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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: March 11th 2003


:: Lignite Squeezed  

Australia's Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Clean Power from Lignite is developing a system for heating and squeezing coal that will cut by up to 90% the amount of energy required to reduce the coal's moisture content. This in turn will substantially lower 'greenhouse gas' emissions from its combustion.

CRC's chief executive Dr David Brockway explained: "Contrary to what many people imagine, brown coal is a very clean fuel. The problem is that it contains 60-70% water and dealing with that requires a lot of extra energy. Once treated in this way, the coal can then be used in existing power stations, protecting Australia's competitive advantage in low-cost energy while addressing our greenhouse commitments."

The treated coal could, Dr Brockley claimed, also be used as a feedstock for IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) plants, which are "the power generation system of the future". He added: "This will give substantial increases in both efficiency and cuts in greenhouse gases." The technology can also yield CO2 in its waste stream that is so concentrated it could be buried or sequestered. "This work puts Australia squarely on the route to zero greenhouse emissions from power generation," said Dr Brockway.



Click for more info on Hi-Tech Metals '18

Mining Journal, Feb.28, 2003, p.146

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