The paper presents results of coal behaviour during combustion in oxy-fuel atmosphere. The experiment was performed using 3 meter long Entrained Flow Reactor and 1 meter long Drop Tube Reactor. Three hard coals and two lignites were analysed in order to investigate NOx, SO2 emission and fly ash burnout. The measurements were performed along and at the outlet of a combustion chamber for one- and two - stage combustion. In the second stage of the experiment, kinetic parameters for nitrogen evolution during combustion in oxy - fuel and air were calculated and the division of nitrogen into the volatile matter and the char was measured. The conducted experiment showed that emissions in oxy - fuel are lower than those in air.
The research involved coal from 11 coal mines in the USCB in Poland, intended for combustion in power plants and for home furnaces. It has been stated that the content of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb and Zn in the ash of coal fines from the USCB with a density of <1.30 × 103 kg/m3 is the largest, and in the ash fraction with a density >2.00 × 103 kg/m3 is the smallest The fraction ash of coal fine with a density> 2.00 × 103 kg/m3 has the greatest impact on the content of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Mo, Pb and Zn in whole coal fines from the USCB. In turn, the largest impact on the content of Cu, Ni and Sb in whole fine coal ash has the fraction of coal fine having a density of 1.60–2.00 × 103 kg/m3 (for Cu) and fraction with a density <1.35 × 103 kg/m3 (Ni and Sb). The main carriers of elements in fine coal ash, thus in future furnace waste, are the grains of aluminosilicates and iron oxides resulting from the combustion of probably fusinite and semifusinite and the combustion of adhesions of these macerals with dolomite, ankerite and pyrite. The purification of fine coal from the matter with a density >2.00 × 103 kg/m3 may reduce the sulfur content (by 40%), the content of main element oxides (from 33% to 85%) and the content of ecotoxic elements (from 7% to 59%) in fine coal ash, i.e. in potential furnace wastes. Due to the small content of mineral matter, ash and sulfur in coal, small content of Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, Na, K, P oxides and high content of SiO2 in coal ash, low value of the Rogi sinterability index, small inclination of coal fine to slag the furnaces and boiler fouling by sludge, the investigated coal was favorable for technological reasons, fuel in power plants and for home furnaces
In order to prepare a coal company for the development of future events, it is important to predict how can evolve the key environmental factors. This article presents the most important factors influencing the hard coal demand in Poland. They have been used as explanatory variables during the creation of a mathematical model of coal sales. In order to build the coal sales forecast, the authors used the ARMAX model. Its validation was performed based on such accuracy measures as: RMSE, MAPE and Theil’s index. The conducted studies have allowed the statistically significant factors out of all factors taken into account to be identified. They also enabled the creation of the forecast of coal sales volume in Poland in the coming years. To maintain the predictability of the forecast, the mining company should continually control the macro environment. The proper demand forecast allows for the flexible and dynamic adjustment of production or stock levels to market changes. It also makes it possible to adapt the product range to the customer’s requirements and expectations, which, in turn, translates into increased sales, the release of funds, reduced operating costs and increased financial liquidity of the coal company. Creating a forecast is the first step in planning a hard coal mining strategy. Knowing the future needs, we are able to plan the necessary level of production factors in advance. The right strategy, tailored to the environment, will allow the company to eliminate unnecessary costs and to optimize employment. It will also help the company to fully use machines and equipment and production capacity. Thanks to these efforts, the company will be able to reduce production costs and increase operating profit, thus survive in a turbulent environment.
The direct carbon fuel cell technology provides excellent conditions for conversion of chemical energy of carbon-containing solid fuels directly into electricity. The technology is very promising since it is relatively simple compared to other fuel cell technologies and accepts all carbon-reach substances as possible fuels. Furthermore, it makes possible to use atmospheric oxygen as the oxidizer. In this paper the results of authors' recent investigations focused on analysis of the performance of a direct carbon fuel cell supplied with graphite, granulated carbonized biomass (biocarbon), and granulated hard coal are presented. The comparison of the voltage-current characteristics indicated that the results obtained for the case when the cell was operated with carbonized biomass and hard coal were much more promising than those obtained for graphite. The effects of fuel type and the surface area of the cathode on operation performance of the fuel cell were also discussed.
The purpose of the investigation was to assess the suitability of sewage sludge, brown coal and a mix of sewage sludge and brown coal to be used for fertilizing a light soil with an increased content of lead (I0 ) and slightly contaminated with cadmium (II0 ). The subject of tests were soil and plant samples taken from a pot experiment conducted during the years 2007-2009. The tests determined the effect of the type of fertilization on the pH and sorption properties of the soil, the contents of heavy metals in the soil and in the plants, and the volume of crops. The fertilization types applied had an effect of slightly increasing the soil pH. The application of sewage sludge, brown coal and the mix of sewage sludge with brown coal to the soil resulted in an improvement of the sorption properties of the soil. In the soil treated with sewage sludge and the mix of sewage sludge with brown coal, an increase in the contents of Cd, Zn and Pb was found. This increase was, however, small and did not change the degree of soil contamination with heavy metals. In the above-ground parts of plants fertilized with brown coal the concentration of heavy metals was lower than in biomass from plants cultivated on the control combination. The application of sewage sludge and the mix of sewage sludge with brown coal generally resulted also in a reduction of metal contents in the above-ground parts of the plants. This was the effect of enriching the soil with an organic substance that improves the sorption properties. From among the fertilization combinations tested, the application of either sewage sludge or the mix of sewage sludge with brown coal had the most favourable effect on the crop volume. It resulted in a twofold increase in the yield compared to the control combination.
This paper presents the results of the investigation associated with the determination of mercury content in Polish hard coal and lignite samples. Those coals are major fuels used for electricity generation in Poland. The results indicated that the average content of mercury in the coal samples was roughly about 100 ng/g. Apart from the determination of the mercury contents a detailed ultimate and proximate analysis of the coal samples was also carried out. The relationships between the mercury content and ash, as well as fixed carbon, volatile matter, sulfur, and high heating value of the coal samples were also established. Furthermore, the effect of coal enrichment was also investigated, and it was found that the enrichment process enabled the removal of up to 75% of the coal mercury from the samples.
Balanced distribution of air in coal-fired boiler is one of the most important factors in the combustion process and is strongly connected to the overall system efficiency. Reliable and continuous information about combustion airﬂow and fuel rate is essential for achieving optimal stoichiometric ratio as well as efficient and safe operation of a boiler. Imbalances in air distribution result in reduced boiler efficiency, increased gas pollutant emission and operating problems, such as corrosion, slagging or fouling. Monitoring of air ﬂow trends in boiler is an effective method for further analysis and can help to appoint important dependences and start optimization actions. Accurate real-time monitoring of the air distribution in boiler can bring economical, environmental and operational benefits. The paper presents a novel concept for online monitoring system of air distribution in coal-ﬁred boiler based on real-time numerical calculations. The proposed mathematical model allows for identification of mass ﬂow rates of secondary air to individual burners and to overﬁre air (OFA) nozzles. Numerical models of air and flue gas system were developed using software for power plant simulation. The correctness of the developed model was verified and validated with the reference measurement values. The presented numerical model for real-time monitoring of air distribution is capable of giving continuous determination of the complete air flows based on available digital communication system (DCS) data.
The paper analyzes the impact of potential changes in the price relation between domestic and imported coal and its influence on the volume of coal imported to Poland. The study is carried out with the application of a computable model of the Polish energy system. The model reflects fundamental relations between coal suppliers (domestic coal mines, importers) and key coal consumers (power plants, combined heat and power plants, heat plants, industrial power plants). The model is run under thirteen scenarios, differentiated by the ratio of the imported coal price versus the domestic coal price for 2020–2030. The results of the scenario in which the prices of imported and domestic coal, expressed in PLN/GJ, are equal, indicate that the volume of supplies of imported coal is in the range of 8.3–11.5 million Mg (depending on the year). In the case of an increase in prices of imported coal with respect to the domestic one, supplies of imported coal are at the level of 0.4–4.1 million Mg (depending on the year). With a decrease in the price of imported coal, there is a gradual increase in the supply of coal imports. For the scenario in which a 30% lower imported coal price is assumed, the level of imported coal almost doubles (180%), while the supply from domestic mines is reduced by around 28%, when compared to the levels observed in the reference scenario. The obtained results also allow for the development of an analysis of the range of coal imports depending on domestic versus imported coal price relations in the form of cartograms.
In this study, a new laser flash system was proposed for the determination of the thermal conductivity of brown coal, hard coal and anthracite. The main objective of the investigation was to determine the effect of coal rank, composition, physical structure and temperature on thermal conductivity. The solid fuels tested were medium conductors of heat whose determined thermal conductivities were in the range of 0.09 to 0.23 W/(m K) at room temperature. The thermal conductivity of the solid fuels tested typically increased with the rank of coal and the measurement temperature. The results of this study show that the physical structure of solid fuels and temperature have a dominant effect on the fuels' thermal conductivity.
Trace elements contained in coal escape with flue gas from energy sources into the air or move towards other components of the environment with by-products captured in electrofilters (EF) and flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) plants. The existing knowledge about the distribution of frequently dangerous trace elements contained in these products is insufficient. Studies were therefore undertaken in selected power plants to investigate the distribution of trace elements in coal, slag, as well as dust containment and flue gas desulphurisation products, such as fly ash captured in dust collectors, desulphurisation gypsum and semi-dry scrubbing FGD products. Using the technique of flame atomic absorption spectrometry (F-AAS) and mercury analyser, the following were determined in the research material samples: Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. The studies have a reconnaissance character. The authors have presented the results of determinations for selected trace elements in samples taken at Jaworzno III and Siersza Power Plants, which burn hard coal, and in Bełchatów Power Plant, burning brown coal. A balance of the examined trace elements in a stream of coal fed into the boiler and in streams of waste and products carried away from the plant was prepared. The balance based on the results of analyses from Bełchatów Power Plant was considered encouraging enough to undertake further investigations. The research confirmed that due to the distribution in the process of coal combustion and flue gas treatment, a dominant part of particular trace elements’ stream moves with solid waste and products, while air emission is marginal. Attention was paid to the importance of research preparation, the manner of sample taking and selection of analytical methods.
Over the past two years, coking coal prices have been the most volatile among major bulk commodities. On the supply side, the most important factor determining the movement of coal prices were weather problems affecting the exports of coal from Australia (Queensland), where the production of the best quality coking coals is concentrated. On the demand side, an important factor is the growing role of China on the market, which, being the world’s largest producer and consumer of metallurgical coal, has also become its largest importer. The dominant, about 75% share of China in the global spot market has resulted in their level of activity influencing the periodic price decreases or increases in international trade and prices based on CFR China (along with Australian FOB prices) have become important indicators to monitor market trends and determine levels of negotiated benchmarks. The exceptional volatility on the market led to a change in the quarterly price fixing mechanism for hard-load hard coal contractors in mid–2017 to apply a formula that assumes the valuation of their quarterly volumes based on the average of the basket of spot price indices. This reflects the broader trend of the evolving market, with growing spot market activity. The article describes the current situation on the international coking coal market and presents short-term forecasts for hard coking hard coal prices (PHCC LV), which are a reference point for fixing prices of other types of metallurgical coal (hard standard, semi-soft, PCI).
The coal fed to gravity enrichment consists of coals coming from different deposits and exploitation fronts. These coals differ in quality parameters, especially the amount of gangue (stone) changing over time. This results in the instability of work, especially jiggers, which have a relatively low accuracy assessed by probable scattering or imperfection rates. This deteriorates the quality of the concentrate obtained, the quality parameters of which change over time. The improvement of jiggers work would be possible by averaging the feed. This process is practically impossible due to the failure to design such a node during plant construction, which are, in most cases, directly related to the shaft. In the article, the authors propose to solve the process of averaging the feed before directing it to the enrichment process in jiggers by introducing its deshaling in vibratory- air separators of the FGX type.
Studies on the quality of bituminous coal are mainly focused on physico-chemical analysis, examining the ash content, sulphur content, volatile matter content, moisture content, and the Net Calorific Value of coal. Until now, the above mentioned parameters form the basis of the Polish Standard PN-82/87002, on the basis of which individual types of bituminous coal are determined. In addition, an elemental analysis, providing information about the content of primary elements in the organic matter of solids, i.e. coal, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur, is carried out for the selected samples. This issue has been studied by many authors, which undoubtedly provide invaluable knowledge due to the huge amount of data, but, as the authors themselves indicate, the knowledge of the petrography of coal, coking properties (Probierz et al. 2012) and finally the coke obtained from individual coal types (based on tests carried out using the Karbotest installation or the so-called „box tests” performed in the coke oven battery) is still very limited. The article discusses the impact of petrographic composition on the quality of metallurgical coke. The analysis was performed using samples of coking coal from the following mines: Pniówek, Zofiówka, Borynia, and Krupiński. The mentioned coal types are used to produce coke mixtures used for the production of coke in the Przyjaźń and Radlin coking plants. Based on the rank of coal and physicochemical parameters, the mentioned coal types were classified according to the Polish classification and the UN/ECE International Classification of In-Seam Coals (UN/ECE 1995). The prediction of thermomechanical properties of coke (CSR and CRI) performed according to the original CCP method were compared with the results obtained using the classical method of Nippon Steel Corporation.
The research of development capabilities is a fundamental of strategic issues, which has to be taken into consideration by coal mines. This is particularly difficult in the current environment, which is determined by its crisis situation. In such conditions, it is necessary to take difficult decisions, and serious, strategic challenges into account, which allow for the crisis to be overcome, for the renewal and economic effectiveness of the operation of these coal mines, which have potential to grow, and closing the coal mines, which have not potential to grow. Due to the effects of such decisions, which concern not only coal mines but also the Silesian region, it is essential to prepare information to support them and promote rational choices. This is related to the issue of research for development possibilities. The article presents considerations related to the subject of research for development possibilities of coal mines in a crisis situation. Taking the results of literature study into account, the model of research process was developed, and identified the research issues concerning the following: - the identification of external factors which determine the possibility of development of the Polish mines and drawing a schedule of their changes in the future, - the identification of internal factors which determine the possibility of development of the Polish mines, - developing a way for the assessment of the development potential of the coal mines, to show appropriate strategic options and action programmes for these options, - determining possible strategic options and corresponding schedules, appropriate for the specific nature of the mines. The proposition of their solutions, which were obtained in the process of using the specific methods and research tools, allowed the guidelines in terms of research of development capabilities of coal mines to be presented.
The implementation of EU environmental regulations in the energy sector is challenging for the power industry of its member states. The main role is played by documents such as the Winter Package and, especially, the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the emission limits of certain pollutants and the implementation of BAT conclusions in order to achieve the EU’s decarbonization objectives. These regulations impose a greater need to control harmful substances emitted to the atmosphere while using fossil fuels, including hard coal, which is the main fuel for domestic units. At the same time, the decline in domestic fossil fuel production and decrease in the quality of parameters of the hard coal makes it difficult to purchase the proper fuel for power plants. As a consequence, the costs of hard coal increase. The article presents the concept of a mathematical model that can be applied for the optimization of coal supplies. The employment of this model allows one to achieve cost reductions. One of the advantages of the proposed tool, in addition to minimizing the cost of purchase and use of hard coal, is its rational management, especially for companies producing and using hard coal.
Low emission has a significant impact on air quality in Poland. Low sources are found which lead to high concentrations of pollutants in the area inhabited by humans. The effects of low emissions on health and life in the polluted areas (Małopolska, Silesia) are conducive to radical decisions regarding the quality of solid fuels and their combustion facilities. At present, local anti-smuggling laws have been introduced in the two provinces banning the burning of the most emitting fuels such as mules, flotoconcentrates and lignite. Regional EU-funded programs for the use of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency improvement will transition to the implementation phase of the approved projects as of 2017. This is expected to significantly reduce energy consumption for heating buildings and replacing old boilers and automatic furnaces with low-emission heating devices. In the case of households, proving that the residential building has adequate energy efficiency characteristics is necessary in order to receive co-financing for replacing an old solid fuel boiler with a new low-emission boiler,. The paper will present the current situation on the regulation of the fuel market in the household and small–scale consumer sector and the proposal for changes to the law on monitoring and control of solid fuel quality. Another important issue will be significant changes in heating up to 500 kW, proposed by the Ministry of Development in October 2016. The proposed regulation precedes the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive, which will come into effect as of 2022 for room heaters and heating furnaces up to 500 kW for solid fuels. All these actions will help reduce low emissions and improve energy efficiency.
Coal mining is one of the most important sectors of the Polish industry. It can be said that the coal is a national raw material. This results in Poland being a pioneer in the European Union in terms of coal mining as well as its use in the production of electricity and heat. There are many companies in Poland which have been established and developed around the coal mining industry aimed at coal extracting. The operations of those companies depends on the condition of the mining companies and their cooperation with them: commercial, service and advisory, called referred to as “mining supporting companies”. The article focuses on the results of a survey carried out in mining supporting companies, such as mining machinery and equipment manufacturers, mining-related service companies and mining-related research and development institutions. The authors evaluated the relationship and dependence of those companies on the mining industry. It was assumed that the measure of the mining supporting companies condition is the overall quantity of public related payments contributed to the state budget and local budgets. In the article, the authors raised the problem of the size of losses for public finances, as a result of the significant limitations of financial flows from the mining companies. The surveyed companies are those associated with the Polish Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce. As a result, the authors prepared conclusions regarding the dependence of the mining supporting companies on the situation of the mining subsector.
Over the past decade, the growing demand for imported coal from consumers (mainly Asian) coincided with supply constraints on the part of major suppliers. The sequence of events is referred to as force majeure. There were many events in the exporting countries, mainly including the cyclone and floods in Australia (Queensland, the world’s largest hard coking coal mining region). Imbalance between supply and demand causes commodity prices to be subject to cyclical changes, but in recent years the frequency and dynamics of these changes in the international metallurgical market (hard coking coal, semi-soft coking coal, PCI coal) has been extremely high. China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of coking coal, played a leading role in these events. Political action by the Chinese authorities regarding their domestic mining and metallurgical industries and the coke-chemical industry has made the country dethrone Japan since 2013 and has become a global leader in metallurgical coal imports. The rise of China’s importance in coal trading has become an important benchmark for monitoring market trends and benchmarking benchmarks. The market has become more bipolar and CFR China’s prices (in addition to Australia’s FOB prices). The paper describes the path of pricing mechanism changes in international trade contracts for metallurgical coal, against the background of market conditions that generate these changes.
The role of the hard coal mining sector in ensuring energy security of the country has been presented in the paper. An analysis of its current status was made based on the results obtained by the sector in 2017. Moreover, the determinants which are the precondition for further sustainable and efficient operation in the years to come have been defined.
There are approx. 250 coal waste dumping grounds in Poland, yet there are countries in which this number is even higher. One of the largest sites for depositing mining and power plant waste in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin is the Przezchlebie dumping ground. In the article, it is considered as a secondary deposit of raw materials. An assessment of mining waste collected on the Przezchlebie dumping ground was carried out in terms of its impact on the environment and the possibility of its use. Mining waste samples were tested to determine their chemical composition. Physicochemical properties and chemical compositions of water extracts obtained from the investigated waste and groundwater in the vicinity of the dumping ground were analyzed. Due to the fire hazard resulting from the natural oxidation process of chiefly carbonaceous matter and pyrite, the thermal condition of the dumping ground was assessed. The results of the obtained tests confirmed the slight impact of mining waste deposited on the Przezchlebie dumping ground on the environment. The chemical composition, low radioactive activity of waste itself and the results of water extract tests referred to the permissible values according to the Polish Journal of Laws allow for multi-directional waste management. Due to the significant carbon content, the risk of self-ignition poses a significant threat on the dumping ground. Re-mining of the dumping ground and the recovery of raw materials, including coal contained in waste, will eliminate the risk of fire, allowing for a wider use of waste and, at the same time, will allow for other benefits, e.g. in the form of financial resources and the possibility of managing the dumping ground area.
The article presents the possibility of using the Cobb-Douglas production function for planning in a turbulent environment. A case study was carried out – the Cobb-Douglas function was used to examine the condition of the Polish hard coal mining industry and the progress which has been made after undertaking certain activities aimed at increasing the competitiveness of coal companies over recent years. Only the correct and confirmed identification of the causes of irregularities in the production process can allow for the introduction of effective remedies. The effectiveness of the solutions proposed by the author has been confirmed thanks to the simulation during which the impact of the proposed production strategy on the parameters of the CD function was examined. Three variants of production functions models were created and production productivity rates and marginal substitution rates were determined. The results enabled the verification of the progress of restructuring as well as identification of the origin of the observed problems and comparison of the current state with the results of analyses carried out in previous years. Scenarios of possible trend developments for the factors introduced into the function model in order to present remedial measures that could improve the process of hard coal extraction were created. The scenarios were created using the ARIMA class models. Which scenario is the most favourable was determined. A computer program, created by the author, for optimising the level and use of labor resources at the level of the entire coal company has been presented.
A sample of late Viséan limestone from the Włodawa IG-4 borehole, east of Lublin, Poland, yielded a piece of a tooth and a few hundred well-preserved scales comparable to those of “Ctenacanthus” costellatus Traquair, 1884 from Glencartholm, Scotland, UK. Most of the scales are typical compound body scales of the ctenacanthid type. Their crowns are composed of several separate odontodes whose distal ends are turned backwards and bases are characterised by concave undersides. In the material, there are also sparse scales with similar crowns but with flat or convex bulbous bases, as well as ornamented plates and single, star-like denticles, probably from the head region. The taxonomic status of “Ctenacanthus” costellatus was analysed and a new generic name for that species, viz. Glencartius gen. nov., is proposed.
An uniaxial compression mechanical model for the roof rock-coal (RRC) composite sample was established in order to study the effects of height ratio of roof rock to coal on the structural strength of composite sample. The composite sample strengths under different height ratios were established through stress and strain analysis of the sample extracted from the interface. The coal strength near the interface is enhanced and rock strength near the interface weakened. The structural strength of composite sample is synthetically determined by the strengths of rock and coal near and far away from the interface. The area with a low strength in composite sample is destroyed firstly. An analytical model was proposed and discussed by conducting uniaxial compression tests for sandstone-coal composite samples with different height ratios, and it was found that the structural strength and elastic modulus decrease with a decrease in height ratio. The coal strengths far away from the interface determine the structural strengths of composite sample under different height ratios, which are the main control factor for the structural strength in this test. Due to its lowest strength, the rock near the interface first experienced a tensile spalling failure at the height ratio of 9:1, without causing the structural failure of composite sample. The coal failure induces the final failure of composite sample.