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Vol. 4, Issue 4

Volume 4 Issue 4

From the Editor

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

By John Kessels, Cornerstone

Kessels HeadshotIn November 2012, Cornerstone was launched as the official journal of the World Coal Association. Cornerstone has since become an internationally recognized credible, independent, high-quality publication, featuring some of the most insightful and informative articles on industry developments. We have looked closely at the technological innovations being pioneered across the coal industry and offered some remarkable thought leadership pieces—from academia, research institutes, investors, and mining companies—that have engendered discussion in the industry.

Cover Story

The Urgent Need to Move From CCS Research to Commercial Deployment

By Andrew Minchener, IEA Clean Coal Centre

Minchener TOCClimate change is a serious issue that requires a global response. However, that response will not be a “one size fits all global solution”. In this article the General Manager of the IEA Clean Coal Centre discusses the urgency of moving CCS research to large-scale demonstration and deployment.

Voices

Beyond HELE: Why CCS Is Imperative Now

By Brad Page, Global CCS Institute

Page TOCIt is now clear that the outcome of the Paris climate talks was a game changer, delivering a renewed global commitment to addressing climate change. No longer are we aiming to limit global warming to 2°C. We are now aspiring for well below that—perhaps as low as 1.5°C. Significantly, the agreement also sets out global ambition for carbon neutrality by midcentury. In the post-COP21 discussions, thinking has shifted from “how much do we do?” to “how do we do so much?”

The Role of CCS in a Well-Below 2°C World

By Kamel Ben Naceur and Samantha McCulloch, International Energy Agency

NaceurTOCThe ratification of the Paris Agreement marked an historic milestone for the energy sector and confirmed a global target of limiting future temperature increases to “well below 2°C”. Achieving this will require a much faster and more extensive transformation of the energy sector than previously contemplated. All technologies and all options for reducing emissions will need to be embraced—with carbon capture and storage (CCS) being core among these. The Paris Agreement therefore presents enormous opportunities for the deployment of CCS technologies.

The Challenges for CCS

By Tony Wood, Grattan Institute

WoodTOCAny hard-nosed assessment of the energy sector should conclude that there is no future for coal without carbon capture and storage (CCS). Yet for the last decade, governments, their agencies, and the coal industry have failed to support CCS development in a way that would be consistent with this existential threat. The result is that CCS has little credibility as a material contributor to reducing emissions with governments and those outside the fossil fuel industry. This is despite projections by reputable bodies such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) that show CCS does make a material contribution to delivering a low-emissions future at lowest cost. The prospects for bridging that gap rests with several demonstration projects or a major mobilization by a country such as China.

Energy Policy

Solving Energy Poverty, Unemployment, and Growth Challenges in South Africa

By Rob Jeffrey, Econometrix (Pty) Ltd

The three fundamental objectives of South Africa, and most emerging nations, are to address inequality, unemployment, and poverty. These objectives cannot be achieved by redistribution of wealth alone. They can only be achieved by raising the economic growth rate. A higher growth rate is dependent on having the correct public policies in place and having an adequate and growing supply of affordable electricity. In order to ensure economic growth, South Africa must develop its industrial base and therefore it is essential to supply electricity at the lowest possible cost.

Coal-Fired Power Generation in Japan and the World

By Sumie Nakayama, J-POWER

NakayamaTOCThe Japanese government set its 2030 power generation target shares for coal at 26%, nuclear at 22%, and gas at 27%. Due to concerns over the slow restart of nuclear power generation, the power sector’s interest in building more efficient coal-fired power generation facilities with low CO2 emissions is increasing. This article examines the reasons behind Japan’s energy policy and the choice of coal. In addition, it looks at the importance of coal for the future of Asian countries and the ways in which Japan is contributing to clean coal technologies both domestically and internationally.

Strategic Analysis

Dubai: Pioneering a Sustainable Energy Model for Sustainable Development and Security of Supply

By Taher Diab, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy

DiabTOCThe Emirate of Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and a regional hub for tourism, logistics, and finance. The Dubai government is implementing an innovative strategy to manage demand, diversify fuel sources, secure its energy supply, and foster green growth. One strategic aim is to continue to fuel Dubai’s economic growth and maintain its regional and global prominent position.

CO2 Utilization as a Building Block for Achieving Global Climate Goals

By Janet Gellici, National Coal Council

GelliciTOCConsensus is growing among industry, the environmental community, and international governments that future carbon dioxide emission reduction goals cannot be met by renewable energy alone and that carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies for all fossil fuels must be deployed to achieve climate objectives in the U.S. and globally. Fossil fuels—including coal, natural gas, and oil—will remain the dominant global energy source well into the future by virtue of their abundance, supply security, and affordability.

Phasing Out Coal-Fired Power Plants in Alberta by 2030: Recent Developments

By Babatunde Olateju and Surindar Singh, Alberta Innovates, and Jamie McInnis, University of Calgary

BabatundeTOCThe province of Alberta, located in Western Canada, is regarded as the pillar of Canada’s energy economy. It is home to the third largest oil reserves in the world, produces 68% of Canada’s natural gas, holds significant renewable energy resources, and is the site of Canada’s first commercial windfarm. Yet the most abundant fossil fuel energy resource in Alberta is coal. The energy content of coal in Alberta is greater than the energy content of natural gas and oil combined, including the oil sands. Coal-bearing formations underlie 304,000 km2 or 46% of Alberta’s total area, making the formations larger than the United Kingdom. Alberta’s coal resource is estimated to be greater than 2 trillion tonnes.

New British Deep Mine to Deliver 50-Year Coking Coal Project

By Tony Lodge, Centre for Policy Studies

LodgeTOCThe British government’s plan to ban all coal-fired power stations by 2025 has made headlines around the world. Many will now close early and, with that closure, the mining, coal handling, and import facilities that once dominated British ports will become redundant. Though now in decline, this formerly large thermal coal dependency supported many deep and surface mines across Britain and supplied thermal coal internationally. Britain’s electricity supply industry is now looking to combined-cycle gas turbine plants, renewable energy, and new nuclear power plants in its quest to meet ambitious CO2 reduction targets.

Technology Frontiers

The Future of CCS in Norway

By Camilla Bergsli, Gassnova SF

BergsliTOCThe Norwegian government seeks to realize at least one full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project by 2020, and three industrial carbon capture projects are about to enter the concept phase. Twenty years of experience with full-scale CCS combined with the world’s largest CCS test facility and more than 20 years of CCS research underlie the country’s ambition to contribute to further development of CCS. This article examines Norway’s efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions by applying CCS and the importance of industrial emissions being mitigated as well as power generation CO2 emissions.

R&D and Demonstration of CO2 Capture Technology Before and After Combustion in Thermal Power Plants in China

By Xu Shisen and Liu Lianbo, China Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute

ShisenTOCCarbon capture, use, and sequestration (CCUS) technology can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale, and represents an important technological option for slowing carbon dioxide emissions in the future. According to studies by the International Energy Agency, application of CCUS technology is a crucial emissions-reducing measure together with improving energy efficiency and employing nuclear energy and renewable energies. By 2050, emissions reductions realized through CCUS are anticipated to account for 17% of total emissions reductions. China’s energy structure is dominated by coal; development of CCUS technology will be an important measure to effectively control greenhouse emissions. Meanwhile, it will help promote the transformation and upgrade of the power industry.

Development of Coal Gasification Technology in China

By Wang Fuchen, Yu Guangsuo, and Guo Qinghua, East China University of Science and Technology

WangTOCCoal is utilized in three ways in China: direct combustion (through coal-fired power plants and industrial boilers), coking, and gasification. Among these three methods, coal gasification is the cleanest option, and the most complex. Coal gasification accounts for 5% of China’s total coal consumption; it is a core technology in efficient and clean coal conversion, and important in the development of coal-based bulk chemicals (chemical fertilizers, methanol, olefins, aromatics, ethylene glycol, etc.), coal-based clean fuel synthesis (oil, natural gas), advanced integrated gasification combined-cycle power generation, polygeneration systems, hydrogen production, fuel cells, direct reduction iron-making, and other process industries. Coal gasification is not only the foundation for the modern coal chemical industry, and widely used in the oil refining, power generation, and metallurgical industries, it is the common key technology of these industries.

Global News

GlobalNewsPhotoCovering global business changes, publications, and meetings

Volume 4 Author Index

The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.
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Global News

International Outlook

China

The National Key Research and Development Plan “Ultra-supercritical Circulating Fluidized Bed Boiler Technology Research and Development and Demonstration Project” started in Beijing in October. The four-and-a-half-year project is led by Shenhua Group, with 16 organizations in China participating in research and development. This project will research improvements for 660-MW ultra-supercritical circulating fluidized bed boilers and furnaces. The aim of the project is to promote large-scale clean combustion of China’s low-grade coals.

United Arab Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), construction has begun on the US$1.8 billion Hassyan clean coal plant. The first phase of the project will be the construction of 1.2 GW. The first 600-MW unit is expected to be operational in 2020, with the second 600-MW unit coming online a year later. By 2023 a total of 2.4 GW will be generating electricity. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority plant will provide a 12.5% boost to Dubai’s current grid capacity on completion. The aim is that 7% of electricity in Dubai will be generated by coal by 2030.

U.S.

The election of Donald Trump as President and the Republican majorities in Congress have the potential to change the energy regulatory landscape in the U.S. As a candidate, Trump indicated his administration would not implement the Clean Power Plan advanced by the Obama administration. Specific changes in policy remain to be seen as Trump assembles his leadership team.

The opening ceremony for NICE America Research Inc. was held in Mountain View, California, in October. Dignitaries from the Shenhua Group, Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, U.S. Department of Energy, NICE headquarters, and the local government were in attendance. Dr. Yuzhuo Zhang, Chairman of Shenhua Group, addressed the audience, articulating his vision for the center and his excitement for the opening of NICE’s first international facility. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, NICE signed memoranda of understanding with General Electric and Air Products to explore collaboration on fuel cells and hydrogen fueling, respectively.

NICE America Research Inc. will be the U.S. headquarters of the National Institute of Clean and Low-Carbon Energy (NICE), a R&D institute funded and administered by the Shenhua Group. The new research facility is tasked with developing and commercializing technology on shale gas conversion to value-added chemicals, carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS), energy internet, and hydrogen energy. In addition, the new facility allows NICE to partner with leading U.S. academic/research institutions and enterprises to accelerate its clean energy development strategy.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for NICE America Research Inc.

International

In a recent article in the Indian newspaper The Hindu, the World Coal Association’s Chief Executive, Benjamin Sporton, highlighted that the World Bank and other global development lenders such as the Asian Development Bank are not financing clean coal projects. He pointed out that not investing in supercritical and ultra-supercritical plants is resulting in countries building less efficient subcritical plants with much higher CO2 and particulate matter emissions. He also noted that, without financial support from international global lenders, India and other developing countries would be unable to meet their Paris Agreement targets. Mr. Sporton stated: “India’s Paris commitment includes building more supercritical and USC plants and the international banks must help them do that. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by 19 countries—India included—said they were going to use coal.”

On 29 November 2016, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE)—an independent intergovernmental organization within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) structure that represents the 10 ASEAN Member States’ (AMS) interests in the energy sector—held a webinar titled “Coal in ASEAN After the Paris Agreement”. A blend of regional and international perspectives was shared by the panelists from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, Chulalongkorn University on behalf of Ministry of Energy of Thailand, the World Coal Association, and Global CCS Institute. The ASEAN region is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. The ASEAN region will continue to depend on fossil fuels, with coal as the main energy source to meet the increasing electricity demand, due to its high availability and low costs. A key message from the webinar was that there is a need for international community support to implement high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) and CCS technologies in ASEAN, so the region can contribute to the Paris Agreement while meeting the needs of its economic growth. The recording video, presentations, and related materials from the webinar can be accessed at www.aseanenergy.org

Key Meetings & Conferences

Globally there are numerous conferences and meetings geared toward the coal and energy industries. The table below highlights a few such events. If you would like your event listed in Cornerstone, please contact the Executive Editor at cornerstone@wiley.com

Conference Name Dates (2017) Location Website
2017 12th Mercury Emissions and Coal Workshop and Conference
28 Feb–3 Mar
Mpumalanga, South Africa
www.iea-coal.org/site/2010/conferences/mec
15th Coaltrans China
10-11 April
Shanghai, China
www.coaltrans.com/china/details.html
CO2 Summit III: Pathways to Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Deployment
22–26 May
Calabria, Italy
www.engconf.org/conferences/civil-and-environmental-engineering/co2-summit-ii-co2-capture-utilization-and-storage/
2017 8th International Conference on Clean Coal Technologies
8–12 May
Cagliari, Italy
www.cct2017.org
The 13th China (Beijing) International Coal Equipment and Mining Technical Equipment Exhibition
13–15 June
Beijing, China
www.cicne.com.cn/ad_en/default.asp

There are several Coaltrans conferences globally each year. To learn more, visit www.coaltrans.com/calendar.aspx

Recent Select Publications

20 Years of Carbon Capture and Storage – Accelerating Future Deployment — International Energy Agency — This report reviews progress with CCS technologies over the past 20 years and examines their role in achieving 2°C and well-below 2°C targets. Based on the International Energy Agency’s 2°C scenario, it also considers the implications for climate change if CCS was not a part of the response. And it examines opportunities to accelerate future deployment of CCS to meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement. The full report is available at www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/20YearsofCarbonCaptureandStorage_WEB.pdf

 

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CO2 Utilization as a Building Block for Achieving Global Climate Goals

By Janet Gellici
Chief Executive Officer, National Coal Council

Consensus is growing among industry, the environmental community, and international governments that future carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction goals cannot be met by renewable energy alone and that carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies for all fossil fuels must be deployed to achieve climate objectives in the U.S. and globally. Fossil fuels—including coal, natural gas, and oil—will remain the dominant global energy source well into the future by virtue of their abundance, supply security, and affordability.

Achieving global climate objectives will require a portfolio of approaches that balance economic realities, energy security, and environmental aspirations. The most influential action the U.S. can employ to reduce CO2 emissions is to incentivize the rapid deployment of CCUS technologies. CO2 utilization can, in theory, help to reduce CCUS costs and incentivize deployment, but most CO2 use technologies face numerous and significant challenges in moving toward commercialization.

A way forward for CCUS in the U.S.

Geological CO2 utilization options have the greatest potential to advance CCUS by creating market demand for anthropogenic CO2. The use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR), including production and storage activities in residual oil zones (ROZ), remains the CO2 use technology with the greatest potential to incentivize CCUS.

Non-geological CO2 utilization options are unlikely to significantly incentivize CCUS in the near to intermediate term because of technical, greenhouse gas (GHG) life-cycle analysis (LCA) considerations, and challenges associated with scalability. Despite these barriers, further investments in non-geologic CO2 utilization technologies may, on a case-by-case basis, hold promise for turning an uneconomic CCUS project into an economic one. A broadly deployed mix of CO2 utilization technologies may help advance CCUS deployment incrementally, providing sufficient incentive to keep CCUS technologies moving forward.

NATIONAL COAL COUNCIL MISSION

The National Coal Council (NCC) is a federally chartered advisory group to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, providing advice and recommendations on general policy matters relating to coal and the coal industry. In August 2016, the NCC completed a white paper for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz that assessed opportunities to advance commercial markets for carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-based power generation. This article highlights key findings and recommendations from the report, “CO2 Building Blocks: Assessing CO2 Utilization Options”.1

In the U.S., CO2-EOR offers opportunities for utilizing and storing CO2

DRIVING THE NEED FOR CCUS

CCUS technologies provide the most impactful opportunity to capture, use, and store a significant volume of CO2 from stationary point sources. These technologies can be used to reduce CO2 emissions from electric generation as well as from key industrial sectors, such as cement production, iron and steel making, oil refining, and chemicals manufacturing. Additionally, CCUS technologies significantly reduce the costs of decarbonization.2 Not including CCUS as a key mitigation technology is projected to increase the overall costs of meeting CO2 emissions goals by 70% to 138%.3,4 Finally, the commercial deployment of CCUS preserves the economic value of fossil fuel reserves (coal and natural gas) and associated infrastructure.

Commercial markets for CO2 from fossil fuel-based power generation and CO2-emitting industrial facilities have the potential to provide a business incentive for CCUS. The extent of that economic opportunity will depend on many factors, including but not limited to expediting the development of and reducing the cost associated with CO2 capture technologies. And while commercial markets may provide significant opportunities for CO2 utilization, the global scale of CO2 emissions suggests a continued need to pursue geologic storage options with significant CO2 storage potential and initiatives such as those being undertaken by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through its Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships Program and related programs.

Fossil fuels generally, and coal specifically, are dependent upon CCUS technologies to comply with U.S. GHG emissions reduction policies. A number of U.S. regulatory policies have been adopted to reduce GHG, with geologic storage options (specifically including CO2-EOR) as preferred mitigation technologies. Included among existing and pending U.S. regulations that encourage compliance via the use of CCUS technologies are the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit programs; the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Standards of Performance for GHG Emissions from New, Modified and Reconstructed Electric Utility Generating Units (111b); and the Clean Power Plan (CPP). These U.S. policies are reinforced by the 2015 Paris Agreement, which largely envisions the decarbonization of major energy systems through the use of CCUS and other technologies by the 2050 timeframe.

U.S. law currently favors geologic storage/utilization technologies; non-geologic CO2 uses must demonstrate that they are as effective as geologic storage. Additionally, the emissions reduction targets and deadlines associated with U.S. and international climate goals point toward the use of CO2 utilization technologies that are either already commercialized or near commercialization.

CO2-EOR represents the most immediate, most mature, and highest value opportunity to utilize the greatest volumes of anthropogenic CO2 to meet U.S. and global climate objectives (see Table 1).

TABLE 1. U.S. regional CO2 utilization/storage and oil recovery potential
1 Includes 0.1 billion barrels already produced or proved with CO2-EOR.
2 Includes 2.2 billion barrels already produced or proved with CO2-EOR.
3 Includes 0.3 billion barrels already produced or proved with CO2-EOR.
4 Evaluated using an oil price of $85/B, a CO2 cost of $40/mt and a 20% ROR, before tax.
Source: Advanced Resources International

GEOLOGIC CO2 UTILIZATION MARKET POTENTIAL

A 2011 report from the Global CCS Institute5 estimated current global demand for CO2 at about 80 million tons per year (MTPY) and suggested potential future demand could grow by an order of magnitude, reaching nearly 300 MTPY for each of a handful of technologies—most notably CO2-EOR—and more modest growth for an additional group of technologies. The potential global demand for CO2 for EOR was confirmed in 2015 in an International Energy Agency (IEA) study indicating that, by 2050, conventional CO2-EOR could lead to storage of 60,000 MTPY of CO2 and, through the application of advanced technologies, so-called EOR+ could increase to 240,000–360,000 MTPY of CO2.6

In the U.S., CO2-EOR offers major potential for utilizing and storing CO2 in a diversity of geological settings.

  • CO2 floods in the main pay zone (MPZ) of discovered oil fields (onshore lower-48 states, Alaska, and offshore Gulf of Mexico) offer a technical potential for utilizing and storing 38,320–52,240 MMmt of CO2.
  • Although the economically viable potential from the MPZ (at an oil price of $85 per barrel and with CO2 costs linked to oil prices) is more limited, the CO2 utilization and storage volumes are still significant at 10,740–23,580 MMmt plus 28–81 billion barrels of economically viable oil recovery.
  • CO2 floods in the residual oil z (ROZ) resources assessed to date could provide an additional 25,300 MMmt of technically viable CO2 utilization and storage, and significant volumes of associated oil recovery.

Other geologic utilization markets—including tight oil/shale gas formations, enhanced coal bed methane (ECBM), and enhanced water recovery (EWR)—also hold current and future promise as incentives for CCUS deployment. Key knowledge gaps and technical barriers remain in the pursuit of commercial deployment of these technologies. Progress has been and is being made with these emerging technologies but additional research is required to advance to the next stages of technological maturity.

NON-GEOLOGIC CO2 UTILIZATION MARKET POTENTIAL

Outside of CO2-EOR and other geologic CO2 use markets, research is underway on two general paths for non-geologic CO2 utilization: breaking down the CO2 molecule by cleaving C=O bond(s) and incorporating the entire CO2 molecule into other chemical structures. The latter path holds relatively more promise as it requires less energy and tends to “fix” the CO2 in a manner akin to geologic storage. Utilizing CO2 in non-geologic applications faces hurdles, including yet-to-be resolved issues associated with thermodynamics and kinetics involved in the successful reduction of CO2 to carbon products and inadequate support for demonstration projects leading to commercialization. Still, these technologies are worthy of continuing evaluation, and many hold long-term potential in specific applications.

Non-geologic utilization opportunities that tend to “fix” CO2 include (1) inorganic carbonates and bicarbonates; (2) plastics and polymers; (3) organic and specialty chemicals; and (4) agricultural fertilizers. Various technical and economic challenges face these commercially immature technologies, suggesting they are unlikely to incentivize CCUS deployment in the immediate future. They may, however, have an advantage over other non-geologic markets, such as fuels, which require cleaving of the CO2 bond through chemical and biological processes.

Transportation fuels do represent a significant market opportunity. They are, however, unlikely to incentivize CCUS in the immediate future for a variety of technical and economic reasons, including: (1) transportation fuels are ultimately combusted and thus release CO2 to the atmosphere and (2) current U.S. policy favors geologic-based utilization pathways for Clean Air Act (CAA) compliance. Although the case could be made that some CO2-derived transportation fuels have lower GHG emissions than fossil-based fuels on a GHG LCA basis, non-fossil-based transportation fuels still face significant market competition and displacement hurdles.

CO2 UTILIZATION CHALLENGES

Market forces alone are unlikely to incentivize CCUS as CO2 utilization faces numerous hurdles.

  • Cost of capture. The current major user of CO2, the EOR industry, typically cannot offer a “price” for CO2 that overcomes the cost of capture for a coal-based utility. This conclusion applies even in the face of existing economic incentives, such as the current Section 45Q CCUS tax incentive.
  • Insufficient scope of the market/supply considerations. Only CO2-EOR holds promise for incentivizing CCUS at any reasonable scale for compliance purposes for coal-based utilities.
  • Nearly all non-geologic CO2 utilization technologies are not yet commercialized. Even if some of the nascent utilization technologies being explored worldwide hold potential for use at scale, they face a decades-long slog along the technology development path and typical technology deployment “valley of death” investment hurdles. These time frames suggest that, on their current trajectory, many utilization technologies will not be commercially available in time to influence CCUS deployment in the context of 2050 climate goals.
  • Geographic/infrastructure considerations. Unless the utilization technology is deployed beside every coal-based facility, the captured CO2 must be transported to industrial facilities making use of CO2. This issue remains a challenge even for EOR, let alone nascent technologies that are not yet commercial.
  • Legal & regulatory considerations. Under current law, CO2-EOR owners and operators must (1) conduct their injections under Class II of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program and (2) opt into Subpart RR of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, which includes a federally approved monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) requirement, if they wish to demonstrate regulatory compliance under the CPP or the section 111(b) rule for long-term storage of CO2. Companies conducting non-EOR geologic storage must (1) conduct their injections under Class VI of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program and (2) report under Subpart RR. Each of these compliance pathways is potentially problematic.
    • CO2-EOR storage. Some in the U.S. CO2-EOR industry take the position that the MRV requirement is inconsistent with oil and gas law. They have noted, for example, that an EOR operator may not be authorized to conduct storage operations under existing mineral leases. On the other hand, EPA recently approved the first MRV plan for a CO2-EOR operation. There is not uniform agreement within the U.S. CO2-EOR industry on these and related issues. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), through the efforts of Working Group 6 under Technical Committee 265, is separately endeavoring to address these and related issues as part of the ongoing efforts to prepare the world’s first technical standard governing CO2 storage in association with EOR operations.
    • Non-EOR storage. The current Class VI permit process creates a disincentive and an unnecessary hurdle. For example, the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Decatur CO2 storage project, which was part of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships Development Phase III program and partly funded by DOE, submitted its application for Class VI well permits in July and September of 2011, but the permits were not granted until April 2014.7 Similarly, North Dakota has envisaged and made progress toward a CO2 storage program. After a lengthy process with EPA to shape its submission, the state finally made an application for Class VI primacy regulatory authority in June 2013, which has not been granted by the EPA more than three years later, in essence delaying vital work on CCUS that is necessary to advance the technology.8

Thermodynamics & Kinetics of CO2

The CO2 molecule is particularly stable and has a Gibbs energy of formation of -394.4 kJ/mol, which must be overcome.

Thus, breaking the C=O bond(s) and forming C-H or C-C bond(s), or producing elemental carbon, is possible. However, such molecules are at a much higher energy state, meaning that a tremendous amount of energy must be used. Converting CO2 to fuels or other high energy state molecules requires more energy input than could ever be derived from the end products.

CO2 can also be incorporated into various chemicals as a C1 building block. This is not thermodynamically challenged because the entirety of the CO2 molecule is used and thus the C=O bonds are not broken. For this application, the principal challenge is the scale of available reactants and market for products, both of which are dwarfed by global CO2 emissions.

PRIORITIZING CO2 UTILIZATION INVESTMENTS

In its “CO2 Building Blocks” report for Energy Secretary Moniz, the National Coal Council recommended that research investments in CO2 utilization technologies should be prioritized first according to the ability of the CO2 utilization technology to:

  • Make use of CO2 at scale.
  • Make use of CO2 at scale in the 2020–2030 time frame.
  • Be commercially demonstrated prior to 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Be deployed onsite at fossil fuel-based power plants and CO2-emitting industrial facilities.
  • Have realistic market potential, taking into account displacement considerations.
  • Be as effective as geologic technologies.
  • Provide non-trivial economic returns.
  • Favorably score under existing and forthcoming GHG LCA.

Kemper County Energy Facility (Courtesy of Southern Company)

The Council further noted that monetary, regulatory, and policy investments in the following CO2 utilization and storage technologies, in descending order, are most likely to incentivize the deployment of CCUS technologies:

  1. Current CO2-EOR technology. It is imperative that the government clarify the existing regulatory structure, provide support for infrastructure, such as pipeline networks, and offer financial incentives for carbon capture deployment so that the promise of this existing commercial technology is fully realized.
  2. “Next generation” CO2-EOR technologies. Advances to existing CO2-EOR technologies would enable ROZ resources to be efficiently recovered.
  3. Other geologic storage technologies that provide economic return. ECBM and CO2 injections into ROZs provide market demand for CO2 under certain general oil and gas market conditions. They also fit within the current U.S. legal framework that gives preference to geologic storage over non-geologic uses of CO2. Not all geologic formations (ECBM, for example) have access to protocols and/or methodologies to document storage.
  4. Saline storage. Saline storage remains EPA’s gold standard for CO2 storage and may be required to provide a backstop for CO2 utilization projects. The hurdles facing saline storage are primarily economic and regulatory, which current DOE policy recognizes, i.e., the new CarbonSAFE program. The fact remains, however, that the federal government needs to put more resources into these projects and reduce the regulatory impediments currently facing them.
  5. Non-geologic storage technologies that provide economic return and that are effective as geologic storage. The current U.S. legal framework prefers geologic storage over other CO2 uses. However, non-geologic technologies that keep the CO2 out of the atmosphere may be credited for the purposes of federal programs with appropriate evidence of atmospheric benefit.
  6. Non-geologic storage technologies that provide economic return yet are not as effective as geologic storage if appropriate EPA research waivers may be obtained. On a case-by-case basis, a CO2 utilization technology may exist or emerge that provides an economic return to a fossil fuel-based power plant or a CO2-emitting industrial facility. The technology nonetheless could be helpful in lowering the cost of capture. Appropriate legal recognition would be needed, however, for purposes of compliance with emission reduction obligations.

CONCLUSION

Achieving stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere requires the deployment of CCUS technologies worldwide. Consensus grows among industry, the environmental community, and international governments that future CO2 emission reduction goals cannot be met by renewables alone and that advancing CCUS is not just about coal.

CO2 utilization technologies can serve as building blocks in advancing a foundation on which to achieve global climate goals. A broadly deployed mix of CO2 utilization technologies, including geologic and non-geologic, may help to advance CCUS incrementally and may, even if they do not offer full-scale carbon management solutions, provide sufficient incentive to keep CCUS technologies moving forward. CO2-EOR offers the most immediate, most commercially mature, and highest value opportunity to utilize the greatest volumes of anthropogenic CO2. Monetary, regulatory, and policy investments that prioritize geologic CO2 use technologies first while continuing to support non-geologic applications on a longer-term basis provide the greatest promise of achieving global climate goals.

REFERENCES

  1. National Coal Council. (2016, August). CO2 building blocks: Assessing CO2 utilization options, www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/studies/2016/NCC-CO2-Building-Block-FINAL-Report.pdf
  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III. (2014). Climate change 2014: Mitigation of climate change 60. Fig. TS-13, report.mitigation2014.org/report/ipcc_wg3_ar5_full.pdf
  3. National Coal Council. (2015, January). Fossil forward: Bringing scale and speed to CCS deployment, www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/studies/2015/Fossil-Forward-Revitalizing-CCS-NCC-Approved-Study.pdf
  4. International Energy Agency. (2015). World energy outlook 2015 New Policies Scenario, www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WEO2015SpecialReportonEnergyandClimateChange.pdf
  5. Global CCS Institute & Parsons Brinckerhoff. (2011, March). Accelerating the uptake of CCS: Industrial use of captured carbon dioxide, hub.globalccsinstitute.com/sites/default/files/publications/14026/accelerating-uptake-ccs-industrial-use-captured-carbon-dioxide.pdf
  6. International Energy Agency. (2015). Storing CO2 through enhanced oil recovery: Combining EOR with CO2 storage (EOR+) for profit, www.iea.org/publications/insights/insightpublications/Storing_CO2_through_Enhanced_Oil_Recovery.pdf
  7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2016). Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (IL-CCS) fact sheet: Carbon dioxide capture and storage project. Carbon Capture & Sequestration Technologies program, sequestration.mit.edu/tools/projects/illinois_industrial_ccs.html
  8. Connors, K. C. (2013). Presentation by North Dakota Oil and Gas Division: IOGCC task force report, www.netl.doe.gov/File%20Library/events/2013/carbon%20storage/8-20-Kevin-Connors-DOE-CCS-R-D-Meeting-08212013.pdf

 

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Volume 4, Issue 3

Volume 4 Issue 3

From the Editor

Coal in Europe

By John Kessels, Cornerstone

Kessels HeadshotThe European Union’s recent ratification of the Paris Agreement and the road ahead to mitigate CO2 emissions will be a challenging task for Europe without recognizing the key role coal plays. Coal is one of the major pillars in power generation for Europe’s 500 million inhabitants. The European Union’s 28 member-states have the third largest energy market in the world. In 2015, coal provided a quarter of the power generated in the EU-28 and remains a secure and affordable energy source.

Cover Story

The Role of Coal in the Energy Supply of the EU-28

By Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer, World Energy Council

Schiffer ImageThe European Union (EU-28) is one of the largest economies in the world, with a gross domestic product of €14,635 billion in 2015. It has 508 million inhabitants, or 7% of the world´s population. Coal has played, and still plays, an important role in covering the energy needs of the EU-28. This article reflects on the role of coal within Europe in the past, at present, and in the future.

Voices

The Need for Increased Momentum for CCS After COP21

By Andrew Purvis and Ingvild Ombudstvedt, GCCSI

Purvis TOCAs a result of the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris in 2015, 178 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted a goal to hold the increase in global temperature to “well below” 2°C, “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and further achieve a balance between anthropogenic sinks and sources of greenhouse gases in the second half of the century. To achieve these targets, all emissions-mitigating measures and mechanisms will be needed. Efforts to decarbonize will be needed from both the parties to the agreement and the energy and industrial sectors. This will require increased momentum for energy efficiency and a continuing transition from fossil fuels to renewables. It also highlights the critical role of carbon capture and storage.

Lessons from the “Golden Decade” of Coal for China’s Energy Revolution

By Qian Minggao, China University of Mining and Technology

QianTOCChina is abundant in coal resources, but holds limited oil and natural gas resources. In the past decade, China’s GDP has grown 8–10% annually, and it is the second largest economy in the world. Nearly 70% of its economic growth and primary energy demand has been met by coal. The consumption of coal increased from 1 billion tons in 2000 to nearly 4.2 billion tons in 2014. This four-fold increase within 15 years is known as the coal sector’s “golden decade” (2000–2010).

Enhancing, Preserving, and Protecting North Dakota’s Lignite Industry

By Michael Jones, Lignite Energy Council

JonesTOCNorth Dakota is part of the interior of the United States. Sometimes called the Peace Garden State because it shares a peaceful border with the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, the state is known for its sparse population and its abundant resources—productive farms and energy sources that help feed and power a vast region. However, its most important resource is the perseverance and ingenuity of its 750,000 residents.

Energy Policy

The Eurasian Lignite Backbone

By Jeffrey H. Michel, Independent Energy Consultant

Lignite, a low-grade fossil fuel in geological transition from peat to hard coal, is a mainstay of power generation and heating services between Central Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Germany is the world’s largest lignite producer with an annual output of 178 million metric tons (Mt) in 2015, covering nearly a quarter of electricity demand. Although mining declined significantly after 1990 in the former East Germany and Czechoslovakia, most other countries have increased usage. Foremost is Turkey, with lignite power generation expected to increase by over 80% within three years.

Turkey’s Attempts to Increase the Utilization of Domestic Coal

By Öztürk Selvitop, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources

SelvitopTOCTurkey opened its energy industry to the private sector as part of an overall shift toward a market economy in 2001, and, in that context, liberalization and restructuring studies in the energy sector were initiated. Prior to 2001, several models including BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer), BOO (Build-Own-Operate) and TOOR (Transfer of Operating Rights) were implemented to increase private-sector participation in the power sector. Since 2001 under the Electricity Market Law state-owned companies are allowed to finish ongoing construction of power plants and can continue to intervene and build additional new power generation plants if there is a threat to security of supply. As a result of the new law, the private sector has commissioned significant new generation capacity. In particular, new renewables-based generation has been built with support provided by the Renewables Law enacted in 2005.

Present State of and Prospects for Hard Coal in Poland

By Lidia Gawlik and Eugeniusz Mokrzycki, Polish Academy of Sciences

GawlikTOCThe modern economy and the development of civilization are closely related to energy consumption. Fossil fuels (hard coal, lignite, oil, and natural gas) account globally for about 80% of the demand for primary energy sources.1 The dynamics of changes in the structure of the global fuel and energy balance in the past, present, and foreseeable future indicates continuing dependence on fossil fuels as a primary energy source. The share of coal in primary energy supply of the world has increased in recent years, influenced primarily by increased consumption in China, reaching its highest level since 1971: 29% in 2013 and 2014.1 Despite these facts, its role as a fuel of the future is often questioned. This is mainly due to climate change and emissions generated from the use of coal.

Strategic Analysis

Net-Zero Emissions: New Climate Target and New Chance for Coal

By Jon Gibbins and Hannah Chalmers, UK CCS Research Centre

GibbinsTOCAt the Paris climate summit in December 2015, world leaders agreed to work to limit global climate change to 2°C and to try to achieve 1.5°C. To put the necessary cap on total cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, leaders also agreed on net-zero emissions; that is, there must be “a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century.”

The Role of Fracking in the U.S. Utility: Battle of Gas vs. Coal

By Jill Tietjen, Technically Speaking, Inc. and Russell Schussler, Georgia Transmission Corporation

TietjenTOCFor decades, coal was the dominant fuel for electric power generation in the U.S. Although advances in natural gas generation technology allowed natural gas to become increasingly competitive with coal and other generation options, regulatory constraints and market influences drove coal to remain the overwhelming source for baseload power throughout most of the 20th century. However, in the early 21st century the advent of horizontal drilling as an adjunct to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) significantly reduced the price as well as the price volatility of natural gas. These changes, combined with increased environmental regulation for coal-fired generation, have led to natural gas surpassing coal in terms of net U.S. generation.

Technology Frontiers

Effect of Coal Beneficiation on the Efficiency of Advanced PCC Power Plants

By Nenad Sarunac, University of North Carolina, Charles Bullinger, Mark Ness, Sandra Broekema, and Ye Yao, Great River Energy

SarunacTOCPulverized coal combustion (PCC) dominates power generation and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.1 Due to aging of the existing fleet of PCC plants and global increase in electricity demand, especially in emerging economies, a fleet of new highly efficient PCC plants is likely to be deployed.

Improving Flexibility of Hard Coal and Lignite Boilers

By Michalis Agraniotis, Malgorzata Stein Brzozowska, Christian Bergins, Torsten Buddenberg, and Emmanouil Kakaras, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe

AgraniotisTOCThe EU energy strategy for 2020 and 2050 sets specific targets for the transition of the current European energy system and energy market. The aim of the strategy is to encourage a low-carbon energy system with decreased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (by 50% compared with 1990 levels until 2050), increased energy efficiency, and a larger share of renewable energy sources (RES). All these developments set new challenges in the conventional thermal power sector. Under these new market conditions, modern, highly efficient natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) power plants cannot be competitive in several countries and lose market share. Hard coal and lignite power plants are often requested by grid operators to stay in operation as the backbone of the electricity generation system and to increase their operational flexibility, in order to cover the increasing fluctuations of the residual load due to the intermittent RES.

The Łagisza Power Plant: The World’s First Supercritical CFB

By Malgorzata Wiatros-Motyka, IEA Clean Coal Centre

MotykaTOCThe Łagisza power plant in Będzin, Poland, is home to the world’s first 460-MW supercritical circulating fluidized bed boiler (CFB), which remains the largest of its kind outside China. Since beginning commercial operation in June 2009, the plant has attracted considerable interest from all over the world. Experience gained from its design, construction, and operation has been a valuable stepping stone in further developing the technology and implementing it in other countries.

Resource Utilization and Management of Fly Ash

By Jinder Jow, National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy

Chen Globe ThumbnailChina’s primary energy resources are fossil-based fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal, with coal being the least expensive. From a material aspect, coal has both organic and inorganic components, quite different from oil and natural gas which have only organic materials. This article shows the process of a coal-fired power plant and its by-products—from coal mine to electricity or heat. The by-products are (1) NOx, sulfur oxides, Hg, particulate matter (PM), and CO2; (2) wastewater; and (3) fly ash, bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurized gypsum when an external desulfurization process is used. The solid by-product with the largest volume is fly ash. The fly ash retains the inorganic components of coal after combustion.

Global News

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International Outlook

Canada

Canada’s Saskpower’s C$1.5 billion Boundary Dam Carbon Capture plant at Esteven in Saskatchewan announced in August the plant has captured more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 since its start-up in October 2014. The company is on track to capture annually 800,000 tonnes of CO2 by the end of 2016. Alberta Shell’s Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project has also achieved a significant one-year milestone, capturing and storing 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) ahead of schedule.

China

Shenhua Group and SUEK the Siberian coal energy company, have held a meeting in Moscow to discuss areas of potential collaboration. SUEK is Russia’s largest coal company and Shenhua is the largest coal company in China. Both sides exchanged views on the global coal industry and market dynamics. Shenhua was represented by Vice President Wang Jinli and SUEK by CEO Vladimir Rashevsky with both saying they would find areas in which to cooperate including coal mining, processing, and supply.

U.S.

The Kemper County energy facility in Mississippi started production of syngas from its second gasifier using locally mined lignite. The project aims to utilize two commercial-scale transport integrated gasification (TRIG™) units to gasify locally mined lignite coal to produce syngas. The syngas will then be cleaned and used to fuel two combined-cycle power generating units each with a net output of 582 MW of electricity.

The WA Parish Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) project, also known as the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. Globally, the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project will be the largest post-combustion carbon capture facility on an existing coal plant. The project will use a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture process developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Approximately 90% of the CO2 will be captured from a 240-MW slipstream of flue gas from the power station’s existing 610-MW coal-fired Unit 8, and extract approximately 1.6 million tons (mt) of CO2 annually. The CO2 will be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at the West Ranch Oil Field.

International

The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016. The threshold for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved on 5 October 2016. The threshold was reached due to the ratification of the U.S. and China in September and in October the European Union. The key condition of 55 parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention, accounting for 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, was achieved. In total, 74 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval to the agreement, covering 58.82% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Recent Select Publications

CO2 Building Blocks: Assessing CO2 Utilization Options — U.S. National Coal Council — The assessment was prepared in response to a request from U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz that the federal advisory council “develop an expanded white paper assessing opportunities to advance commercial markets for carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-based power generation”. The NCC assessment concludes that CO2-EOR currently represents the most immediate, highest value opportunity to utilize the greatest volumes of anthropogenic CO2, with the greatest near-term potential to incentivize CCUS deployment. The full study is available at www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/studies/2016/NCC-CO2-Building-
Block-FINAL-Report.pdf

Case Study on Glencore Land Rehabilitation
Initiative in Australia — World Coal Association (WCA) —
The WCA has published a new case study from Glencore which examines the company’s land rehabilitation initiatives in Australia. Glencore’s rehabilitation and restoration plans go beyond the mandatory requirements. The case study reviews the rehabilitation plans taking place at Mangoola, Liddell, Westside, and Mt Owen opencast mines. Each site develops and implements an Annual Rehabilitation Plan. This plan is incorporated into day-to-day operations. Among other aims, the annual rehabilitation planning process seeks to closely integrate rehabilitation with both short- and long-term (life of mine) mine planning and operations, and assist with quality implementation of rehabilitation works as planned and designed. The case study is available at www.worldcoal.org/file_validate.php?file=2016Glencore%20case%20study.pdf

Key Meetings & Conferences

Globally there are numerous conferences and meetings geared toward the coal and energy industries. The table below highlights a few such events. If you would like your event listed in Cornerstone, please contact the Executive Editor at cornerstone@wiley.com

Conference Name Dates (2016–2017) Location Website
IEA GHG R&D Programme 13th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference
14–18 Nov
Lausanne, Switzerland
www.ghgt.info
2016 China International Energy Forum & Exhibition
28–30 Nov
Beijing, China
www.energy-tech.com.cn/en/meeting_art.aspx?id=588
COAL-GEN 2016 Conference
2–3 Dec
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
www.coal-gen.com/index.htm
17th Coaltrans USA
2–3 Dec
Miami, Florida, U.S.
www.coaltrans.com/usa/details.html
2017 8th International Conference on Clean Coal Technologies
8–12 May
Cagliari, Italy
www.cct2017.org

There are several Coaltrans conferences globally each year. To learn more, visit www.coaltrans.com/calendar.aspx.

 

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Volume 4 Issue 2

Volume 4 Issue 2

From the Editor

The World Is Changing With Smart Technologies

By Li Wenhua, Cornerstone

Wenhua HeadshotThe technology that surrounds us is getting smarter—smart cell phones, smart grids, smart transportation, just to name a few. In fact, smart technologies are changing and shaping our lives in ways of which we are often not aware, as they increasingly become part of the infrastructure impacting day-to-day life.

Cover Story

Digital, Interconnected Power Plants to Improve Efficiency and Reduce Emissions

By Jim Sutton and Peter Spinney, GE Power Boiler Services

Sutton Photo 1Countries around the world face a tremendous challenge in providing ample clean water, sustainable food supplies, and jobs to their citizens, while protecting the environment. Central to this challenge is managing and improving the power production infrastructure. Today, and for the foreseeable future, coal-fired power plants play a pivotal role by providing low-cost electricity to much of the world. Natural gas and renewables are growing in importance and are changing the ways in which traditional power plants operate. The rate of change in the electricity production business is unprecedented and is creating new opportunities for digital, interconnected, more intelligent power plants that are better able to meet these new requirements.

Voices

Developing Conventional and Alternative Energy in China

By Zuo Qianming, Cinda Securities Co., Ltd.

Zuo Photo 1Energy is the foundation of China’s economy; thus, it impacts every facet of national, economic, and social development. China’s economy is entering a period of new economic growth and energy demand after a downturn. There are numerous perspectives on the best pathway to develop various sources of energy, especially on how best to increase alternative energy sources instead of fossil fuel-based energy. During China’s energy transition, it is important that various energy strategies be thoroughly considered.

The Essential Role of Coal in Past and Future Economic Growth

By Roger Bezdek, Management Information Services, Inc.

Bezdek 5The recently published book The Rise and Fall of American Growth, by Dr. Robert Gordon, has taken the policy establishment in Washington, D.C., by storm. An eminent economist at Northwestern University outside of Chicago, Gordon’s thesis is that the incredible technological innovations of the period 1870–1920 were a “one time in history” series of events that cannot be replicated. Innovations such as electricity, telephones, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, cars, airplanes, radio, sanitation, and refrigeration transformed the U.S. and the world. They were responsible for the extraordinary growth in GDP and incomes in the U.S. and globally over the past 150 years—especially the “golden period” of 1945–1970. According to Gordon, no other period in history has brought similar comparable progress, or is likely to again.

Energy Policy

Juggling Development Objectives and the Role for Coal After the Paris Agreement

By Milagros Miranda R., World Coal Association

As of 2015 the world has a new global framework for sustainable development, supported by these four pillars: the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Finance for Development (AAAA). There are crucial and supportive links between these as the new framework calls for a holistic and integrated approach to guide actions toward achieving sustainable development.

Policy Parity for CCS Would Move the U.S. Closer to Its Climate Goals

By Janet Gellici, National Coal Council

Gellici Photo 3The most impactful action the U.S. can employ to reduce CO2 emissions is to incentivize the rapid deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Unfortunately, to date U.S. federal and state policies have severely tilted the energy playing field. Existing incentives for CCS are simply too small to bridge the gap between the cost and the risk of promising, but immature, CCS technologies vis-à-vis other low-emissions technology options. While the U.S. Department of Energy has stewarded a successful research and development program to spur early development of CCS technologies, insufficient overall support has hindered commercial deployment.

Strategic Analysis

A New Platform to Estimate Mercury Emissions

By Stephen Niksa, Niksa Energy Associates LLC

Niksa Photo 2The U.S. utility industry has already installed mercury (Hg) emissions controls at hundreds of coal-fired power plants to meet the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) that went into effect in spring 2016. Meanwhile, utility operators in the developing world are focusing on recent or impending regulations on particulates, SOX, and, perhaps, NOX. This is unfortunate because the global distribution of anthropogenic Hg emissions shows that the strongest sources of this air toxin coincide with a heavy reliance on coal for electricity generation. The situation is actually more complex because, taken together, artisanal and small-scale gold mining and coal combustion account for 60% of all anthropogenic Hg emissions, with gold mining’s contribution being about 50% greater than that of coal combustion. Whereas Hg control technologies are already being applied to power plants in developed countries, they will also need to be applied in developing countries to effectively reduce global emissions.

India’s Dash for Coal Loses Pace

By Jeremy Bowden, Cornerstone

Bowden Photo 1India has huge potential for growth in energy demand. It hosts one sixth of the world’s population and boasts the third-largest economy in purchasing power parity terms, but currently accounts for only 6% of global energy use, while 20% of the population—240 million people—still lack access to electricity. The World Bank suggests India’s GDP will grow by 7.9% in 2016, more than twice the global average. This growth, combined with modernization, urbanization, and government policies to assist those affected by energy poverty, are all expected to help drive electricity-sector growth, which has averaged 6.34% since 2009.

Coal and Clean Coal Technologies in Turkey

By Mücella Ersoy, Turkish Coal Enterprises

Ersoy Photo 1Coal is Turkey’s most important domestic energy resource. Although the country has large reserves of low-grade lignite and some hard coal resources, its oil and natural gas resources are quite limited. In recent decades Turkey has relied less and less on its domestic resources, leading to concerns about the country’s energy security.

Technology Frontiers

Powers of Perception: The State of the Art and Future of Sensors in Coal Power Plants

By Toby Lockwood, IEA Clean Coal Centre

Lockwood1Coal plant operators are increasingly constrained by a wide range of conflicting objectives, as they seek to maximize efficiency, profit, availability, and plant lifetime, while minimizing emissions and water consumption. The best set of operational parameters required to satisfy these demands can also be subject to constant change, as growing grid-connected capacities of intermittent wind and solar power oblige thermal power stations to ramp their output, and economic and environmental incentives encourage switching of coal type or biomass co-firing. To face these challenges, automation and more intelligent control systems able to optimize plant operation faster and more effectively than human operators are in increasing use; yet such systems rely on sensors to provide accurate data from the processes they control. Whereas in the past much of the operational data available to coal-fired power plant operators derived from imperfect, periodic measurements used to set long-term operating parameters, advances in sensor technologies over the last decade are now giving control systems access to a continuous stream of real-time data from previously inaccessible regions of the plant. This allows for human operators or the automated control system to take action based on considerably more information. As well, online sensors can also play an important role in monitoring the condition and performance of plant components and identifying when maintenance is required. This is particularly important given the unfamiliar and challenging operating regimes associated with frequent load following or non-design fuels.

Using Automation to Increase Mining Safety and Productivity

By Hua Guo, CSIRO

Guo 1Improving longwall mining safety, and with it productivity, is a priority for Australia’s leading applied research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). CSIRO’s Coal Mining Research Program, based at the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies, is made up of some 70 specialists who work with industry to improve ground stability and mine gas and fire control, and to develop advanced technologies that enhance workplace safety and productivity.

Advances in Pressurized Oxy-Combustion for Carbon Capture

By Richard L. Axelbaum, Benjamin Kumfer, Washington University in St. Louis
Xuebin Wang, Xi’an Jiaotong University

Axelbaum 1Coal provides enormous benefits to society and continues to be a major energy source for power generation because of its large reserves, ease of transportation and storage, and low price. Coal-fired power generation also is one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions. One promising technology for CO2 mitigation is oxy-combustion. However, first-generation oxy-combustion technologies, which operate under atmospheric pressure, suffer from a significant penalty in net generating efficiency—over 10 percentage points—primarily due to the auxiliary energy consumption from the air separation unit (ASU), flue gas recirculation (FGR), and gas processing unit (GPU). A promising new technology is pressurized oxy-combustion (POC), which can increase the plant efficiency by recovering the latent heat in the flue gas moisture and coupling it back into the steam cycle. An advanced POC technology is currently being developed at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), Missouri, U.S.A. This technology can achieve an increase of more than six percentage points in net generating efficiency over the first-generation oxy-combustion process and is paving the way for low-cost carbon capture.

Doing the Right Work at the Right Time in the Power Plant of Tomorrow

By Steven Seachman, Electric Power Research Institute

Seachman Photo 4Cisco estimates 21 billion devices will connect to the Internet by 2018 (three times the world population and up from 14 billion in 2013). This number will include sensors and other devices that aid in the supply and use of electricity. The proliferation of these sensors, the data they collect, and sophisticated new technologies that enable transformational applications of that data will profoundly change society, including the way we generate, distribute, and use electricity.

Global News

GlobalNewsPhotoCovering global business changes, publications, and meetings

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International Outlook

Australia

The Queensland government has approved mining leases for the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project in the Galilee Basin. The Carmichael project will be Australia’s largest coal mine with associated infrastructure links to a new export terminal at Abbot Point.

China

The annual installed coal capacity in 2015 was 55 GW. Companies in China are carrying out retrofits to achieve ultra-low emissions at existing coal-fired power plants. An example is the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region where 22 sets of ultra-low emission units with a total installed capacity of 9.784 GW were renovated.

Russia

Russia and China are expected to sign a contract to build the Erkovetskaya thermal power station. According to the Russian Energy Ministry, the 8000-MW thermal power station will be Russia’s largest coal-fired power station upon completion. The capacity of the Erkovetskaya power station is equivalent to the total amount of all thermal power in the Far East (9000 MW). The average annual throughput will reach 30–50 million MWh.

U.S.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of 14 research and development projects to advance energy systems that will enable cost-competitive, fossil-fuel-based power generation with near-zero emissions. The investment of $28 million is aimed at new projects to accelerate the scale-up of coal-based advanced combustion power systems, to advance coal gasification processes, and to improve the cost, reliability, and endurance of solid oxide fuel cells.

International

The Paris Agreement has been signed by 180 countries. For the Paris Agreement to enter into force, 55 parties to the UNFCCC Convention, accounting for 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, must ratify the agreement. In total, 23 countries have currently ratified the agreement, covering 1.08% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Movers & Shakers

Paul Flynn, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Whitehaven Energy, and Jianjun Gao, President of China Coal Energy Co Ltd, have been appointed to the World Coal Association Executive Committee.

Recent Select Publications

World Energy Outlook Special Report 2016: Energy and Air Pollution> — International Energy Agency (IEA) — In June the IEA launched its Special Report on Energy and Air Pollution. The report notes that around 6.5 million people die each year as a result of air pollution. The IEA proposes a pragmatic, tailored solution: A Clean Air Scenario (CAS). The report identifies three key areas for government action, including long-term air quality goals, a package of clean air policies for the energy sector, and effective monitoring, enforcement, evaluation, and communication. The full report can be downloaded free of charge from www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publications/weo-2016-special-report-energy-and-air-pollution.html

The Potential for Equipping China’s Existing Coal Fleet With Carbon Capture and Storage — International Energy Agency (IEA) — The report, part of IEA’s Insight Series 2016, identifies 310 GW of existing coal-fired power capacity that could be retrofitted. Further information about the criteria used to identify the potential plants, including costs, are in the report, which can be accessed for free from www.iea.org/publications/insights/insightpublications/ThePotentialforEquippingChinasExistingCoalFleetwithCarbonCaptureandStorage.pdf

The Role of Coal for Energy Security in World Regions — IEA Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) — The CIAB has published a report based on its study of the role coal plays globally in several important world regions: the EU-28, the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, China, India, and South Africa. The report found that applying of high-efficiency, low emission (HELE) technologies provide significant CO2 emission reductions. A further key finding is that coal provides energy security and plays an important role in balancing the relatively unpredictable feed-in of wind and solar energy. The whole report (including all country chapters) can be accessed from www.iea.org/ciab/The_role_of_coal_for_energy_security_in_world_regions.pdf

Key Meetings & Conferences

Globally there are numerous conferences and meetings geared toward the coal and energy industries. The table below highlights a few such events. If you would like your event listed in Cornerstone, please contact the Executive Editor at cornerstone@wiley.com

Conference Name Dates (2016) Location Website
23rd World Energy Congress
9-13 Oct
Istanbul, Turkey
www.wec2016istanbul.org.tr/
The World Coal Leaders NetworkTM
16–18 Oct
Lisbon, Portugal
www.coaltrans.com/world-coal-conference/details.html
IEA Clean Coal Centre 1st Coal Quality Workshop
9–10 Nov
New Delhi, India
www.iea-coal.org.uk/site/2010/conferences/coal-quality?LanguageId=0
IEA GHG R&D Programme 13th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference
14–18 Nov
Lausanne, Switzerland
www.ghgt.info
2016 China International Energy Forum & Exhibition
28–30 Nov
Beijing, China
www.energy-tech.com.cn/en/meeting_art.aspx?id=588

There are several Coaltrans conferences globally each year. To learn more, visit www.coaltrans.com/calendar.aspx

 

The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.
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Volume 4 Issue 1

Volume 4 Issue 1

From the Editor

Valuing Technology Transfer to Support the Paris Agreement

By Holly Krutka, Cornerstone

Krutka HeadshotIn late 2015 world leaders took a unified step toward addressing climate change with the culmination of the COP21 agreement in Paris. Although implementation will be far from simple, this agreement demonstrates that the world is largely ready to collaborate to meet our common objectives on climate. One of the most challenging aspects of the negotiations leading up to the agreement was how developing countries could participate in the agreement without sacrificing their development goals. Thus, the involvement of developing nations throughout the negotiation process was particularly important.

Cover Story

Fueling Increased Electricity Production

By Paul Baruya, IEA Clean Coal Centre

Baruya-Cover Story BackgroundIn the wake of COP21, as the world focuses on climate change mitigation, it can be easy to forget other important energy-sector considerations. For example, the emerging economies in Asia are eager to shake off the currency crisis of 1997 and build a robust and prosperous economic region. However, driving this growth requires more energy. There are many options for energy, and they will all play a role, but coal power is expected to be the principal contributor to increasing electricity production in many countries growing their electricity capacity.

Voices

Recognizing the U.S. Cooperative Difference

By Barbara Walz, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.

FacilityLiving in the rural U.S. is different than living in urban areas. Without a doubt, rural life has its advantages: no traffic, close to recreation, knowing your neighbors, etc. But living in rural areas is also challenging: driving for hours to get to the nearest shopping mall or doctor; limited employment options; and, for power providers, consistently delivering affordable and reliable electricity. Rural power providers are specifically challenged by low customer density, the need to install more miles of transmission, and diverse load profiles.

Calling All Technology Developers: XPRIZE’s US$20-Million Competition for Breakthroughs in CO2 Conversion

By Marcius Extavour, XPRIZE

Carbon sunglassesIncentive prize competitions are powerful tools for inspiring and showcasing technical breakthroughs, and engaging a broad community of stakeholders around a common goal. XPRIZE creates and manages the world’s largest global, high-profile incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization aims to motivate and inspire brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity.

Energy Policy

The Paris Agreement and 21st Century Coal

By Milagros Miranda R., World Coal Association

When Laurent Fabius, then France’s Foreign Minister, gaveled through the Paris Agreement on the evening of Saturday, 12 December, he signaled the end of four complex years of negotiations on climate change, and also the beginning of many more. The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met for its 21st session in Paris, from 30 November to 13 December.

A Utility Overview of the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan

By Frank Blake, American Electric Power

Blake Powerlines 2 column ImageFor more than 100 years, American Electric Power (AEP)—a major investor-owned utility delivering electricity to more than five million customers in 11 states in the U.S.—has provided affordable and reliable electricity that, in large part, has been based on the benefits of central-station fossil fuel generation and a robust transmission and distribution system. Throughout its history and especially over recent decades, AEP has sustained its industry leadership by diversifying its generation portfolio through increased use of natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, and other generation resources, and by developing more efficient means to deliver power to customers.

The Importance of System Utilization and Dispatchable Low-Emissions Electricity for Deep Decarbonization

By Jared Moore, Meridian Energy Policy

Moore Opening ImageAt COP21, all participating countries formally agreed to create self-imposed plans to limit global warming to 1.5˚C. Achieving this goal will effectively require complete decarbonization of the electricity sector. The conclusions in this article demonstrate that it is important to recognize this long-term goal—deep decarbonization—when crafting climate policy.

Strategic Analysis

Coal’s Role in ASEAN Energy

By Beni Suryadi and Sanjayan Velautham, ASEAN Centre for Energy

Velautham ThumbnailThe Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions in the world. Since the declaration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint on 20 November 2007—and the formal establishment of the AEC on 31 December 2015—it has contributed significantly to meeting the objectives of reducing the poverty rate, improving the overall well-being of the peoples of ASEAN, narrowing the development gap, strengthening economic development, and expanding both extra- and intra-ASEAN trade and investment.

What’s Driving India’s Coal Demand Growth

By Liam McHugh, World Coal Association

McHugh Opening ImageAs noted in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2015, India is in the early stages of a major transformation. While other BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations face another year of economic uncertainty, the World Bank suggests India’s GDP will grow by 7.9% in 2016, more than twice the global average. Economic growth and modernization will in turn drive energy demand, especially for coal.

Polygeneration as a Means to Reduce Energy Poverty in Pakistan

By Irfan Ali, TharPak

Ali Opening ImagePakistan, the world’s sixth most populous country, is a developing nation facing many challenges. Over the last 12 years regional conflicts have taken a considerable toll on Pakistan’s economy and have left the nation with a damaged and vastly neglected infrastructure. The energy sector has been one of the most affected segments and is in desperate need of investment and revitalization. In 2012, the country, with a population of around 178 million, produced only 80 billion kWh of electricity; compare that with the Netherlands, which produced 115 billion kWh of electricity in 2012 for a population of only 16.7 million people.

The Future of Gasification

By DeLome Fair, Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.

Yima NightGasification technology has experienced periods of both high and low growth, driven by energy and chemical markets and geopolitical forces, since introduced into commercial-scale operation several decades ago. The first large-scale commercial application of coal gasification was in South Africa in 1955 for the production of coal-to-liquids. Recently, growth in the coal gasification industry in general has slowed as the global energy price landscape has shifted significantly.

Technology Frontiers

Application of Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion With Low-Rank Asian Coals

By Ian Barnes, Hatterrall Associates

Barnes 1Low-rank coals (i.e., lignite and brown coals) have been estimated to account for approximately 50% of global coal reserves, with as much as half of those reserves considered to be economically recoverable. While the principal deposits are concentrated in the U.S. and the Russian Federation, significant reserves also exist across Asia. Over 50 billion tonnes of proven recoverable low-rank coal resources have been identified in China alone and significant reserves of lignite exist in India, Pakistan, and Thailand.

Oceanic Storage of CO2 by Japan and Taiwan

By Chen-Tung Arthur Chen, National Sun Yat-sen University

Chen Globe ThumbnailAs energy capacity increases in developing Asia and elsewhere, associated emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases could increase unless low-emissions technologies are employed. Carbon capture and storage has emerged as a potential low-emissions technology, but suitable and safe storage sites must be identified. As capacity to produce electricity grows, there is ongoing research in Japan and Taiwan to identify promising CO2 storage sites that could benefit not only the region, but also the world.

 

The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.
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Volume 3 Issue 4

Volume 3 Issue 4

From the Editor

Learning From Positive Outcomes on Land Reclamation

By Holly Krutka, Cornerstone

Krutka HeadshotAs this issue of Cornerstone goes to press, world leaders are meeting in Paris, France, for the COP21 negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Momentum for the meetings has long been building, and future issues of Cornerstone will cover the outcomes, as they pertain to the coal industry and the broader energy community. As we have done in the past, we will continue to focus on policy approaches and technologies—including high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal-fired power plants and carbon capture, utilization, and storage—which enable coal utilization in a carbon-constrained world.

Cover Story

Returning Mined Land to Productivity Through Reclamation

By Jason Hayes, American Coal Council

Hayes-Cover Story BackgroundNearly 8.2 billion tonnes of coal were produced globally in 2014. Although a great deal of activity occurs around the extraction of coal, a limited amount of land is disturbed during mining compared to total landmass. For example, Natural Resources Canada has estimated that less than 0.01% of Canada’s total landmass was used in metal and mineral mining in over 100 years. Similarly, Haigh estimated that mining affected 0.16% of the U.S.landmass from 1940 to 1971. However, even if mining affects a relatively small amount of land, its impact can be significant and the extractive industries have an ethical and often legal obligation to return land to productivity.

Voices

Working Alongside the Great Barrier Reef

By Michael Roche, Queensland Resources Council

Roche-OpeningImageCoal is a cornerstone of Queensland’s economy and is responsible for more than half the value of the state’s merchandise exports of AU$47 billion in 2014. Despite challenging market conditions, coal exports also reached a new record of 216 million tonnes in 2014—an amount that is on track to be exceeded in 2015.

Energy Policy

What Will It Take for CCS to Have a Future in the European Union?

By Samuela Bassi, London School of Economics and Political Science

Bassi_WhiteRose-2columncropped

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) can play a considerable role in tackling global climate change. By capturing CO2 and storing it underground, CCS allows coal- and gas-fired power stations to produce low-emissions electricity. Furthermore, it is the only technology that can reduce carbon emissions from large industrial installations, such as steel and cement plants. If successfully applied to bio-energy generators, CCS technology could also result in “negative emissions”, that is, it could actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

The Implications of the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan

By Roger Bezdek, Management Information Services, Inc.

Bezdek Shutterstock_172247594

On 2 June 2014, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and using the authority of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(d), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed guidelines, termed the Clean Power Plan (CPP), to reduce CO2 emissions from existing fossil-fueled power generating units. In early August 2015, the EPA released the CPP final rule, which is stricter than the initial proposal. EPA contends that the CPP would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the power sector of 32% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Strategic Analysis

Upholding Strong Environmental Values: A Key Strategy at Arch Coal

By Jim Meier, Arch Coal

Meier-DecorativeImage1

Coal is an important, naturally occurring energy source that provides numerous life-enhancing benefits to the global community. Out of respect for the land that bears this valuable resource, Arch Coal is committed to superior environmental protection during each phase of the mining process. Protecting the environment carries such importance that upholding strong safety and environmental values is a key element in Arch’s four-point operating strategy.

The Colowyo Mine: A Case Study for Successful Mine Reclamation

By Juan Garcia and Martin Stearns, Colowyo Mine

Garcia-1 two column

In northwestern Colorado, U.S., coal mining has been a critical part of the culture and economy since the turn of the 20th century. The history of the Colowyo Mine (Colowyo), currently operated by Western Fuels-Colorado, LLC, and owned by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State), dates back to 1908 when the underground Collom Mine operated in the 24-foot-thick Collom coal seam. Starting in 1976, Colowyo transitioned to a highly efficient multiseam dragline and truck-shovel surface mine that today produces approximately 2.5 million tons per year of high-quality, low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal that is used for coal-fired electrical generation.

Detailing Yancoal Australia’s Reclamation Best Practices

By Chen Anming and Zhang Liangui, Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., Ltd.

Chen ReclaimedLandatAshton
Yancoal Australia (Yancoal), a coal mining company that operates exclusively in Australia, but is majority-owned by the Chinese company Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. Ltd., produces thermal and metallurgical coal from its seven mines, most of which are opencast, located in some of the Australia’s richest coal reserves in New South Wales and Queensland. The company also manages an opencast mine in Western Australia’s Collie Coal Basin south of Perth and an open cut mine in Queensland’s Surat Basin on behalf of Yanzhou. Yancoal also has access to key port and rail infrastructure, including shareholdings or allocated capacity in major coal terminals.

Reclaiming Indian Mines

By A.M. Shah, Cornerstone

Shah-2
Unlike much of the world, India is expecting fast growth in the near term—in the second quarter of 2015, the country reported GDP growth at a rate of 7%. The country registered US$31 billion in foreign direct investment in FY15—up 27% over the previous year. Most in the current federal government believe that India’s economy will grow by as much as 9% by 2019. In addition to this projected economic growth, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s “Make In India” campaign—an initiative to push domestic manufacturing—will require India to have access to reliable energy, which is underpinned by recent mining-sector growth of 4% and electricity growth of 3.2%. 

Technology Frontiers

Mining Site Restoration by Spontaneous Processes in the Czech Republic

By Karel Prach, University of Ceské Budejovice and Czech Academy of Sciences

Prach-photo1

Despite a recent decline, mining has a long tradition in the Czech Republic and continues to represent an important part of the country’s economy. Thus, the mining industry continues to have a significant impact on landscape and nature in the country—about 0.8% of the area has been directly affected by various mining activities, not including historical mining. In total, the amount of land impacted by mining in the Czech Republic is close to the world average, about 1%. Coal mining contributes the most to this figure, followed by stone quarrying and sand and gravel extraction.

DICE—A Step Change Opportunity for Coal?

By Louis Wibberley, CSIRO

Wibberley-shutterstock_29603497
The power plants serving tomorrow’s electricity grid must overcome challenges that include higher penetration of renewables, and thus a need for increased flexibility, lower emissions, and water constraints. Even as these challenges are met, electricity will need to remain affordable. While DICE (direct injection carbon engine) is unlikely to displace ultra-supercritical baseload generation, the technology presents a very real chance to use coal to follow dramatic load changes in markets with high renewables penetration and to add smaller electricity generation in remote areas without reliable grid access.

Construction and Operation of the Shenhua Anqing High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Power Plant

By Liu Zhijiang, Shenhua Group Co., Ltd.

Liu-OpeningImage

Primary energy reserves in China are largely based on coal, with small contributions from oil and gas. In fact, coal accounts for over 90% of China’s total fossil energy reserves, meaning that China will continue to rely heavily on coal over the long term. However, China is working to reduce the environmental footprint of coal utilization, including emissions of particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and CO2. Thus, a major focus in the country is to increase the use of high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal technologies and meet the dual objectives of providing power and realizing environmental and social responsibility.

Cryogenic Carbon Capture™ as a Holistic Approach to a Low-Emissions Energy System

By Larry Baxter, Sustainable Energy Solutions and Brigham Young University

Baxter Decorative-1

Reducing global carbon emissions requires a a diverse portfolio of low-emissions technologies, including renewable energy and carbon capture and storage (i.e., CCS and CCUS). Without using the full portfolio of low-emission options, the costs for reducing global emissions will be higher and the probability of successful climate change mitigation decreases. Each technology, however, faces its own set of challenges. Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES) has developed a low-cost, integrated energy storage and CO2 capture technology, called Cryogenic Carbon CaptureTM (CCC), that can help address the major challenges faced by renewables and CCS.

Catalyzing Coal Conversion Globally: An Exclusive Interview With Li Yong-Wang of Synfuels China

By Holly Krutka, Cornerstone

Li-photo

Dr. Li Yong-Wang is the founder and president of Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd., a Beijing-based company focusing on advanced conversion technologies for coal, natural gas, and other energy assets since 2006. Dr. Li has also built up a series of subsidiary companies around the world. Synfuels China’s business is founded upon the expertise gained from research and development (R&D), three operational coal-to-liquid (CTL) plants, and the construction of the largest CTL plant in the world—producing 100,000 barrels of liquids per day (bpd), with an investment of about US$10 billion.

The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.