurring in the organic matter as well as in some inorganic constituents characterized by a relatively low temperature of mercury release is removed. Based on the results of the preliminary research, the effectiveness of the decrease in mercury content in coal in the hybrid process was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%. The effect of the decrease in mercury content in coal is much more significant when mercury content is referred to a low heating value of coal. So determined, the effectiveness was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%.