A new energy extraction and utilization system for low grade solid fuels such as coal and wastes is proposed, where solid fuels are gasified with high temperature air. The syngas is first cooled in a waste heat recovery boiler to extract its sensible thermal energy followed by conventional low temperature gas cleaning. A part of this cleaned-up syngas is used for high temperature air preheating while the rest is used for various energy utilization and conversion systems such as industrial furnaces, boilers and gas turbines. Experimental demonstration results for two main components, i.e. a gasifier and a high temperature air preheater are reported.