The use of an electrofluid reactor for the production of synthesis gas from coal char and steam is being investigated. Preliminary experiments have been carried out in a 4-inch-diameter batch reactor using two coal chars, both reactive over the temperature studied (1500' to 1960' F.). The gasification rate increased with temperature, steam flow rate, and carbon burnoff. The reaction rate was not significantly affected by the passage of current through the bed. Fifty to 60% of the off-gas from the reactor was hydrogen, the rest predominantly carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The resistance of the fluidized bed remained constant early in a run at about 3 ohms, then increased near the end of the run. No problems were encountered in controlling the temperature and power input to the reactor. However, electrode life was short and suitable electrodes need to be developed. It is technically feasible to gasify coal char with steam in an electrofluid reactor.
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