Victorian Brown Coal Research Presented in China
By Prof Klaus Hein, BCIA Research Fellow

(RIGHT): Opening of the CTCBU workshop by Professor Klaus Hein, BCIA Fellow.

The first international workshop on “Clean Technologies of Coal and Biomass” (CTCBU) was held from 27 to 29 June 2012 in Anshan, China, hosted by the University of Science and Technology, Liaoning (USTL).

This workshop was initiated through the collaboration of the USTL with Monash University and was organised by Professor Jianglong Yu, Liaoning and Associate Professor Sankar Bhattacharya, Monash.

Sponsorship was provided by the Australia-China Joint Coordination Group on Clean Coal Technology Research and Development Grant, the Anshan New Chemical Industry Company Ltd and the Liaoyuan Huiyu New Energy Company.

Prior to the workshop, visits to the USTL laboratories and to the Sinosteel Research Institute of Thermo-Energy in Anshan were arranged in order to introduce major highlights and areas of interest at local universities and industrial research organisations.

The workshop was aimed at exchanging R&D ideas and achievements and sharing information on clean technologies for coal and biomass utilisation. Current and completed R&D activities were presented to determine areas of mutual interest for joint high level international publications and to initiate the exchange of research students.

A major goal of the workshop was to strengthen the collaboration in academic and applied research between China and Australia.

CTCBU attracted participants from the two organising institutes and also from three other universities in Australia – University of New South Wales, University of Western Australia and Newcastle University.

Two universities from Japan, as well as several other high ranking universities from China were also represented. In addition, there were several local Chinese industry participants.

Over the two days of the workshop, seven plenary lectures, six keynote lectures, 30 oral presentations and 31 posters were delivered.

These submissions dealt predominantly with fundamental and applied research into conversion processes for coal and biomass such as upgrading, combustion, pyrolysis and gasification, including problems during operation as well as emission control issues.

Victorian brown coal was one of the feature topics of the workshop with nine presentations reporting on R&D activities in this area.

Following a plenary lecture on brown coal research by BCIA Fellow Professor Klaus Hein and an introductory keynote lecture on brown coal gasification by Associate Professor Sankar Bhattacharya, the following ongoing scientific projects at Monash University were presented:

  • ‘Experimental investigation of Oxy-Fuel fluidized bed combustion using Victorian brown coal’ (investigator: Bithi Roy, Presenter: Dr Wei Lit Choo)
  • ‘Gasification characteristics of woody and algal biomass char’ (Investigator: Kawnish Kirtania, Presenter: Dr Wei Lit Choo)

  • ‘The kinetics of drying of Chinese lignite and Victorian brown coals in a small steam fluidized bed’ (Investigator: David Stokie, Presenter: Dr Meng Wai Woo)
  • ‘Reduction characteristics of hematite during chemical looping combustion of Victorian brown coal’ (Investigator: Chiranjib Saha, Presenter: Prof Sankar Bhattacharya
  • ‘Application of coal and biomass in direct carbon fuel cells (DCFCs)’ (Investigator: Adam Rady, Presenter: David Stokie)
  • ‘Characteristics of Victorian brown coal chars under low temperature entrained flow gasification conditions’ (Investigator: Bayzid Kazi, Presenter: David Stokie)
  • ‘Sulphur emission from a Victorian brown coal under Oxy-fuel conditions’ (Investigator: Chen Luguang, Presenter: Dr Meng Wai Woo)

ABOVE: Best paper nomination for ‘Gasification characteristics of woody and algal biomass char’, a project at Monash University.

Planning is underway for a selection of presentations from the workshop as peer-reviewed articles in a special issue of the international journal Fuel Processing Technology.

The workshop program was very well accepted by the audience and several direct contacts for further exchange were established.

In particular, the first joint publication on the topic of steam fluidised bed drying of Chinese lignites carried out at the Monash laboratory was recently submitted and a second paper on comparing coal-water interactions in Victorian brown coals and Chinese lignites is currently underway.

With regards to the exchange of researchers themselves, the first two students from Anshan have recently spent eight weeks at the Monash laboratories and further exchange is envisaged for next year.

Following the success of this year’s workshop, a second workshop is being planned for 2013 to be held at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

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BELOW: The University of Science and Technology Liaoning at Anshan, China.