Helping the minerals industry improve sustainability
A sophisticated mathematical model to identify how furnace operations will need to be modified to use dried brown coal is one of the diverse range of CSIRO projects in this edition.
Dried brown coal has 70 per cent less water than the brown coal currently used in Victorian power generation plants, which gives it the potential to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from that source.
CSIRO’s Dr Phil Schwarz said the change from wet to dried coal represents a challenge for existing combustion systems.
“Directly replacing the present coal with dried coal will change the temperature profile in the furnace and it may not operate optimally,” Dr Schwarz said.
The project is partly funded through the Victorian Government’s Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS).
Dr Schwarz and his team have developed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that reproduces the coal-burning process within a furnace. The researchers are validating the CFD model using a scaled-down physical model.
The information from the CFD model could be used by Victorian power generation companies to reconfigure their furnaces to accommodate the dried coal, and help to maximise outputs.
Other stories in this issue of Process include:
Wetland filter puts polish on Ranger rehabilitation: Researchers are working closely with mining company ERA at its Ranger uranium mine, conducting environmental research related to the management of waste water and tailings streams from the mine.
The human face of sustainability: Social researchers are working with the minerals industry in an attempt to predict the challenges the minerals industry will face in the future, and explore pathways to social sustainability.
LCA shows full picture on energy use: Life-cycle assessment is helping the minerals industry obtain a true picture of the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of different processes and identifying opportunities for improving performance.
Waste wood offers ‘greener’ steel options: Researchers have found that sufficient volume of biomass residues exist in forestry, agricultural and horticultural waste to meet the predicted charcoal needs of the Australian steel industry.
These and other stories can be found in the June issue of Process¸ which will be released on Wednesday 3 June. A pdf of the magazine is available now at: Process magazine (Jun 09).
Download images at: Helping the minerals industry improve sustainability.
- Projects designed to improve the sustainability of Australia’s minerals and coal industries are in this issue of Process
- A mathematical model to identify how furnace operations will need to be modified to use dried brown coal is one of the CSIRO projects in this edition