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Globally, there is a growing concern about fuel diversity and security of supply, particularly with regard to oil and natural gas. In contrast, coal is available from a much wider range of sources and has greater price stability. Consequently, coal use is increasing rapidly, and by 2030 may well reach a level of more than 4,500 Mtoe, corresponding to close to a doubling of current levels. However, at the same time, tightening regulations will require better solutions for achieving environmental compliance, for which coal has a number of key issues to address. Most of the coal will be used in the power generation sector. Consequently, the key research challenges are to develop and deploy methods by which coal can be used cleanly, efficiently, and in a sustainable way. These include improvements to existing coal utilisation technologies, particularly to improve operational flexibility and availability, while reducing energy use through higher efficiencies. There is an increasing need to ensure improved emissions control, with the emphasis on achieving ever-lower emissions of particulates, SO2 and NOx while also introducing control of trace species, particularly mercury. Alongside this, a key challenge is the integration of techniques that can capture CO2 then transport and store it within secure geological formations, thereby resulting in near zero emissions of CO2. From a power plant perspective, the need is to achieve such integration while minimising any adverse impact on power plant efficiency, performance of existing emissions control systems, operational flexibility and availability. At the same time, means to minimize the additional costs associated with such technology must be established.
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- Coal and Clean Coal Technology: Challenges and Opportunities
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg