14.8 RESEARCH

14.8 RESEARCH

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RESEARCH
BCIA R&D portfolio update

BCIA was established as a not-for-profit company in December 2009, with funding from the Victorian Government and the Federal Government in addition to industry members. BCIA has a mandate to co-invest with key stakeholders in research and development of technologies to increase the environmentally responsible use and application of brown coal.
By David McManus, Research Investment Manager, BCIA

BCIA has taken a strategic approach to investing in a brown coal research and development service delivery model, by allocating resources across three core strategies:
1. Technology research and development;
2. Skills development; and
3. Networks and linkages.

The projects in BCIA’s R&D portfolio have been selected to address three key technical areas:
  • Production of low-emissions power from brown coal;
  • Production of low-emissions power or products from brown coal using gasification; and
  • Production of other value-added products from brown coal.

To date, BCIA has built a A$53.3 million portfolio of contracted research activity, involving nearly 50 companies and research institutes. The research funded by BCIA has generated in excess of 650 publications and presentations, showing the keen interest in this activity in industry and academic areas, and highlighting the importance of the work done.

BCIA has contributed to nearly forty PhD students, two senior research leader fellows, and maintains regular contact with its stakeholder database of over 1,200 individuals representing more than 500 organisations worldwide.
BCIA has co-funded three carbon capture plants in the Latrobe Valley to accelerate the deployment of CCS in Victoria, fast-tracked the development of technologies that will more than halve emissions from coal use, and built strong international collaborations with Japan, US, China and Europe.

The projects in BCIA’s 2010–2011 Funding Round have either finished or are near-completion, with some moving forward as part of the 2013–2014 Funding Round. The research is being conducted at a very high technical standard and has delivered significant outcomes, most of which are published in peer-reviewed journals.

Despite these positive achievements, there is very limited public understanding of the technical options that are being developed to assist Victoria’s energy industry transition toward near-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and to create new value-adding industries based on Victoria’s huge brown coal reserves.

To help build the public profile of the high quality research work that is being done with BCIA support, BCIA is currently preparing a summary report that will highlight the achievements over the past five years. This report will be ready for distribution at the International Conference on Coal Science & Technology (ICCS&T 2015), to be held in Melbourne in September, to showcase Victoria’s progress in low-emissions brown coal technologies to the world.





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