Completed Projects

Completed Projects

In 2011, BCIA awarded $8.15 million in funding for 11 world-class R&D projects in brown coal low-emissions and product innovation technologies. The total leveraged value of the 2011 BCIA R&D projects was $19.25 million including industry, research institute and State and Federal Government funding.


Pilot-Scale Oxy-Fuel Combustion of Victorian Brown Coal
$431,794 FUNDING
Submitted by Monash University; project participants include Shanghai Boiler Works Limited, Chubu University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, GDF SUEZ Australian Energy, International Power Loy Yang B, TRUenergy.

Oxy-fuel combustion involves burning coal in the presence of oxygen and recycled flue gas instead of air, producing a CO2-enriched flue gas that is suitable for direct storage / sequestration with minimal further purification. This technology offers the potential for a 'step change' in CO2 capture costs, as it eliminates the need for CO2 absorption columns. The objective of this project is to evaluate the performance characteristics of Victorian brown coal under oxy-fuel combustion conditions, both in the laboratory at Monash University and in a 3MW pilot scale boiler at Shanghai Boiler Works. Successful completion of this project will demonstrate the technical feasibility of this technology, and will provide the information needed for design of commercial oxy-fuel power plant equipment.


Development of Contactor Internals for Application of the WES Froth Generator Gas / Liquid Absorption Technology
$1,000,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Process Group Ltd in association with Westec Environmental Solutions LLC.

The primary objective of this project is to commercialise the WES froth generator absorber technology in order to significantly reduce the capital and operational costs of the primary absorber vessels and associated inventories required for large-scale carbon capture plants. Current contactor internals technology for carbon capture consists of structured packing plus associated gas and liquid distributors and liquid collectors. This technology is not suitable for precipitating solvents, believed to be the next generation of carbon capture solvents, and the physical size of the equipment is at the upper end of technical feasibility. This research project will seek to advance the new WES froth generator technology as a commercial product for the global carbon capture industry through modelling, prototype construction and product performance trials.

High Efficiency Power from Victorian Brown Coals
$1,300,000 FUNDING
Submitted by CSIRO Advanced Coal Technology. Project participants include Exergen Pty Ltd and Ignite Energy Resources Pty Ltd.
This project will investigate high efficiency power generation using processed Victorian brown coal in an adapted diesel engine. A range of low-cost, coal processing technologies will be examined and the research program expects a step-change in fuel cycle efficiency which will enable a 45 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the best existing brown coal power plants. The increased efficiency of the direct injection coal engine powered by lignite water fuel can be achieved at one fifth the unit capacity of proposed new low-emissions coal fired power plants; thereby substantially reducing the capital costs of low-emissions brown coal energy in the near term. The direct injection coal engine also offers the potential of increased operational flexibility to support peak load electricity demand and supply from intermittent renewable energy.

Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Development
$300,000 FUNDING
Submitted by HRL Developments Pty Ltd in association with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited. Project participant HRL Technology Pty Ltd.
Hydrogen produced from the gasification of brown coal, linked with carbon capture and storage technology, can provide a valuable energy source with low CO2 emissions. This project will examine the process design and key infrastructure requirements for hydrogen production at both the pilot and commercial-scale using both commercially available and new technologies. The market potential for the product will be examined and the cost effectiveness of the process will be assessed against alternative means of production.

CO2CRC's Solvent-Based Carbon Capture Technology in Brown Coal Fired Power Plants – (CSCCT-BCFPP) Capture Demonstration for Cost Reduction
$1,500,000 FUNDING
Submitted by CO2CRC Limited in association with GDF SUEZ Australian Energy; CO2CRC partners and Process Group.
This project will identify the best-performing and most cost-effective solvent absorbent technologies for the capture of CO2 emissions from brown coal through modification of two existing pilot-scale facilities in Victoria. Recent research trials have demonstrated a range of benefits from the use of solvent potassium carbonate including negating the need for separate flue gas desulphurisation facilities. An experimental program and simulation studies will be used to further improve the performance of the potassium carbonate process for CO2 removal. The project will also examine CO2CRC's precipitating potassium carbonate process including the removal of sulphur and nitrogen oxide impurities; a valuable by-product which could be further processed as fertilisers. Additionally, a modified pre-combustion solvent-based capture plant will undertake world-first trials of state-of-the-art WES absorber technology. Research results will enable international benchmarking of solvent absorbent technologies against current CO2 capture techniques, develop clear directions for large-scale deployment and create the necessary competitive tension to drive down CO2 capture costs.

Development of Chemical Looping Process for Fuels Production and CO2 Capture from Victorian Brown Coals
$605,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Monash University in association with TRUenergy; CSIRO Process Science and Engineering and leading European universities engaged in chemical looping research – Chalmers University of Technology Gothenburg, Sweden and Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.
This is the first known study of chemical looping combustion and gasification of Victorian brown coal as an emerging alternate technology for the capture of CO2 at a lower energy and cost penalty. Chemical looping has been widely studied for the combustion of natural gas but research into its potential application for solid fuels commenced only recently. Utilising metal oxides as a major source of oxidising agent, rather than concentrated gaseous oxygen from air separation plants, the technology removes the energy and capital costs of air separation plants. It is believed the low ash content, high reactivity and high oxygen content of Victorian brown coal is particularly suited to chemical looping and the process also has the potential to advance value-added brown coal technologies such as low-emissions hydrogen production.

Next Generation Lower Emissions Gasification Systems R&D – Power and Products
$500,000 FUNDING
Submitted by HRL Technology Pty Ltd in association with Monash University and CO2CRC.
This research project will investigate options for high-efficiency, low-cost, advanced integrated drying and gasification systems for the production of power and high-value products from brown coal. Use of integrated drying and gasification technology for combined-cycle power generation has the potential for a significant improvement in plant efficiency, and consequent reduction in CO2 emissions, compared with existing brown coal-fired power plants. Integrated drying and gasification is believed to be an economical means of producing syngas from brown coal suitable for further processing into high-value products such as liquid fuels, hydrogen, fertilisers, chemicals and advanced power systems utilising, for example, fuel-cells. The research project will investigate various existing and emerging process options that could be employed in the future. One of the key outcomes of this project will be the identification of further laboratory and pilot-scale work required to develop next generation lower emissions gasification system options utilising integrated drying and gasification technology.

Combined Low-Cost Pre-Treatment of Flue Gas and Capture of CO2 from Brown Coal-Fired Power Stations Using a Novel Integrated Process Concept – COCAPCO
$350,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Loy Yang Power Management Pty Ltd in association with TRUenergy and CSIRO Energy Technology.

This project seeks to achieve a significant capital cost-reduction – up to $200 million for a 550MW plant – in retrofitted post-combustion capture of CO2 from coal-fired power stations. The research objective is to integrate the removal of sulphur (SO2) and carbon (CO2) in a single column, with a single liquid absorbent, thus removing the requirement for a separate flue gas desulphurisation unit. The project aims to obtain a proof-of-concept for a combined SO2 / CO2 removal process for initial application in Victorian brown coal-fired power plants. The technology concept could be further developed and utilised to retrofit the State's existing power stations and all existing flue gas desulphurisation units throughout the world. The research plan comprises thermodynamic modelling of the process concept, laboratory testing of basic solvent properties and trial tests with real flue gas in a modified post-combustion capture pilot plant at Loy Yang, Victoria.
Read project funding article…


Advanced Materials Assessment
$233,400 FUNDING
Submitted by HRL Technology Pty Ltd.

This project aims to develop a better understanding of the performance characteristics of the advanced steel alloys likely to be used in the next generation of high-temperature steam boilers. Extension of the project will allow extra data to be obtained on the long-term oxidation and deformation kinetics of advanced alloys under high-temperature steam conditions. It will also involve an evaluation of advanced welding techniques with the potential to reduce the time required for plant repairs during maintenance shut-downs. This project will improve the ability to predict the working life of plant components and a better understanding of advanced welding methods, which together should help to reduce the cost of electricity produced from brown coal.

Pre-Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture Technologies for Brown Coal Power Generation
$374,000 FUNDING
Submitted by CO2CRC in association with HRL Developments Pty Ltd and researchers at The University of Melbourne and Monash University.

The project is a first-time trial of pre-combustion capture technologies in an operating gasifier setting. The project aims to test solvent, adsorbent and membrane pre-combustion capture technologies, reduce the technical risk and cost of capturing CO2 from pre-combustion sources and identify the most cost-effective technologies for Victorian use.

Latrobe Valley Post-Combustion Capture (LVPCC) Project – CSIRO Stream
$420,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Loy Yang Power Management Pty Ltd in conjunction with CSIRO.

CSIRO has installed and commissioned a pilot plant for capture of CO2 from flue gas at Loy Yang A Power Station, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The aim of this project is to extend the range of an experimental evaluation on a range of solvent mixtures, to better understand the importance of solvent characteristics on capture efficiency, energy consumption and environmental impact.

Latrobe Valley Post-Combustion Capture (LVPCC) Project – CO2CRC H3 Stream
$481,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies.

This project involves the use of the solvent absorption CO2 capture plant at Hazelwood Power Station, where CO2CRC will test various solvent, membrane and solid adsorbent technologies. The aim of this project extension is to complete an evaluation of available CO2 capture technologies, and to identify those that are the most cost-effective for post-combustion capture at a coal-fired power plant.

Advanced Brown Coal Gasification
$43,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University.

The aim of the project is to experimentally assess and demonstrate scientific aspects of a gasification concept to improve the efficiency of gasification of Victorian brown coal at low temperatures through high carbon conversion. Extension of the project will provide for the enhancement and transfer of information and knowledge and the consolidation of gains generated earlier in the project.

Oxy-Fuel Combustion of Victorian Brown Coal
$115,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University.

Oxy-fuel combustion is a potential means of reducing net CO2 emissions from brown coal power plants. The main purpose of this project is to obtain key information about the behaviour of Victorian brown coal under oxy-fuel combustion conditions. The economic benefit of retrofitting oxy-fuel combustion to power plants is also being assessed. Extension of the project will facilitate process modelling and economic analysis of a purpose-built supercritical oxy-fuel unit, experimental work on trace particle emission and assessment of fouling under oxy-fuel conditions.

For a complete copy of funding fact sheet please click on downloads below.
Img 352 KB2011 $2.5M R&D Project Funding
Img 352 KB2011 $8.3M R&D Project Funding
Img 352 KB2010 $1.6M R&D Project Funding