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Ultra-clean Coal-derived Fuels: A Novel Approach to Sustainable Development
来源: | 作者:RevTech | 发布时间: 2019-10-12 | 913 次浏览 | 分享到:

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, global energy consumption grew rapidly in 2018 (by 2.9%), while China, United States and India contributing two-thirds of the growth of global energy demand. Both oil and gas production in the US were growing at its fastest rate ever, reflecting the importance of the US shale revolution. At the same time renewable energy, represented by wind and solar power, is growing much faster than other energy sources. However, contrary to the goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change the carbon emissions increased by 2.0% in 2018, the highest growth rate in nearly seven years. That’s 600 million tons of new carbon emissions, equivalent to adding one third of world passenger cars. The past year has once again warned us that we are on an unsustainable path.

SourceBP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019

Coal Utilization and Environmental Problems

Coal consumption rose 1.4% in 2018, double the average growth rate of the past decade, led by India (36 Mtoe) and China (16 Mtoe), and remains the Asia-Pacific region’s leading source of power generation. Despite its continuous growth, renewable energy accounted for only 9.3% of electricity generation while coal still being dominant at 38%. It is not feasible to rely entirely on renewable energy.

SourceBP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019

In the process of coal mining, processing, storage and utilization, a large number of harmful gases, dust and waste residue are discharged, which leads to the atmospheric ozone layer destruction, the Greenhouse effect and acid rain, endangering the ecological balance and human living environment. The problem is particularly acute in South Asia where 18 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities in 2018 are located in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Air pollution has reportedly reduced life expectancy in India by 5.3 years, in Delhi’s Hapur and Bulandshahr districts by 12 years. In the context of global electrification, how to meet the rapidly growing power demand while reducing the carbon emission of the power sector, especially in developing countries and regions, will be the major challenge confronting the international community in the next two decades.

Is Gas the Solution?

To improve air quality, China launched ‘Coal to Gas Switching’ policy which has given a strong boost to natural gas consumption (up to 18%). However, the shortage of gas storage capacity makes it difficult for China to cope with the sudden increase in natural gas demand, with a 100 billion cubic meters natural gas shortfall and 43% dependence on imported gas. In addition to short gas sources and imperfect infrastructure, natural gas also produces large amounts of nitrogen oxides during combustion. Mr. Ni Weidou, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has pointed out that based on his calculation from thermal power plants the nitrogen oxide emissions will not decrease, but increase after the ‘Coal to Gas Switching’. The embarrassing fact that the number of smoggy days did not go down indicates that Beijing’s ‘coal to gas switching’ policy has not been very successful in improving the air environment, especially the smog pollution caused by PM2.5.

China has been aware of the problems resulted from the massive coal to gas shift and called it off recently. China’s experiences indicate the local resource endowment and objective conditions cannot be ignored. In 2018 Coal remains the dominant fuel and its share in China’s primary energy consumption is still as high as 58%. Problems caused by coal utilization need to be faced head-on. The most effective way to control pollution by coal utilization is to promote clean coal technology and upgrade thermal power plants and their coal-fired industrial boilers so as to achieve clean and efficient utilization of coal.

New Idea to solve the problem of coal utilization

United States, European Union, Japan and other countries have started research on clean and efficient coal utilization for years. In China has also emerged an innovative technology, known as RevTech Minerals Separation Technology. It is boasted able to comprehensively solve the problems of energy, pollution and soil deterioration by revolutionarily processing coal before utilization. In addition to the ultra-clean liquid coal fuel produced, the incombustible mineral in coal is separated to prepare soil remediation materials which can be used to solve soil hardening and haze formation caused by ammonia escape from the excessive use of chemical fertilizers. There are two major products from the RevTech Minerals Separation process:

Ø  One is Clean Solid Fuel/Feedstock (CSF) which is featured with high calorific value, rich organic matters, low sulfur and ash content. It can be used to prepare high-performance liquid fuels for boilers or slurry feedstock for gasification in coal chemical industry and to make high-value carbon-based material or processed into a kind of fuel additive in order to improve the calorific value of various high energy fuels.

Ø  The other is the natural mineral ash. Rich in mineral components, important nutrients and trace elements required for plant growth, it is referred as Soil Remediation Mineral (SRM). The SRM can be further utilized to produce a new type of Soil Remediation Amendment (SRA) through a series of chemical and biochemical activation processes during which SRM is made into new type of slow-release chemical fertilizers by surface treatment and chemical synthesis with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

The use of SRA is expected to greatly improve the efficiency of chemical fertilizer application and achieve a synergy of chemical fertilizer industry and green agriculture. SRA can restore of soil health, improves the nutrient content as well as the yield of agricultural and sideline products through organic growth. At the same time, it changes farmers’ fertilization habits and reduces the decomposition and escape of ammonia during the use of nitrogen fertilizer, thus helping to the battle against haze.

So different from the traditional passive pollution clean-up approach, RevTech Minerals Separation Technology is a front-end solution which focuses on active air pollution prevention rather than clean up.

Advantages of Liquid Coal Fuel

The ultra-clean coal-derived fuel/feedstock prepared by RevTech Minerals Separation Technology is in a kind of liquid which can flow like petroleum. Compared to other clean energy it has following advantages:

Ø  Economic: Coal based energy remains the most cost competitive by US$0.04/kWh, comparing Nuclear and Wind at around 6, Oil and Gas at 7-8, and Solar at US$0.32/kWh.

Ø  Application: The ultra-clean coal fuel/feedstock has a vast variety of application from fuel to feedstock for chemical industry while other sources mainly focus on power generation. 

Ø  Availability: High availability based on stable resource and production schedule. Abundance of local coal resource dispelled vulnerability to weather, imports or special regulations.

Ø  Storage & Transportation: Easy to store and transport. Pipe & tank transportation reduces unjustified losses. 

Ø  Safety: Presence of water makes the coal explosion-proof.

Ø  Environmental friendliness: Moderate combustion temperature leading to lower NOx emissions. NOx emission from RevTech Coal fluid combustion is at 50mg/Nm3 at ~870℃ vs. that of Natural Gas at 300-500mg/Nm3 at 1200-1500℃.

Multiple Application Areas

RevTech Minerals Separation Technology can be used to produce economical and environmentally-friendly Clean High Energy Fuel/Feedstock and oil/alcoholic coal slurry which will greatly impact electricity, distributed energy, thermal power, land transportation, shipping, chemical, military equipment and other industries.

 I.     For civilian application: CSF can be widely used in power station boilers, industrial boilers/furnaces to replace oil, gas and coal for heating, cooling and hot water supply for hotels, houses, office buildings, etc.

II.     For chemical application: CSF can be used in coal chemical industry typically to produce ammonia, methanol as well as in the direct/indirect coal liquefaction and polygonation based on coal gasification, and can greatly reduce the Capex and Opex of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) that set a new hope for the commercial application of IGCC.

III.     As fuel additives: CSF can be used as fuel additive to improve the caloricity and energy density of various high energy fuels such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, fuel oil, alcohol ether and natural gas.

IV.     SRM and soil amendments: SRM separated by RevTech Minerals Separation Technology is low cost, pollution-free, abundant in source and rich in nutrients and trace elements required for plant/crop growth. It can be used as a key feedstock to make new type of fertilizers and soil amendments.

The commercial application of RevTech Minerals Separation Technology is expected to achieve the synergy among different industries of coal, coal chemical, fertilizer and agriculture, and to form a new industrial chain and bring a revolutionary upgrades to the traditional industries.

The Path to Sustainability

The principle of Sustainable development focuses on the balance between ecological endurance, economic development and social well-being, which has been imposing influence to all aspects of our life. Sustainable utilization of resources is one of the key aspects to achieve a sustainable economic and social development of a country. Over the past decades we already witnessed the growing share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, the booming of electric vehicle (EV) market, scalable and cost-effective advances on commercial hydrogen production and several technological solutions for the responsible use of our fossil energy resources. Big change is already on the way. A more sustainable world may be just around the corner.

About the Authors

This article has been prepared by the Marketing and the executive team of RevTech (http://www.revtech.com.cn/).

For further information: Honghai DONG, CEO, donghh@revtech.com.cn