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Coal Upgrading to Reduce CO2 Emissions

AUTHOR: Gordon R Couch
DATE: October 2002

Coal can be upgraded before use by washing, drying (mainly in the case of low rank coals) or briquetting/pelletsing. Of 3000 Mt/y of bituminous coal that is produced, only some 1500 Mt is washed, and some of this washing is not optimised. Most lower rank coals are not currently upgraded before use. The report includes a review of the methods available, and a country by country review of the potential for additional upgrading. This is in the context that coal comsumption is seen by the IEA as increasing by some 40% between 1997 and 2020. The impact of coal upgrading on the thermal efficiency of coal use is discussed, and the countries where there could be the greatest impact are identified.