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Enhanced coal bed methane recovery

Dr Lesley Sloss presents her latest research
Recorded Jun 10 2015 25 mins
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Presented by
Dr Lesley Sloss
Presentation preview: Enhanced coal bed methane recovery

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  • Low quality coals - key commercial, environmental and plant considerations Recorded: Oct 19 2016 39 mins
    Dr Stephen Mills
    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.
  • Prospects for HELE power plant uptake in India Recorded: Sep 21 2016 34 mins
    Dr Ian Barnes
    India’s future energy needs are likely to grow more than any other country in the period to 2040. Energy consumption is predicted to more than double by 2040, with a consequent growth in the use of coal and oil.

    India’s coal fleet is relatively young, predominantly subcritical but with a large tranche of future capacity planned or under construction. However, the planned future capacity is largely supercritical, rather than the current state-of-the-art ultra-supercritical technology that has been extensively proven in other countries. Indian projections and current policy seem to indicate that this trend will continue in the near future. This appears to be a missed opportunity for India to have the most efficient and modern plant to drive her economic growth; lower efficiency plant built in preference to the best high efficiency low emission (HELE) alternatives now would be “locked in” to the generating sector for the lifetime of that plant, possibly forty years.

    The choice of subcritical, and now supercritical plant, over more advanced options is attributed to a cautious and conservative approach, gathering “home grown” experience on plant performance and maintenance in the light of challenges posed by India’s high ash coal resource. While this was undoubtedly a reasonable approach where power generation technologies were developed and built using regional skills and facilities, in the modern globalised power market a huge body of experience exists in dealing with all types of coal and manufacturers are prepared to design and offer high performance plant to burn even the most difficult coals, with full commercial guarantees. Fortunately, recent developments show that the Indian market is becoming more receptive to ultra-supercritical as the technology of first choice, but there is still much to be done to avoid the Indian coal fleet becoming locked into mainly supercritical plant.
  • China - policies, HELE technologies and CO2 emission reduction Recorded: Aug 17 2016 37 mins
    Dr Qian Zhu
    As the world’s largest consumer of coal and leading CO2 emitter, China’s role in the international effort to combat climate change can hardly be overstated. The challenges China faces to control emission and pollution levels while meeting the country’s increasing energy demand are enormous. Over the years, China has made considerable efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and control pollution levels, and notable progress has been made through the implementation of ambitious programmes aimed at improving energy efficiency across a number of industrial sectors and a rapid scale up of renewable energy. This study reviews China’s policy and regulatory initiatives, in particular those aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions, HELE (high efficiency low emissions) upgrades, diversify the energy mix, as well as the progress to date in reaching a series of ambitious goals. China’s rapid expansion of non-fossil energy which affects the structural change of the power sector and coal use in electricity generation, and therefore, CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generation are also discussed.

    China has provided strong financing and policy support for the R&D of HELE technologies. China now possesses a range of HELE technologies that are applicable to new and/or retrofitting of the existing coal-fired power plants and they are described in the webinar. Finally, the peak of coal consumption and CO2 emissions from power generation from coal, in light of China’s economic and policy trends affecting the structure of the economy and the coal consumption, are assessed.
  • Potential water sources for coal-fired power plants Recorded: Jul 13 2016 34 mins
    Anne Carpenter
    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.
  • Levelling the intermittency of renewables with coal - costs and risks Recorded: Jun 8 2016 42 mins
    Dr Lesley Sloss
    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.
  • Emission standards and control of PM2.5 from coal-fired power plant Recorded: May 18 2016 46 mins
    Xing Zhang
    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.
  • Next generation carbon capture technologies for coal Recorded: Apr 27 2016 38 mins
    Toby Lockwood
    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.
  • Retrofitting lignite plants to improve efficiency and performance Recorded: Mar 23 2016 44 mins
    Dr Ian Reid
    The lignite power industry produces low cost electricity but the associated pollutant emissions are higher than from other fossil fuels. Tighter environmental legislation requires older facilities to either upgrade or face closure. Plants designed to operate until 2040 already possess the latest effluent treatment systems while older facilities seek lower cost solutions. The rising contribution of renewable energy sources obliges plants to operate more flexibly, responding to variable demands.
    This webinar reviews suitable technologies for the retrofitting of lignite PC power plants to lower emissions while raising plant performance. Drying and pre-treatment of the lignite fuel is explored as one route to improved heat rate. Adaptations based upon the existing plant technology include: combustor modification and boiler re-engineering, advanced instruments and controls, anti-fouling systems and steam turbine upgrades. Alternatives to mainstream effluent treatments are discussed, including hybrid and multi-component technologies to lower emission of NOx, SOx, particulates and mercury. Flexible plant options reviewed include energy storage, indirect firing and natural gas integrated co-generation. Latest developments on the introduction of CCUS techniques applied to lignite plants are discussed together with other means to lower plant carbon footprint.
  • New regulatory trends: effects on coal-fired power plants and coal demand Recorded: Feb 24 2016 42 mins
    Hermine Nalbandian-Sugden
    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.
  • Prospects for coal and clean coal technologies in Greece Recorded: Jan 20 2016 40 mins
    Dr Steve Mills
    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.
  • Power plant CO2 heat integration Recorded: Dec 16 2015 28 mins
    Dr Colin Henderson
    The output and efficiency of a coal-fired power station unit fitted with CO2 capture equipment will be significantly lower than that of a similar plant without capture because some of the energy produced by burning the fuel will be needed to operate the added systems. Incorporating an aqueous amine-based CO2 scrubbing system in a simple arrangement could decrease the efficiency by as much as 30% of value. However, work at various research institutes and universities shows that the decrease in performance could be reduced by improved heat integration and other techniques. The webinar reviews these studies.
  • Coal contracts and long-term supplies Recorded: Nov 11 2015 44 mins
    Paul Baruya
    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.
  • Water availability and policies for the coal power sector Recorded: Oct 14 2015 38 mins
    Anne Carpenter
    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.
  • Application and development prospects of double-reheat coal-fired units Recorded: Sep 16 2015 27 mins
    Kyle Nicol
    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.
  • Operating experience of low grade fuels in circulating fluidised bed combustion Recorded: Aug 19 2015 29 mins
    Dr Ian Barnes
    Recent developments in process waste recycling and biomass utilisation have driven the use of these so-called ‘low value fuels’ for energy generation on a stand-alone basis, and in combination with coal. One particular technology stands out as being particularly well suited to utilising these low value fuels, circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC). The upcoming webinar sets out examples of the range of low value fuels, their reserves and properties, with particular emphasis on coal-derived materials, the issues for CFB plant in utilising these fuels and selected examples of manufacturer and operator experience with purpose built, or modified CFB plant.
  • Prospects for clean coal technologies in Italy Recorded: Jul 22 2015 38 mins
    Dr Stephen Mills
    Dr Steve Mills presents his recent researxh
  • Enhanced coal bed methane recovery Recorded: Jun 10 2015 25 mins
    Dr Lesley Sloss
    Dr Lesley Sloss presents her latest research
  • Advanced sensors and smart control systems for coal-fired power plants Recorded: May 13 2015 26 mins
    Toby Lockwood
    Coal power plant control systems have progressively evolved to meet the growing demand for efficient and flexible power generation whilst maintaining low emissions. In particular, optimisation of the combustion process has required increased use of online monitoring technologies and the replacement of standard control loops with more advanced algorithms
    capable of handling multivariable systems. Improved stoichiometric control can be achieved with
    coal and air flow sensors or imaging and spectral analysis of the flame itself, whilst in-situ laser absorption spectroscopy provides a means of mapping CO and O2 distribution in hot regions of the furnace. Modern plant control systems are able to draw on a range of computational
    techniques to determine the appropriate control response, including artificial intelligence which
    mimics the actions of expert operators and complex empirical models built from operational data.
    New sensor technologies are also being researched to further improve control and to withstand the high temperature and corrosive environments of advanced coal plant and gasifiers. Increased use of optical technologies is of particular interest, with sensors based on optical fibres able to perform low noise, highly sensitive, and distributed measurements at high temperatures.
    Microelectronic fabrication techniques and newly developed high temperature materials are also being combined to develop miniaturised devices which provide a robust and low cost solution for in-situ monitoring of gases and other parameters. These new sensors can be integrated with wireless communication technology and self-powering systems to facilitate the deployment of distributed sensor networks and monitoring of inaccessible locations. Using principles of self-organisation to optimise their output, such networks may play a growing role in future control systems.
  • Microalgal removal of CO2 from flue gas Recorded: Apr 22 2015 39 mins
    Xing Zhang
    Microalgal removal of CO2 from flue gas
    Various methods have been developed to remove CO2 from the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. Biological post-combustion capture is one of these. Microalgae may be used for bio-fixation of CO2 because of their capacity for photosynthesis and rapid growth. The ability of microalgae to withstand the high concentrations of CO2 in flue gas, as well as the potentially toxic accompanying SOx and NOx has been researched. Microalgal strains that are particularly suitable for this application have been isolated. Most of the research on algal bio-fixation has been concerned with carbon fixation strategies, photobioreactor designs, conversion technology from microalgal biomass to bioenergy, and economic evaluations of microalgal energy. This webinar considers current progress in algal technology and product utilisation, together with an analysis of the advantages and challenges of the technologies. It opens with a brief introduction to the theory of algal bio-fixation and factors that influence its efficiency especially in terms of flue gas characteristics, and then discusses culturing, processing technologies and the applications of bio-fixation by-products. Current algae-based CO2 capture demonstration projects at coal-fired power stations around the world are described.
IEA Clean Coal Centre
IEA Clean Coal Centre

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  • Title: Enhanced coal bed methane recovery
  • Live at: Jun 10 2015 11:00 am
  • Presented by: Dr Lesley Sloss
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