A major innovation in clean-coal technology by qjj20151


									A major innovation in clean-coal technology
In a world dependent on brown coal energy, Exergen has delivered a                  Exergen – a technology                            •	 By removing moisture from brown coal at                                            01
                                                                                                                                         previously unattainable levels of efficiency,
                                                                                    for its time
breakthrough clean-coal technology that will contribute to global energy security                                                        the need to bleed off large amounts of
                                                                                    •	 Exergen has developed a breakthrough              power station energy to thermally dry
for generations to come.                                                               technology for continuously processing            fuel prior to combustion is obviated.
                                                                                       materials requiring heat and pressure to          The efficiency penalty of brown coal is
                                                                                       achieve chemical recomposition.                   now finally overcome.

                                                                                    •	 One of the applications for this technology    •	 Exergen CHTD promises to unlock vast            “Although elegant in
                                                                                       is the Continuous Hydrothermal                    new thermal energy resources previously
                                                                                       De-watering (CHTD) of brown coal                  thought to be inaccessible due to high          its simplicity, CHTD
                                                                                                                                         moisture or salt content. This will, in turn,
                                                                                       (lignites). Exergen prioritised this
                                                                                       application because of the urgency                ease the energy security and environmental
                                                                                                                                                                                         delivers scalable,
                                                                                       of the global need to limit emissions             concerns of nations including Australia,
                                                                                                                                         the USA, Germany, China and India.
                                                                                       from brown coal energy production.

                                                                                    •	 In doing so, Exergen has achieved a            •	 The significant gains in emissions levels and   clean-coal technology
                                                                                                                                         water recovery delivered by Exergen CHTD
                                                                                       significant step towards overcoming the
                                                                                                                                         will extend the ‘social license’ of brown
                                                                                                                                                                                         for the first time.”
                                                                                       social and economic challenges posed by
                                                                                       many nations’ continued reliance on sub-          coal-fired power generation for decades         Peter Tait –
                                                                                       bituminous coals for energy production.           to come. The technology itself has a small      Exergen co-inventor and Director
                                                                                                                                         physical and environmental footprint.
                                                                                    •	 Core to the Exergen CHTD technology is
                                                                                       a vertical autoclave that uses gravitational   •	 Exergen CHTD is also a front-end enabling
                                                                                       head pressure and a small amount                  technology for any coal-to-liquid or coal-to-
                                                                                       of energy to transform the molecular              gas application.
                                                                                       structure of brown coal to remove up
                                                                                                                                      •	 The technology is proven and now
                                                                                       to 80 percent of its moisture content.
                                                                                                                                         ready for application to existing and
                                                                                                                                         new technology, brown coal-fired power
                                                                                                                                         generation plant.
02                                        The challenge                                      As they begin to understand the potential
                                                                                             negative implications of these factors on energy
                                                                                                                                                   Brown coal as an                                 The comparison of capital cost is also stark.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    A new technology black coal-fired power
                                          Of all the energy sources applicable to            and water security, governments around the
                                                                                                                                                   energy fuel                                      station will cost around 25 percent less to
                                          base-load power generation, brown coal is          world are becoming increasingly concerned.            Brown coal contains up to 70 percent water       construct and commission than its brown
                                          the most plentiful. It is also the cheapest and                                                          by mass.                                         coal equivalent.
                                                                                             So the rush is on to develop clean coal
                                          easiest to mine.
                                                                                             technologies. But despite significant research        Before it can be used as a fuel, brown coal      Thus, the cost benefits of brown coal are
                                          As a fuel for inexpensive power generation,        and development programs in Germany,                  must be dried as part of an energy intensive     eroded by its environmental and capital
          “This innovation is             it is of strategic importance to many economies    the USA and Australia, little progress has            power station fuel preparation and delivery      disadvantages.                                  “Exergen’s technology
                                          including those of the USA, China, India,          been made toward achieving energy-efficient           cycle. The result is an automatic ‘energy
      capable of delivering               Indonesia, Germany, and Australia.                 and cost-effective coal drying.                       penalty’ as furnace heat is diverted from
                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is a challenge of global significance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Even if renewable energy technologies succeed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    is proof of Australia’s
                                                                                                                                                   power generation to fuel drying. In addition,
        short and long-term               In recent years, however, it has attracted         This was the context in which Exergen made
                                                                                                                                                   brown coal generation plant incurs an
                                                                                                                                                                                                    in playing a major role in meeting energy       ability to innovate and
                                          criticism due to the significant energy burden     the decision to accelerate the development of                                                          demand, there will be a continuing reliance
                                                                                                                                                   increased capital cost due to the need for
           benefits to brown              (and resultant emissions burden) of drying         its CHTD technology – its clear ambition being to
                                                                                                                                                   fuel drying infrastructure.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    on brown coal for generations to come.          to practically solve
                                          the coal prior to combustion.                      bring to fruition a practical and viable technology
             coal-dependent                                                                  within the shortest possible timeframe.               The quantum of this energy penalty is evident                                                    problems that are of
                                          Unless cleaner coal technologies are
                                                                                                                                                   in a comparison of greenhouse emissions
      economies from both                 developed and applied, brown coal may
                                                                                                                                                   from brown and black coal generation plant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    global significance.”
                                          become a ‘pariah’ fuel. Products made
      an environmental and                using energy created from brown coal will
                                                                                                                                                   of similar ages. The average emissions profile
                                                                                                                                                   of Latrobe Valley brown coal-fired power
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Hon Martin Ferguson –
                                          be targeted for their high carbon cost, in turn                                                                                                                                                           Federal Minister for Energy
     economic standpoint.”                eroding the ‘social license’ required to exploit
                                                                                                                                                   stations is approximately 1300 kilograms of                                                      and Resources
                                                                                                                                                   CO2 per megawatt hour of power sent out.
                                          brown coal as a fuel. The additional overlay of
     Martin Albrecht – Exergen Director                                                                                                            This compares with around 900 kilograms per
                                          carbon taxes will mean that brown coal-fired
                                                                                                                                                   megawatt hour for New South Wales black
                                          power may well lose much of the cost benefit
                                                                                                                                                   coal-fired generation.
                                          it currently enjoys.
     An outline of the CHTD technology.                                                                                                           Exergen’s Beaconsfield pilot plant

04                                          The Exergen technology                           As an additional benefit, the water extracted
                                                                                             from the coal can meet up to 40 percent of the
                                            Until now, removing water from brown coal        make-up requirement for power station cooling.
                                            has often been an energy-intensive exercise,
                                                                                             Like most significant advances in technology,
                                            resulting in little or no net emissions gain.
                                                                                             the basis for this innovation is elegantly simple.
                                            By contrast, Exergen has developed a process
                                            that utilises excellent heat and pressure        The Exergen development team has now
                                            recovery to achieve the decarboxylation          delivered a proven technology that has been
                             “No other      of brown coal. The process exerts 100            successfully demonstrated at a pilot plant in
                                            atmospheres of pressure and 300 degrees
              technology shows              of temperature upon a brown coal slurry for
                                                                                             Beaconsfield, North East Tasmania. Coals from
                                                                                             Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and other Australian
          as much promise as                a period of a few minutes.                       and international locations have been upgraded
                                                                                             with almost uniform benefits.
                                            These conditions alter the molecular structure
         Exergen in achieving               of the coal, collapsing pores within the coal
                                            particle and making it unable to hold as
                coal de-watering            much moisture. The coal changes from being

                on a commercial             hydrophilic (water attracting) to hydrophobic
                                            (water repelling), allowing the water to be
                                 scale.”    removed from the coal more easily. The water
                                            is extracted from the coal in a liquid state
      Dale Elphinstone – Exergen Director   rather than as vapour, closely replicating the
                                            natural transformation that, over millions of
                                            years, creates high-grade black coal from
                                            sub-bituminous brown coal.
                                                                                                                                               The Exergen Beaconsfield pilot plant producing transformed coal


                                                                                    Coal moisture       20-25%

                                                                                    Dry coal mass
     Schematic showing moisture in brown
                                                       Net wet CV                                                  Net wet CV
     coal before and after the Exergen process          9.0 MJ/kg                                                  19.5 MJ/kg
     (designated moisture levels approximate
     only, and raw material specific).            Raw brown coal                                                   Exergen CHTD coal

06   Advantages of the                           •	 Heat	recovery	is	greater	than	90	percent	due	to	efficient	autoclave	design                                                                                   07
     Exergen CHTD process                        •	 The	pressure	required	to	support	the	reaction	is	achieved	through	gravitational	head,	
                                                    eliminating	the	need	for	high	pressure	pumps

                                                 •	 Water	is	separated	from	the	coal	in	the	liquid	state,	eliminating	the	energy	required		
                                                    to	dry	the	coal	through	evaporation

                                                 •	 The	decarboxylation	reaction	transforms	the	coal	from	being	hydrophilic	(water	
                                                    attracting),	to	hydrophobic	(water	repelling),	making	the	water	separation	process	
                                                    easier	and	more	effective

                                                 •	 Water	extracted	from	the	coal	may	be	treated	for	use	in	the	power	station	cooling	
                                                    towers,	meeting	up	to	40	percent	of	the	make-up	requirement

                                                 •	 The	chemical	transformation	of	the	coal	reduces	its	ability	to	carry	moisture,		
                                                    which	lowers	its	equilibrium	moisture	content,	making	it	less	likely	to	absorb	
                                                    atmospheric	moisture

                                                 •	 Soluble	inorganics	(salts)	are	separated	from	the	coal	with	the	water.	Up	to	60	percent	
                                                    of	sodium	is	removed,	reducing	the	power	station	maintenance	cost	associated	with	
                                                    boiler	slagging

                                                 •	 The	removal	of	carbon	dioxide	from	the	coal	further	increases	its	energy	density		
                                                    per	mass

                                                 •	 The	carbon	dioxide	removed	from	the	coal	is	pure	enough	to	be	sequestration-ready

                                                 •	 Dense	components	of	the	ash	(such	as	quartz)	may	be	removed	from	the	coal	slurry,	
                                                    leading	to	reduced	wear	on	power	station	equipment

                                                 •	 The	Exergen	process	is	simple	and	continuous	and	can	be	readily	up-scaled	to	a		
                                                    feed-rate	of	thousands	of	tonnes	per	hour
                                                                                                                                                      Exergen’s vision is to develop, commercialise, license and continually
                                                                                                                                                      improve its breakthrough technology to enable brown coal-dependent
                                                                                                                                                      economies to meet their energy needs while substantially reducing emissions,
                                                                                                                                                      water consumption and costs.

08                                     The implications of                                  Exergen – the company                                “Latrobe Valley Next                                                                09
                                       Exergen CHTD                                         Exergen is a company founded in Australia to
                                                                                                                                                 Generation” Project
                                       Exergen CHTD will play a significant role in         leverage the extraordinary vertical autoclave        Exergen is working with its cornerstone
                                       enabling brown coal to continue to meet              technology invented by Peter Tait and                shareholders, Tata Power, Thiess Pty Ltd,
                                       the energy needs of economies around                 Don Nicklin and developed with the support           Itochu Corporation and Sedgman Limited
                                       the world by reducing emissions and water            of Martin Albrecht and Dale Elphinstone.             to develop a 12mta coal export project based
          “The implications            consumption.
                                                                                            Exergen shareholders now also include Thiess,
                                                                                                                                                 on Victoria’s extensive brown coal deposits.

                                       It will also assist in making the case for           a leading engineering and services provider;         The development will contribute to a pathway
         of this technology            investment in new technology brown                   Tata Power, a member of the Indian Tata Group of     to lower emissions both domestically and
                                                                                            Companies; Sedgman, leading coal processing
          will be important,           coal-fired generation infrastructure.
                                                                                            and engineering specialists; and Itochu
                                                                                                                                                 internationally for coal power generation.

                                       Exergen’s export potential can be realised
      both in Australia and            through the development of a significant coal
                                                                                            Corporation, a major Japanese trading company.

                                                                                            The environmentally-focused philosophy of the
         around the world.             resource in Australia’s Latrobe Valley. This will,
                                       in turn, provide the opportunity for Victoria to     organisation is reflected in its prioritisation of

        The contribution to            join Australia’s coal exporting states.              the application of the Exergen technology to
                                                                                            lignite and sub-bituminous coals.
     reduced emissions is
                                                                                            The future of Exergen
     of incalculable value.”
                                                                                            Already research is underway to further refine
                    Prasad Menon –                                                          the CHTD process and to develop other
       Managing Director, Tata Power                                                        applications for the technology. In addition,
                                                                                            the vertical autoclave technology will be
                                                                                            applied to the energy-efficient refining of
                                                                                            bauxite, nickel and other minerals.
For more information on Exergen and
its breakthrough CHTD technology,
please contact:

Melbourne Office
Dr. Jack Hamilton - CEO
Exergen Pty Ltd
Ground Floor
164 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: +61 3 9654 5593
Fax: +61 3 9654 5574
Email: jhamilton@exergen.com.au

Brisbane Office
David Johnston - General Manager Development
Exergen Pty Ltd
Level 3, 24 McDougall Street
Milton QLD 4064

PO Box 1315
Milton QLD 4064
Telephone: +61 7 3512 5666
Fax: +61 7 3367 1094
Email: djohnston@exergen.com.au


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