Technical Market Support

Coal in a Sustainable Society

Technical Market Support » Future Technologies

Published: December 01Project Number: C9058

Get ReportAuthor: Louis Wibberley | BHP Minerals Technology

This report builds on an earlier ACARP project C8049 Environmental Credentials of Coal and is aimed at assisting the coal industry to understand the role of coal in a sustainable society, for both iron and steel production, and for electricity generation.

This project consists of a number of components:

  • LCA case studies of an expanded range of emerging steelmaking technologies with a particular focus on those which are coal based - technology evaluations are also included for a number of the coal based processes.
  • LCA case studies on a range of electricity generation technologies, with a wider range of renewable technologies and sequestration options in an Australian context. LCA case studies for included for cement production, coal mine operation, coal mine waste utilisation and fly ash utilisation. These case studies provide the basis for allocation of displacement credits for selected by-products from steel production and electricity generation.
  • Experimental studies to determine the properties of coal related to emerging iron making technologies.
  • Techno-economics of the major emerging coal based technologies for iron and steel production, compared with conventional processes.

The key findings from this report are given below.

The iron and steel LCA case studies show that, in terms of resource energy and greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs), the emerging coal based technologies compare favourably with gas based routes, if displacement credits can be claimed.

There is clearly a change emerging in technologies for iron and steel production which favours the use of coal (eg composite pellets in rotary hearth furnaces, mini and compact blast furnaces, non recovery coke ovens), and the coupling of hot metal production to electric arc furnaces. The "dash to gas" is slowing. An important issue for the Australian coal industry is the relationship between coal properties and operating performance for these emerging technologies.

A substantial number of electricity LCA case studies (19) have been carried out for a wide range of technologies. A number of opportunities have been identified from these studies for reducing the GGEs for coal based electricity generation technologies.

LCAs were also carried out on cement production, coal production, and coal mine waste and fly ash utilisation.
The GGE results for cement compared favourably with those published by the IEA (approximately 1 t CO2-e/t of cement clinker); when allowance was made for fly ash and blast furnace slag use in Australian cements, the results were in agreement with those published by the Cement Industry Federation.

Extensive overseas discussions (September-October 2000) confirmed that coal's positive attributes (cost, wide availability, ease of transportation and storage, and energy density) will underpin the transition to more sustainable energy systems. It is therefore important to reverse the decline in coal R&D which has occurred in many developed countries, and to transfer technology (eg through CDM) to developing countries, and in particular China and India.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C28026Measuring The Height Of Fracturing Above Extracted Longwall Panels To Improve Reliability Of Groundwater Impact Predictions

Longwall mining is a mining method widely used in the Australian und...

C25059Development Of An Intrinsically Safe, Integrated Wireless Communications Network With A Distributed Array Of Geotechnical Sensors

For over 20 years, SCT Operations (SCT) have provided a range of ind...

C26051An On-Machine Bolting And Geotechnical Monitoring System

The primary objective of this project was to investigate how laser s...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

C29003Wear Debris Removal From Dragline Commutators

The original aim of this project was to establish a method of removi...

C28037Local Scale Dispersion Modelling To Support ACARP Emission Factors

There remains significant concern in the industry regarding the accu...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27032Coal Grain Analysis Applications Handbook

This Handbook sets out recommended practices for using coal grain an...

C26012Improved Flotation Recovery Via Controlling Froth Behaviour

There is no real-time measurement for coal flotation performance, ma...

C27012Towards Better Fine Coal Classification

It is well recognised that the efficient classification of fine coal...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook