[ASC-media] Media release: brown coal goes green

CRCA Media crcamedia at starclass.com.au
Tue May 3 18:41:25 EST 2005

CRCA~Media Release

May 4, 2005


Funding of $2.2 million was confirmed in the Victorian State Budget yesterday for a brown coal drying pilot plant using greenhouse friendly technology pioneered by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Clean Power from Lignite. It will be built in the Latrobe Valley.

The pilot plant will test the scale-up to 15 tonnes a hour of a highly efficient coal drying technology which can cut the greenhouse gas emissions of brown coal power generation by a third or more.

The technology has been developed by the CRC with the support of the Latrobe Valley Generators (Loy Yang Power, International Power Hazelwood, International Power Mitsui Loy Yang B and Yallourn Energy).

The process - known as Mechanical Thermal Expression - can remove more than 70% of the water from Victorian brown coals, resulting in massive greenhouse gas savings when the dry coal is burnt to generate power.

Using this technology to dry coal for a new "state of the art" power station, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by more than 30% compared to today's power stations.

Even bigger reductions, more than 40%, can be achieved with dry coal feed to the next generation of coal gasification based power generation technologies, according to CRC Chief Executive, Dr Peter Jackson.

Design of the pilot plant has already commenced, construction is planned for late 2005, and testing will start in early 2006. The total project value is $6.3 million. The Victorian Government and the Australian Greenhouse Office will provide $4.4 million, and the other $1.9 million in infrastructure, services and other in-kind support will come from the Latrobe Valley Generators.

The pilot plant will be located at Loy Yang but will test coals from each of the Latrobe Valley mines. The plant is key step in the development and application of the technology.  Successful testing at this scale will enable the design of a commercial scale demonstration plant, which could be built later this decade.

"This project demonstrates the commitment of government and the generating industry to the efficient use of Victoria's brown coal resources, and to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions" said Dr Jackson.

For further information, contact:
Dr Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, CRC for Clean Power from Lignite,
Telephone: 03 8542 0800; Mobile 0419 384 878
e-mail: peter.jackson at cleanpower.com.au 
website: www.cleanpower.com.au

The Cooperative Research Centre for Clean Power from Lignite undertakes R, D&D into the development of technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from lignite-fired power stations. The technologies under development relate to both current technology (pulverised coal-fired boiler) power stations and to high efficiency advanced cycles.  
The participants in the Centre are: Loy Yang Power Ltd, International Power - Hazelwood, Yallourn Energy Pty Ltd, International Power Mitsui - Loy Yang B, NRG Flinders, Alstom Power Limited, HRL Limited, GHD Pty Ltd, Monash University, University of Adelaide, Swinburne University of Technology, CSIRO Division of Minerals and the Victorian Government - Department of Primary Industries. The CRC is also supported by the Commonwealth Government through the Cooperative Research Centres Program.


The Centre is strongly focussed on delivering commercial technology outcomes for the power generation and power engineering industries.

The Centre has a balanced program involving fundamental research, applied research, technology development and commercialisation.  A coal drying, dewatering and characterisation program addresses water removal, which is one of the key issues in improving the efficiency of lignite utilisation in power generation.  High-pressure gasification and/or combustion reaction mechanisms and kinetics relevant to advanced cycles are studied.  Fluidised bed process development research is applied to gasifier and combustor fluidised bed dynamics, agglomeration, defluidisation and scale-up of plant design through computational and physical fluid dynamic modelling.  Research also focuses on thermal efficiency and operational improvements for existing lignite-fired power plant and an advanced process development program to develop high efficiency advanced power generation cycles.

The Centre is looking into the future with oxygen-blown fluid bed gasification of dewatered coal.  This technology is a central and essential element on the path to a hydrogen economy and to zero emissions from power production. 

About 100 research scientists, engineers and technical officers are involved in the Centre including more than 25 post-graduate students (aggregate 60).  The Centre's R&D are undertaken at a number of facilities in Victoria and South Australia.

More information about the ASC-media mailing list