Technical Market Support

Review of the State-of-the-Art in Coal Blending for Power Generation

Technical Market Support » Thermal Coal

Published: February 01Project Number: C9054

Get ReportAuthor: Terry Wall, Liza Elliott, Dick Sanders, Ashley Conroy | Australian Black Coal Utilisation CRC, Quality Coal Consulting, Rio Tinto Technical Services

The review has considered the available information on coal blends from two points of view -firstly, coal properties and their additivity and secondly, the performance of blends in pulverised fuel (pf) firing. The review has concluded that the level of understanding on properties is incomplete, and knowledge of performance is very poor for a number of plant performance issues.

The review has highlighted several research topics for which research is needed.

Tests on the following coal properties require further research. These properties are not additive, in that the blend property is not the weighted average of the properties of the individual coals, and they also provide a poor basis for predicting blend performance:

  • Hardgrove grindability index
  • Crucible swelling number
  • Ash fusibility temperatures
  • Coal flow properties
  • Volatile matter
  • Crossing point temperature

The following areas are appropriate for future research effort, as properties are not readily related to plant performance and they also have a major impact on plant operations:

Summary of the plant performance issues recommended for further research
Coal property Plant aspect Plant performance issues
moisture, particle size, mineralcomposition Coal handling Flow properties of blends
nitrogen, ash fusibility Boiler NOx control causing increased carbon in ash and ash deposition
trace elements Boiler Trace elements: changes in deportment with Blends
ash fusibility Boiler Deposition and ash character in blends
sulphur Particulate removal Precipitation of ash from blends
nitrogen NOx control Prediction of NOx from blends
all Entire plant Model for the changing performance of a boilerwith blended coals

This report summarises the understanding of blends and their impact on pf plants identified to date and elaborates on the key areas recommended above for future research on blends.


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