Project to ‘Clean Up’ the Use of Coal
CARDIFF, Wales, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
The University of Glamorgan in South Wales, UK, as coordinator of a collaborative
consortium of 13 EU partners, has secured over EUR9 million from the European Commission
for a research project which will investigate how coal can be burnt so as to facilitate
Carbon Capture and Storage, thereby minimising CO2 emissions to the environment.
The Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures
project, known as RELCOM, is designed to undertake a series of applied research,
development and demonstration activities involving both experimental studies and modelling
work to enable full-scale early demonstration oxyfuel plant to be designed and specified
with greater confidence as well as providing improved assessment of the commercial risks
Currently around 28% of electricity in the UK is produced by burning coal so the need
to find cleaner methods of burning the fuel is much needed.
The University of Glamorgan’s Professor Steve Wilcox of the Faculty of Advanced
Technology who is leading the project said, “Coal will remain a major fuel for electricity
generation worldwide for at least several decades. To reduce the impact of climate change,
the power generation industry will be increasingly required to reduce its CO2 emissions.
“Improvement of cycle efficiency and increased use of biomass help to reduce CO2
emissions in the near term, but the longer term need to move to near-zero emission power
generation will require the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies
for the fossil fuel generation of electricity.”
Oxyfuel combustion is a CCS technology where fossil fuel is fired with oxygen instead
of air, the flue gases then largely consist of CO2 and water vapour so that CO2
purification is more easily achieved.
A major challenge exists to lower the resulting flame temperatures which can be
achieved through recycle of the flue gases. This mitigates the flame temperature making
oxyfuel combustion suitable for retrofit or new-build coal power plant. Other advantages
include virtually zero emissions of the oxides of nitrogen and a significantly smaller
carbon capture plant.
Oxyfuel combustion has been demonstrated at approximately 40MWt but commercial-scale
demonstration is the next necessary step and there are significant barriers to this
Led by the University of Glamorgan, the project will be undertaken by a consortium of
higher education institutions, research centres and industrial partners, from across
Europe, bringing together the best in research facilities and technology development
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SOURCE University of Glamorgan