|Links with China and Japan|
|BCIA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Phil Gurney|
|I recently visited both China and Japan to build links with a number of research groups and companies involved in brown coal research and development activities. The trip also provided an opportunity to strengthen our existing networks and, as such, I attended the Japan Coal Energy Centre (JCOAL) Clean Coal Day seminar (BCIA is the only international member of JCOAL).|
|I was hosted by Tsinghua University in China and met with the leaders of a number of Beijing based research groups to discuss research programs and possible collaborative projects.|
While in China I also had the opportunity to visit Inner Mongolia and to see a new coal-to-fertiliser project which was being commissioned. The project uses a coal gasifier based on designs from Tsinghua University and it was great to see university research and development having such a direct impact on commercial applications.
With adequate consideration of CO2 emissions (for example, through the application of carbon capture technology), such coal upgrading plants could have application in Australia; providing employment and generating income for the local community.
The theme of upgrading Australian brown coal was also echoed in Japan where there was a prominent talk on the development of hydrogen from coal at the JCOAL symposium. This is an area of growing importance as Japan considers how to reduce dependence on nuclear power in the wake of last year’s earthquake.
|BCIA has recently funded a project to look at the Australian requirements for a hydrogen supply chain for Japan and this has demonstrated the potential for future commercial projects in this area.|
|In this edition of Perspectives on Brown Coal, we highlight Australia’s participation at two recent international coal conferences, ‘Clean Technologies of Coal and Biomass’ in China and the ‘Clearwater Clean Coal Conference’ in Florida, United States.|
I joined a delegation of Australian experts in attendance at each conference with Australia’s brown coal scene on the agenda at the Clearwater Conference for the first time.
This issue also provides an update on activities associated with National Carbon Capture and Storage Week and Hui-En Teo, one of BCIA’s six PhD scholarship recipients, provides an insight into her research on ‘A Novel Dewatering Approach to Victorian Brown Coal’.
In addition, we will feature our regular updates on BCIA’s activities and highlights of our research and membership programs.