The benefits/secrets of glowing carbon
Synthesis gas is made by passing steam over a red-hot carbon fuel such as coke:
H2O+ C -> H2+ CO
The reaction is endothermic, so the fuel must be continually re-heated to keep the reaction going. In order to do this, an air stream, which alternates with the vapor stream, is introduced for the combustion of carbon to take place.
Theoretically, to make 6 L of water gas, 5 L of air is required.
Or, alternatively, to prevent contamination with nitrogen, energy can be provided by using pure oxygen to burn carbon into carbon monoxide.
O2 + 2 C -> 2 CO
In this case 1 L of oxygen will create 5.3 L of pure water gas."