This webinar examines technical developments in coal beneficiation covering dense-media and dry coal treatment, and upgrading various technologies.
Amid a global trend to use low quality, inexpensive coal, it is now recognised that feedstock quality is a key element of a future power strategy to raise power station performance and meet environmental legislation. Preparing feedstock in order to remove inert matter and reduce contaminants can benefit every aspect of a coal plant operation. We examine technical developments in coal beneficiation covering dense-media and dry coal treatment, and upgrading technologies such as coal refining, digestion, oxidation, fuel blending and biomass substitution.
Lignite or brown coal, the lowest quality coal, is normally used in its raw state resulting in significant energy and reliability penalties. Energy efficient technologies to reduce moisture and ash levels can significantly improve performance. As lignite demand declines in OECD countries, alternate markets are being sought that utilise synthesised humates.
The webinar presents the recent regulatory trends, practices and developments in major coal producing and consuming countries, which are affecting and may influence future demand for coal and coal-fired power generation. As legislative requirements become more demanding and environmental pressures increase, especially with regard to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and climate change, investment in coal fired power-generating facilities is declining rapidly in most developed countries and to a lesser extent in some developing regions of the world, except Asia where forecasts indicate that demand will increase for some time to come. The report explores the implications of further curbs on GHG emissions from coal-fired plants in the most recent and forthcoming national regulations and international agreements. Policy, legislation and pollution reduction strategies are presented as well as future projections of coal utilisation in major coal consuming economies, including those where forecasts indicate that coal will remain a major player in power generation for the estimable future, such as China and India.Read more >
Turkey has one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Rapid economic expansion, rising population, and growing industrialisation have triggered a general increase in energy demand. Over the next ten years energy demand is expected to double. In order to meet this, significant investment in the energy sector will be required.
Turkey's indigenous energy resources are limited almost exclusively to lignite and smaller amounts of hard coal, so there is a heavy
dependence on imported sources of energy. More than 90% of Turkey’s oil and 98% of its natural gas is imported, as is much of the hard coal consumed, as a considerable cost. The government aims to reduce this,
partly through the greater use of domestic lignite, widely available in many parts of the country. Thus, the government has a ‘coal strategy’ and has introduced incentives to encourage the its greater utilisation. Many new power generation projects are in the pipeline, some fired on ligniteand others that will rely on imported hard coal.
Many existing state-owned coal-fired power assets (and coalfields) are in the process of being transferred to the private sector. Some power plants require modernising and this is being factored into their selling price. The current coal-based generating fleet comprises plants based on conventional pulverised coal or fluidised bed combustion technology. Some newer projects plan to use supercritical steam conditions and all major power plants will be required to install effective emission control systems.
The further development and application of a range of clean coal technologies is being pursued by a number of Turkish utilities, technology developers, and universities. There is increasing involvement
with international projects and, in many cases, growing links with overseas counterparts.
What are the major institutional challenges and financial opportunities emerging for new HELE coal power plants? This webinar will examine the trends in coal project finance worldwide and accompanies one of the latest reports published by the IEA Clean Coal Centre.
Publicly funded financial institutions such as multilateral development banks (MDB) and export credit agencies (ECA) based in OECD America and Europe have, since 2013, adopted strict lending rules for greenfield coal power projects. Greenfield projects may be supported financially, but it they will be authorised under rare and exceptional circumstances only. However, these particular financial institutions form a fairly small proportion of the funding made available to coal power projects worldwide. There is evidence that many other banks are willing to support High Efficiency and Low Emission, or HELE, coal technology in Asia, even in the wake of COP21.
In Asia, public funding agencies and commercial banks in Japan, Korea, and China are pursuing coal projects abroad with the view of exporting their own HELE technologies to other regions, even into Europe. This means the impact of reduced funding from western public agencies might not be so severe. Furthermore, the arrival of the newly formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) could provide exciting opportunities for funding of cleaner coal technologies in the future.
The vulnerability of the power generation industry to constraints in water availability is widespread and growing, and this is increasing the pressure on power plant operators to conserve water. This webinar will discuss where water can be conserved or recovered within pulverised coal-fired power plants. It will include ways of saving water in bottom ash handling, pollution control (flue gas desulphurisation), and cooling systems. Cooling typically accounts for the largest usage of water (where water is the coolant), and wet flue gas desulphurisation is the second largest use at wet-cooled plants. Techniques for recovering water from the pulveriser and pre-dryer exhausts, and from the flue gas are also discussed. There is an opportunity for power plants to become a supplier of both electricity and water, if sufficient water can be economically recovered from the flue gas. This could be a way forward for some coal fired power plants in the future, as well as helping to solve local fresh water shortages.Read more >
Around half of the world’s estimated recoverable coal reserves comprise coals of low quality and value. These are mainly subbituminous and high-ash bituminous coals, and various grades of lignite. All are important for power generation and cogeneration. Each coal type brings its own combination of advantages and disadvantages. Despite the latter, a number of countries have turned increasingly to the use of such coals.
In the last decade, subbituminous coals and coals with higher ash content have been introduced into the market and traded in increasing quantities. As reserves of some better quality export coals have been depleted, there has been a shift towards the greater use of variants of lower quality, often to cut costs. However, switching may reduce power plant efficiency, increase emissions, and escalate plant maintenance requirements.
A number of major economies rely heavily on indigenous resources of lower quality coals as they may be the main energy resource available and are often cheap to mine using large scale opencast techniques. They can provide a secure source of energy and help minimise dependence on imported supplies.
The webinar examines the current production and use of these three categories of coal and discusses what the future may hold. All three are expected to continue to play a major role in energy production for some time.
The webinar opens with an overview of the current status of coal power generation. This will be followed by discussion of the operating ratios for power generating companies. Operating ratios represent revenue and expense categories found on a typical financial statement. They can be presented as a ratio or a percentage value. The smaller the operating ratio, the greater margin an organisation has to make a profit. These ratios allow a company to compare its operational performance across various times, analyse its data and take the necessary steps in order to maintain its operational performance and as such, as low an operating ratio (%) as possible. Many factors contribute towards the operating costs of a power generating company including the cost of fuel, staff, operation & maintenance (O&M) costs and depreciation and amortisation. The higher costs these factors are, the higher the operating ratio will be and, therefore, the lower the operational efficiency of a company. The cost of coal-fired power generation varies at the national and plant level. However, due to the increase in renewable energy, coal-fired power has shifted in many countries from baseload to load following mode necessitating flexibility in power plant operations. The more frequent cycling of coal-fired power plants can cause thermal and pressure stresses. Over time, these can result in premature or unplanned component failure and increased maintenance. Repeated starting up and shutting down of a unit, or operating at part load, can also increase emissions compared to non-cyclic operation. Measures can be taken to minimise the impact of cycling on plant performance. Assessment and control of O&M costs play a major role in calculating operating ratios. The webinar finishes with future projections for coal in power generation.Read more >
Global energy demand is rising, while water is becoming a scarcer commodity in many parts of the world due to over-exploitation, droughts, heat waves, and other factors. Meeting the growing demand will place
increasing stress on limited fresh water resources. The power generation industry is typically the largest industrial user of fresh water in a country. Consequently, the vulnerability of the power generation
industry to constraints in water availability can be expected to increase. Hence non-fresh water sources will become increasingly important. This report examines the availability and use of potential non-fresh water sources in China, India, South Africa and the USA. These are the four top thermal coal consuming countries in the world. The alternative sources are municipal waste water, brackish and sea water, mine
water, produced water from oil and gas wells (including coalbed methane wells), and water extracted from deep saline aquifers during CO2 storage. In certain cases, and with suitable design of the on-site
water treatment plant, a coal-fired power plant could become a supplier of both energy and fresh water, instead of a water consumer.
It is a concern that emissions from coal combustion may pollute the air. A lot of effort has been made to
regulate, control and prevent the pollutants emitted from coal-fired power plants. The coal industry is
facing increasingly stringent emission regulations, for the release of SO2, NOx, toxic volatile organic
compounds, heavy metals, and particulate matter (PM). PM can contain any or all of the aforementioned
chemical species or their compounds, plus water and biogenic organic species. PM2.5, as fine PM, can be
inhaled into human respiratory systems and travel deep into the lungs causing health problems. PM2.5 is
also considered to be a major cause of smog in cities and elsewhere. This webinar describes the
international and selected countries’ national air quality and PM emission standards for stationary
sources that are relevant to coal-fired power plants. Emission standards for SO2 and NOx are included
since they are precursors of secondary fine PM. International and national measurement standards are
summarised. Recent developments in PM emission control technologies are reviewed.
Countries are setting ever higher goals for producing power from clean, renewable energies and some are actively turning their backs on fossil fuels. However, many of these regions are discovering the real challenges of trying to produce baseload power for public consumption from renewable sources which are, at best, intermittent, and, at worse, unpredictable and unreliable. Until large scale energy storage is available and affordable, baseload power from coal, gas, and/or nuclear will remain necessary in many regions for several more years. Obviously this baseload power is required when renewable output is low (when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow). However, it is also still required to make up the balance of power in a diverse energy mix. Under the new energy policy regimes in many regions, renewable sources have priority into the grid and sit in the guaranteed dispatch mix in the base region which coal used to occupy. Coal has now been nudged into the dispatchable area of the mix, being asked to ramp up or down or even to idle or run beyond normal capacity, sometimes at short notice, to produce the balance of power required to maintain grid output. And whilst coal plants can run relatively flexibly, this does not come without cost. Most older coal-fired units were designed to run at steady output. Asking these plants to cycle and ramp puts stresses on the plant which can result in added cost, less efficient production, increased wear and tear and, in some cases, damage causing enforced outages for repair and/or upgrade. This webinar, looks at the stresses placed on coal-fired plants as they are asked to help levelise and counterbalance the intermittency of renewable sources, concentrating on the risks and costs. Case studies and examples of issues being encountered in the USA, the UK and Germany are included.Read more >
Greece’s financial crisis continues to have a major impact on all facets of the country’s economy. In 2015, the financial crisis continued unabated. When significant economic recovery does occur, the energy sector will have a major role to play. The country has a high energy import dependency, which is expensive ‒ reportedly, about ~US$ 20 billion/year. The overall diversification of the energy mix is rather limited. Greece’s main indigenous energy resource is poor quality lignite, used to generate a significant proportion of the country’s electricity. The state-owned energy company Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) is the largest lignite producer. More than 93% of Greece’s energy is provided by fossil fuels, (EU average is 75%). In 2014, a new government was elected and energy policy changed direction as earlier plans to privatise parts of the energy sector were curtailed. However, conditions demanded recently by EU and IMF creditors, mean that privatisation schemes may be back on the table. This is likely to encompass natural gas and electricity supply. There has been a renewed focus on the potential of the country’s lignite resources. In order to minimise the cost of imported energy and improve security of energy supply, the present government intends to increase their use, primarily for electricity generation. The webinar examines the situation prevailing in the Greek energy sector, and how this might change in the future. Existing and proposed clean coal-based activities are discussed. However, major uncertainties (in terms of scope and timescale) remain over many aspects of energy production ‒ the nature of, and rate of economic recovery will undoubtedly have major impacts.Read more >
Coal contracts can be typically split into two broad categories, spot contracts (single shipments) and term contracts (multiple shipments). Term contracts can span any period, but in China in 2014, the National Development and Reform Commission announced a desire for coal buyers to negotiate long-term contracts with suppliers. Security of supply of fuel and limiting exposure to shorter-term volatility in prices and fuel supplies are clearly a strategic aim of some Asian economies. Such approaches to coal procurement is used across the world to varying degrees depending on the particular circumstances of the power generators and the markets in which they operate. This webinar provides an overview of a recent publication by the IEA CCC regarding coal procurement and contractual needs, and describes some of the aspects associated with the long-term nature of some coal contracts. It provides an introduction to some of the fundamentals of coal contracts and buying to those unfamiliar with fuel procurement, as well as a review of some regions which have been active in long term coal procurement in recent years.Read more >
The supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle energy conversion system is an innovative concept that converts heat energy to electrical energy through the use of supercritical CO2 as working fluid rather than through steam and water. In this webinar, Qian will give a brief description of supercritical CO2 power cycles and review the recent technology advances in developing supercritical CO2 cycle power generation systems for fossil fuels.Read more >
Most pulverised coal combustion (PCC) plants employ single-reheat cycles. However, double-reheat cycles can significantly improve the electrical efficiency of PCC plants. Surprisingly, no double-reheat units have been commissioned since the 1990s. However, with rising primary energy costs, more stringent emission limits and advances in thermal power engineering, double-reheat cycles are being considered to minimise the cost of electricity, reduce emissions and prolong valuable coal supplies, especially in China. This webinar reviews, analyses and assesses the application and development prospects of coal-fired double-reheat units.Read more >
Global energy demand is rising primarily as a result of population and economic growth in the emerging economies. Meeting this growing demand places increasing stress on limited fresh water resources as electricity production uses large amounts of water. This has repercussions for other water consumers in the agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors. Climate change could exacerbate the situation. This webinar examines the availability of fresh water for power generation, in particular for coal-fired power plants. It shows where the water stressed areas are in the world today and the demand for power. Global water and energy demand are discussed, and the water requirements of different power generation technologies. Some technologies that use less water, for example, dry-cooled power plants, operate at a lower efficiency. Finally, water availability and management in China and the USA, with reference to their energy production and policies are compared.Read more >
Join our global team to discuss:
Overview of seaborne coking coal market
Chinese domestic coking coal market and its impact on seaborne market
Uses of the index for market participants
Competition between coal and natural gas for power generation has been observed to occur in North America and Europe in recent years, where the costs of the two fuels have played a key role in determining the relative competitiveness. It is perceived that such a competition could also happen in Asian countries. More importantly, as these countries are expanding their generation capacity to meet growing electricity demand, a key question is raised of whether coal or gas power plants should be built with priority. This webinar is based on a recent report published by IEA CCC, where the authors investigate nine Asian countries to seek to understand the mechanisms that drive the competition between coal and gas for power generation.Read more >
Blending of imported and domestic coal is becoming more important. Until recently, coal blending in power stations was adopted mainly to reduce the cost of generation and increase the use of indigenous or more readily available coal. Low-grade (high ash) coal can be mixed with higher grade (imported) coal without deterioration in thermal performance of the boiler, thus reducing the cost of generation. As coal markets change, new reasons for coal blending are becoming apparent. As indigenous coals become less available, of lower quality or more expensive to mine in some regions, blending of imported coals becomes necessary. It can be challenging to ensure that the resulting blend will maintain plant output without damaging the boiler.
In some cases coal blending is used as a form of pollution control, such as the combination of inexpensive high sulphur coals with more costly low sulphur coals to ensure compliance with sulphur emission limits. It is even possible to blend different coal types to maximise mercury emission reduction.
Many methods of coal blending are used. Coals can be blended at the coal mine, at the preparation plant, trans-shipment point, or at the power station. The method selected depends upon the site conditions, the level of blending required, the quantity to be stored and blended, the accuracy required, and the end use of the blended coal. Normally in large power stations handling very large quantities of coal, the stacking method with a fully mechanised system is followed.
In this webinar Lesley discusses the different reasons and priorities for coal blending. She summarises the methods of coal blending, from coal characterisation though to mixing and storage methods, including some case studies of challenging situations.
Coal-fired power plants are increasingly required to balance power grids by compensating for the variable electricity supply from renewable energy sources. For this, high flexibility is needed, in terms of possessing resilience to frequent start-ups, meeting major and rapid load changes, and providing frequency control duties. This report reviews the means available and under development for achieving the flexibility. Potential damage mechanisms are well known, and the necessary flexibility can be achieved with acceptable impacts on component life, efficiency and emissions. Designs are being developed to enable flexibility in future plants.Read more >
This study examines the role of HELE (high efficiency, low emission) coal-fired power plant in helping to meet the goal of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by setting out an overview of the prospects for the role of HELE technologies in a number of major coal user countries. Ten countries have been selected for study and are (in alphabetical order); Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the USA. The target countries have differing coal-plant fleet ages and efficiencies, and different local conditions and policies which impact on the scope for HELE implementation.
The profile of the coal fleet for each country has been calculated to meet future electricity demand under three scenarios with progressively greater replacement of lower efficiency capacity with HELE technology, and the consequent emissions of carbon dioxide and costs of implementation determined. The results are discussed in terms of potential carbon dioxide savings and the prospects for adopting a HELE upgrade pathway in the context of current energy policy.
Established CO2 capture technologies such as absorption with amine solvents are associated with significant energetic and economic penalties, reducing power plant efficiency by around 10% points and increasing the cost of electricity production by up to 80%. Dedicated research programmes worldwide have pursued the development of a wide range of innovative, alternative technologies for CO2 capture, largely by addressing the fundamental gas separation step at the heart of post-combustion, pre-combustion or oxyfuel combustion processes. Novel solvents with lower energy requirements than conventional amines, using phase change systems, ionic liquids, enzyme-activation, or non-aqueous solvents, are promising approaches for post-combustion capture. Alternatively, techniques used in other commercial gas separations, including solid sorbents, membranes, and cryogenic separation, have also been developed for carbon capture through extensive materials research and process optimisation. Whilst challenging for post-combustion capture applications, these techniques may be of particular benefit to pre-combustion capture systems where much higher partial pressures of CO2 are available, and integration of the CO2 capture step and water gas shift reaction can be achieved using sorbents or membranes. In oxyfuel combustion, membranes are also an option for efficient oxygen production, but pressurised combustion systems have demonstrated the most potential for efficiency improvements, potentially in combination with novel power cycles which are better-suited to exploiting the altered combustion conditions. Finally, chemical looping combustion is a unique approach to carbon capture which can achieve dramatic energy savings through its inherent avoidance of any gas separation step, and is undergoing significant scale up. This webinar will review these developments in novel capture technologies and highlight the most promising strategies for achieving major cost reductions.Read more >
Pulverised coal combustion (PCC) power plant with supercritical (SC) steam parameters have been operational for over forty years and ultra-supercrital (USC) PCC plant have been operational for just over twenty years. This significant amount of operating experience is valuable regarding the performance of high temperatures steels. For example 9-12% chromium martensitic steels have had problems with cracking and some have not been as strong as they were projected to be. Additionally, PCC power plant have been operated outside of design parameters, such as severe cyclic operation, which has resulted in unforeseen problems for high temperature steels. This webinar reviews the performance, problems, solutions and research efforts for high temperature steels used in SC and USC technology.Read more >
Coal gasification for chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels production can fulfil an important strategic need in those developing countries where coal is the primary fuel source and oil and gas energy security is an issue. At the same time, the establishment of major projects in such countries can be problematical for a number of technical and economic reasons, although it is encouraging that some projects appear to be moving forward. There are two developing countries where coal conversion projects to produce chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels have been taken forward strongly. The first is South Africa, which established the world’s only commercial-scale coal-to-liquids and coal-tochemicals facilities at Secunda and Sasolburg respectively. The other is China, where there is a major gasification-based coal conversion development and deployment programme that is set to become a significant, large-scale commercial element in the nation’s energy development plans. This will provide further major opportunities for the deployment of large-scale coal gasification technologies, various syngas conversion units and catalysts for the subsequent production of the required products. The role of China is likely to be critical in the dissemination of such technologies to other developing countries as it can not only provide the technical expertise but also financially underpin such projects, including the associated infrastructure needs.Read more >
Dr Steve Mills presents his recent researxhRead more >
Dr Lesley Sloss presents her latest researchRead more >