Robustness studies on coal gasification process variables

  • RLJ Coetzer Sasol Technology
  • MJ Keyser Sasol Technology


Optimisation of the Sasol-Lurgi gasification process was carried out by utilising the method of Factorial Experimental Design on the process variables of interest from a specifically equipped full-scale test gasifier. The process variables that govern gasification are not always fully controllable during normal operation. This paper discusses the application of statistical robustness studies as a method for determining the most efficient combination of process variables that might be hard-to-control during normal operation. Response surface models were developed in the process variables for each of the performance variables. It will be shown how statistical robustness studies provided the optimal conditions for sustainable gasifier operability and throughput. In particular, the optimum operability region is significantly expanded towards higher oxygen loads by changing and controlling the particle size distribution of the coal.
Research Articles