Low quality coals - key commercial, environmental and plant considerations
Dr Stephen Mills
About this talk
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.