Demand for coal is expected to continue increasing, mainly for thermal power generation, and the ratio of coal among the primary energy will rise. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions accompanying increased use of coal, it is imperative to urgently establish the technologies for improving the efficiency of and achieving zero emissions from the coal thermal power generation. For sustainable coal supply, it is also a pressing issue to promote use of low-quality coal.
Japan has world's highest level technologies for highly efficient power generation and for use of low-quality coal, together with relevant technologies. JCOAL believes it to be the role that Japan should play to promote such technologies in a form suitable for the global coal situations.
JCOAL has organized the Technology Development Committee for setting agendas that contribute to early establishment, demonstration, and commercialization of key technologies and to creation of new projects on a mid- to long-term basis. As the fruits of these activities, the Committee has prepared the JCOAL/CCT Road map, which will be updated as required when revisions are made to "the Strategic Energy Plan of Japan."
JCOAL/CCT ROAD MAP
With a view to commercializing low-temperature, constant-pressure atmospheric circulating fluidized bed gasification furnaces (TIGAR) for producing chemical fuels from gasified lignite of Indonesia, IHI has carried a test of a 6 tons/day pilot plant for collection of data in preparation for the demonstration and feasibility study. IHI plans to perform the demonstration using the collected data. In addition, IHI plans to build a 50tons/day demonstration plant in Indonesia, and to check the operation performance for the commercial use from 2014. JCOAL has been helping with market research or technology research for this project.
Following is the features of TIGAR which make the technology easily acceptable for wider use:
50 Tons/Day Demonstration Plant
1)Separation of Gasification Furnace and Combustion Furnace
・Steam gasification can produce high hydrogen concentration and high-calorific gas
2)Atmospheric pressure Circulating Fluidized Bed Gasification Reactor
・Various types of materials (coal, biomass, etc.) can be used
・Easy to operate with lower maintenance cost
3)Expertise of circulating fluidized bed boilers, widely used in Southeast Asia and China, can be applied
SEM Photo of Fly Ash
Coal ash, a byproduct of coal, is yet to be fully and widely utilized. JCOAL is engaged in relevant activities to pursue utilization or process of coal ash.
JCOAL is conducting a nation-wide fact-finding survey of coal ash with relevant industry, in order to help develop and diffuse technologies that can increase efficient use of coal ash, which is expected to grow in volume. JCOAL has been carrying out a questionnaire investigation for companies in the general industry that have power generation facilities with output of 1,000 kW or over using coal-fired boilers, collecting information on the volumes of coal ash produced and utilized as well as the utilization methods, and observing changes in the volumes and methods over a long period of time.
Once every two years, JCOAL holds the Symposium for Utilization of Coal Ash, in which presentations are made on cases of coal ash utilization in Japan, latest development in the research of ash coal utilization technologies, and issues to be addressed when utilizing coal ash.
As a guideline for use of coal ash as ingredient of mixed materials, such as the mixture with a small volume of cement and water, etc., JCOAL, in cooperation with the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Port and Airport Research Institute, etc., prepared and published the "Guideline for Utilization of Coal Ash Mixed Materials for Port and Harbor Construction Work." JCOAL hopes that the Guideline will help promote utilization of coal ash in the port and harbor construction work.
10 Tons/Day Process Development Unit (PDU)
As one of the key technologies for utilization of lignite, JCOAL has supported the characteristics survey and applicability research of lignite to the high efficiency drying system, together with the bench-scale test, with a view to improving the thermal efficiency of lignite drying by incorporating the self-heat recuperation method.
In order to develop the chemical looping technologies for conversion of coal into heat and fuel gas through chemical reactions of the medium, separating carbon dioxide without direct contact of coal with the oxygen gas, various chemical looping technologies in Japan and overseas, and conduct a market research for the entire system including development of auxiliary facilities are being conducted.
With a view to studying technologies for producing formed coke and binder for production of coke from Indonesian low-quality coal, and examining the possibility of commercial application of the technologies, JCOAL and its members companies have conducted from fiscal 2009 component analyses of low-quality coal and demonstration experiment of the coking furnace using the produced binder.
In 2012 commissioned by JOGMEC, JCOAL and its member companies conducted basic research pursuing the possibilities for supporting the process development by tekMIRA /PTBA with Japan's coke making technology.
JCOAL undertakes the operations related to establishment of JIS standards in the field of coal and coke in Japan. It also acts as the ISO TC27 Japan Committee Secretariat. New analytical method of trace element in coal is under considering as JIS standard.
The ISO/TC263, which was established in response to the proposal from the Standardization Administration of China in February 2011 for compiling standards related to CBM terminology and transportation of dual-phase fluids, is expected to be the consultation of transportation of methane gas at the explosion limit concentration. As the consultation may affect utilization of coal mine methane, JCOAL participates in the ISO/TC263 as a member for collection of information, and will act as leader for establishment of the deliberative council and domestic deliberative bodies.
In relation to the ISO/TC265, which was established in response to the proposal of the Standards Council of Canada in October 2011 in the field of carbon capture and storage (CCS), the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) was approved by the Japan Industrial Standards Committee to act as the domestic deliberative body. It is determined that the domestic deliberative committee will be established to study the CCS standardization, and JCOAL has sent members to the committee in order to make appropriate contributions.
JCOAL has been conducting operation of a 10 tons/day of unused waste timber gasification co-generation demonstration plant in an area of heavy snowfall Yokote, Akita prefecture to produce 180kw electricity, 300kw thermal and 300kg/day of bio cokes by gasification co-generation.
Coal as auxiliary fuel to biomass (unused waste timber) contributes to stabilize operation performance of gasification co-generator. This is such demonstration plant. Nationwide dissemination of this biomass utilization technology is intended after the demonstration has been completed.