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Research & development needs for clean coal deployment

AUTHOR: Alfons Kather, Stylianos Rafailidis, Christian Hermsdorf, Mathias Klostermann, Andreas Maschmann, Karl Mieske, Jochen Oexmann, Imo Pfaff, Kathrin Rohloff, Jens Wilken
DATE: January 2008

This report examines the research and development needs necessary for the deployment of clean coal technologies. Both increasesin energy conversion efficiency through the development of conventional steam power plants (SPP) and coal-based integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants as well as the implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in coal-fired power stations by post-combustion capture, oxyfuel combustion or pre-combustion capture processes are considered. The potential timescales associated with improvements in research and development of clean coal technologies are evaluated to determine the potential for implementation of CO2 reduction in the short and long term.

For the development of future coal-based power plants a growing understanding and seamless communication between different branches of engineering are vital. A survey of the power generation industry and academia shows that a combined mechanical and chemical process engineering education could usefully extend the traditional separate degree and specialised courses when considering the development and ultimately the deployment of clean coal technologies. The traditional separate education, however, should be preserved to safeguard the continued availability of specialists still needed for research and development in advanced power plant engineering.