The paper presents a model for calculations of the temperature field in electric mine motors with a water cooled frame. That model was worked out with use of modified and improved thermal networks developed by the author for determining the temperature distributions in different types of ac machines. Thermal calculations for a selected type of 400 kW mining motor were performed with use of an original computer program. Their results were compared with those obtained from measurements. On the basis of the verified simulation results there was determined the influence of value changes of parameters characterising the work environment condition (ambient temperature, inlet temperature and cooling water discharge, degree of covering the casing with coal dust) on the mining motor thermal state.
In the processes of coal mining, preparation and combustion, the rejects and by-products are generated. These are, among others, the rejects from the coal washing and dry deshaling processes as well as the coal combustion by-products (fly ash and slag). Current legal and industry regulations recommend determining the content of mercury in them. The regulations also define the acceptable content of mercury. The aim of the paper was to determine the mercury content in the rejects derived from the coal cleaning processes as well as in the combustion by-products in respect of their utilization. The mercury content in the representative samples of the rejects derived from the coal washing and dry deshaling processes as well as in the coal combustion by products derived from 8 coal-fired boilers was determined. The mercury content in the rejects from the coal washing process varied from 54 to 245 μg/kg, (the average of 98 μg/kg) and in the rejects from the dry deshaling process it varied from 76 to 310 μg/kg (the average of 148 μg/kg). The mercury content in the fly ash varied from 70 to 1420 μg/kg, (the average of 567 μg/kg) and in the slag it varied from 8 to 58 μg/kg (the average of 21 μg/kg). At the moment, in light of the regulations from the point of view of mercury content in the rejects from the coal preparation processes and in the coal combustion by-products, there are no significant barriers determining the way of their utilization. Nevertheless, in the future, regulations limiting the maximum content of mercury as well as the acceptable amount of leachable mercury may be introduced. Therefore, preparing for this situation by developing other alternative methods of using the rejects and by-products is recommended.
The article presents current state of the structure of hard coal enrichment plants in Poland, taking the capacity, the range of grain enrichment and the type of equipment used into account. This data were presented in a tabular format for each Polish Coal Company operating on the Polish market. The article was also present simplified: flow sheet of the steam and coking coal enrichment system. Based on the presented data, the planned needs and trends were described in terms of increasing production efficiency, minimizing water consumption and safety of work. A list of research and development works which must be undertaken were also presented as well as factors determining the technological development of the processing plants.
Coal reserves in the Czech Republic are estimated to be 10 billion tons – hard coal about 37%, brown coal about 60% and lignite 3%. Hard coal is produced in Northern Moravia. In 2017 the production of hard coal was 5.5 million tons. Brown coal is mined in North-Western Bohemia − the production of brown coal in 2017 was 38.1 million tons. Significant quantities of hard coal are exported to: Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Hungary. In accordance with the National Energy Policy, coal will remain the main source of energy in the country in the future, despite the increased use of nuclear energy and natural gas. The government expects that in 2030 energy from coal will account for 30.5% of energy produced. There are five coal companies in the Czech Republic: OKD, a.s., the only hard coal producer and four brown coal mining companies: Severočeské Doly a.s., owned by ČEZ, the largest producer of brown coal, Vršanská uhelná a.s., with coal resources until 2055, Severní energetická a.s. with the largest brown coal reserves in the Czech Republic and Sokolovska uhelná a.s., the smallest mining company extracting lignite. OKD operates coal in two mines Kopalnia Důlní závod 1 – (consists of three mines: ČSA Mine, Lazy Mine, Darkov Mine) and Mine Důlní závod 2 (ttwo mines Sever, Jih). The article also presents a pro-ecological solution for the management of waste heaps after coal enrichment – a plant for the enrichment of coal waste from the Hermanice heap.
In recent years, the Budryk Coal Mine (KWK Budryk) reached the mining depth of 1300 m, where there is about 160 million tons of coal, including 120 million tons of coking coal (type 35). The task of the Coal Processing Plant complex modernization was undertaken. The article presents the modernization of coal screening, classification and dewatering systems at the KWK Budryk Processing Plant and the implementation of screening of PROGRESS ECO sp. z o.o. SK. The modernization project defined the following technical requirements for all screens in the KWK Budryk Coal Processing Plant extension project: - Vibrating screens with a linear type drive with a drive unit placed on the drive beam of the trommel screen in the form of vibration generators; - Screen drives equipped with a starting-braking device; - The use of main screen drive bearings with a nominal service life of at least 40,000 man-hours; - All work surfaces made of materials with a strength of up to 80 mm grain and abrasion resistance; side strips and sieves fixed in a way ensuring trouble-free operation, and at the same time quick and easy replacement; - Sheets made of stainless steel; - Side walls, beams and other elements attached to them connected with screws using a system protecting against corrosion and elements separation; - The use of a work parameters monitoring and visualization system, i.e. - pitch of the riddle, - bearing operating temperatures and the condition of their wear. Three types of screens were provided: - PWP1-1Z-2,8x6,0 screeners that alternatively perform sieving or desliming processes, - PWP1-2.4x6.0 screening machines performing desliming processes, - PWP1-2.0x6.0 screens performing the classification process.
The aim of the paper was to estimate how the value of 1 GJ of energy in coal with a calorific value of 5500 kcal/kg varies on the international coal market compared to 1 GJ of energy in coal with a calorific value of 6000 kcal/kg. The analysis of data from different ports was intended to answer the question of whether the pricing of coals of different producers according to their calorific value is convergent. The best-known price standard for thermal coal is 25.1 MJ/kg coal (6000 kcal/kg) and, until recently, coals with such quality parameters dominated international trade. Currently, coals with parameters other than considered to be standard parameters are traded on the coal market, hence it is necessary to price a unit of energy (e.g. 1 GJ) contained in these coals. The indices have been selected of the largest exporters of thermal coal for which data was available and referred to the same coal types (grades) determined on the same basis (FOB). Theoretically, the price differential between 6000 kcal/kg and 5000 kcal/kg coal (in USD/ton) should be (at least) as much as the difference in calorific value, i.e. about 9% per USD/ton. In reality, the price differential between these types of coal is greater, though. The overall conclusion of the analysis is that the price calculated per 1 GJ of energy fluctuated on average by 5.9% over the entire period considered. The analytical results obtained for coal from four countries are quite convergent, so it can be assumed that the calculated relationship between the prices of coal with different calorific values (6000 and 5000 kcal/kg) is a good approximation of the observed relationships in the international trade. The calculation results provide a simple formula allowing to estimate the price of coal with a calorific value other than the standard 25.1 MJ/kg (6000 kcal/kg) using the relationships from the international market.
The paper presents an analysis of hard coal prices offered at the coal depots in Poland. Coal depots are one of the most popular forms of purchasing coal by Polish households. Prices refer to price offers for cobble coal (grain size: 60–120 mm) and their analysis is performed based on the regions rather than on all Polish provinces. From January 2010 to May 2019, there were two regions that were distinguished in terms of price spread: the S-W region and the N-E region. In the case of the S-W region, the difference between the province with the minimum price (Śląskie Province) and with the maximum price (Dolnośląskie Province since September 2017) ranged from PLN 53–83/ton, and in the N-E region the difference ranged PLN 64–130/ton. In the case of the remaining two regions, prices varied from a few to approximately PLN 80/ton for the N-W region, and from a few to about PLN 40 /ton for the S-E region. In order to determine how the origin of the coal affects its prices (domestic coal, imported coal), the analysis also included cobble coal price offers that are part of the Author’s own database created for several years. In the case of cobble coal from domestic producers, price offers varied betwwen PLN 14–33/GJ, and price offers for imported cobble coal stood varied between PLN 12–32/GJ. The N-E region attracted particular attention as the price offers for imported cobble coal reached a level similar to the offers from the S-W region, i.e. the region closest to Silesian coal mines. Price differentials within provinces belonging to a given region were influenced by the geographical rent. The paper also analyses average selling prices offered by domestic producers for various size grades of steam coal as well as selling prices for imported coal (free-at-frontier price).
Thin coal seams found in the Lions Cove Formation, Polonia Glacier Group (Middle Eocene, upper part) at King George Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, West Antarctica), represent lustrous (vitrine) brown-coal metaphase. The coal from the lower seam represents carbonized wood, probably angiosperm, that from the upper ones originated due to accumulation of branches or larger wood fragments and leaf remains. These coals are slightly older than metaxylite brown coal previously described from Admiralty Bay on King George Island, and dated at Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Both coal occurrences are evidences for a warm climate which prevailed in the Antarctic Peninsula sector during the Arctowski Interglacial (ca 50—32 Ma).
The possibility of the application of nontraditional method of greenhouse gas utilization by the injection of CO2 (sequestration) into porous geological deposits, treated as unconventional gas collectors, requires the fulfillment of basic criteria such as the impact on the environment and long term storage. The important issue is the physical behavior of the deposit during the porous structure saturation phase by carbon dioxide. What should be mentioned first and foremost is: the availability of CO2 transport along the porous structure and adsorption capacity. The work presents the results of water vapor sorption on coal samples from selected Hard Coal Mines of a differentiated carbon content. The received results were presented in the form of sorption and desorption isotherms performed in a temperature of 303 K. It was additionally described with a BET adsorption isotherm. Based on sorption data, a specific surface area was calculated, in accordance with BET theory. The amount of the adsorbed water vapor molecules for the analyzed coal samples was dependent on the degree of metamorphism. The obtained isotherms can be described as type II according to the BET classification. Volumetric type apparatus -adsorption- microburette liquid was used for the sorption experiments. Water vapor sorption in relation to coals allows for the quantitative determination of primary adsorption centers as a measure of adsorbed molecule interconnections with the adsorbent surface. Based on the BET adsorption equation, out of water vapor isotherms, the amount of adsorption active centers, which potentially may take part in CO2 adsorption in coal seams during injection of this gas, was determined. The sorption capacity of coals is determined by the degree of metamorphism, which also has very large impact on the sorption capacity of the deposit.
Volatility is one of the most characteristic features in the all market types. In the raw material market, including the bituminous coal market, volatility is visible in the supply and demand variations, in consequence in the prices fluctuations. Market actors usually having opposite interests, for example buy low, sell high, are vitally interested in identifying the causes of these fluctuations. Some of the factors causing the market fluctuations are quite common, others are more complicated because of circumstances complexity. This article attempts to examine the relationships between bituminous coal fines prices and the economic situation. Given the complexity of the issue, the research area has been narrowed down – territorially to Poland and temporarily – to the present decade. The average prices of coal fines in Poland are presented by the Industrial Development Agency (Agencję Rozwoju Przemysłu SA) in the form of two indices: PSCMI 1 and PSCMI 2. Both indices are calculated based on the prices of pattern bituminous coal, produced by domestic manufacturers and sold on domestic markets, the energy and heat market respectively. Statistical methods, because of their quantitative nature, are important in identifying the correlations between the coal fines prices and economic conditions. Therefore, the article presents examples of relatively strong linear correlations between the PSCMI 1 and/or PSCMI 2 and some indicators of the economic situation.
The annexation of Crimea and military operations that began in eastern Ukraine in April 2014 were the cause of the growing threat to Ukraine’s energy security. In terms of coal supplies, Donbass is of key importance for the country’s economy. Despite military operations on the east, illegal trade with the occupied territories was flourishing. This situation led to an increase in dissatisfaction amid certain social strata, as well as among volunteer battalions participants who took part in the military operations in Donbass and were the initiators of the Donbass blockade. The main purpose of the study to analyse the specific of the development of coal industry in Ukraine and the main reasons of the blockade of Donbass and its consequences.
Control of the technological processes of coal enrichment takes place in the presence of wide disturbances. Thus, one of the basic tasks of the coal enrichment process control systems is the stabilization of coal quality parameters at a preset level. An important problem is the choice of the controller which is robust for a variety of disturbances. The tuning of the controller parameters is no less important in the control process . Many methods of tuning the controller use the dynamic characteristics of the controlled process (dynamic model of the controlled object). Based on many studies it was found that the dynamics of many processes of coal enrichment can be represented by a dynamic model with properties of the inertial element with a time delay. The identification of object parameters (including the time constant) in industrial conditions is usually performed during normal operation (with the influence of disturbances) from this reason, determined parameters of the dynamic model may differ from the parameters of the actual process. The control system with controller parameters tuned on the basis of such a model may not satisfy the assumed control quality requirements. In the paper, the analysis of the influence of changes in object model parameters in the course of the controlled value has been carried out. Research on the controller settings calculated according to parameters T and τ were carried out on objects with other parameter values. In the studies, a sensitivity analysis method was used. The sensitivity analysis for the three methods of tuning the PI controller for the coal enrichment processes control systems characterized by dynamic properties of the inertial element with time delay has been presented. Considerations are performed at various parameters of the object on the basis of the response of the control system for a constant value of set point. The assessment of considered tuning methods based on selected indices of control quality have been implemented.
The analysis of leaching behavior of harmful substances, such as arsenic, is one of the parameters of risk assessment resulting from the storage or economic use of coal waste. The leachability depends both on the environmental conditions of the storage area as well as on the properties of the waste material itself. There are a number of leaching tests that allow to model specific conditions or measure the specific properties of the leaching process. The conducted research aimed at comparing two methods with different application assumptions. The study of arsenic leaching from waste from the hard coal enrichment process was carried out in accordance with the Polish PN-EN 12457 standard and the US TCLP procedure. The leaching results obtained with both methods did not exceed the limit values of this parameter, defined in the Polish law. Both methods were also characterized by the good repeatability of the results. The use of an acetic acid solution (TCLP method) resulted in three times higher arsenic leaching from the examined waste compared to the use of deionized water as a leaching fluid (method PN-EN 12457). Therefore, the use of organic acid tests for mining waste intended for storage with municipal waste should be considered, as the results of the basic test based on clean water leaching may be inadequate to the actual leaching of arsenic under such environmental conditions.
The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to lower demand from China and the U S. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/t and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010–2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tonnes in 2016. In 2019, a decline by 4.8% is expected primarily due to the expected reduction in the demand in major importing countries in Asia.
Coal production in 2018 increased by 3.3% and amounted to 7.81 million tons. Compared to 2010, it increased by 620 million tons. The structure of coal production in the world is very stable in the analyzed period of 2010–2018. Steam coal dominates in production with a share of 77%. Since 1990, the share of coal in the consumption of primary energy carriers has fallen by 3% in the global economy. In the EU, the share of coal in the consumption of primary energy carriers is more than twice lower than in the world, and in 2018 amounted to 13%. BP estimates the sufficiency of coal proven reserves based on 2018 data for the next 132 years. For oil and gas, they are estimated at 51 years. The decline in hard coal production in the European U nion can be dated almost continuously since 1990, which has decreased by 74%. In 2018, 74 million tons of coal were produced in the EU. In 2018, hard coal consumption in EU countries dropped to 226 million tons, i.e. by 20.6%. In 2018, global trade in steam coal amounted to 1.14 billion tons. The situation in China is crucial for the international coal market. The slight change in the import policy of this country significantly affects the situation in international trade in steam coal. In 2019, coal prices (at Newcastle, Richards Bay, ARA ports) dropped by an average of 23 U SD/ton. The average decreases for these three indices were 33%. The prices of steam coal in the forecasts presented in the paper are under pressure of the falling demand.
The purpose of the article was to characterize the international steam coal market based on the latest available data. The information goes back to the first half of 2018. The article focuses on the description of the three largest exporters and importers of steam coal. Representatives in these categories were selected using the latest global statistics on 2017. In 2017, global production of steam coal amounted to 5.68 billion tons and exceeded production in 2016 by 4%. For several years, invariably the world’s leading exporters of steam coal are: Indonesia, Australia and Russia. In total, these three countries in 2017 supplied 73% of steam coal to the international market. However, for the 46% of global steam coal imports (data for 2017), three Asian countries are responsible: China, India and Japan. For each of the six listed countries (i.e. for: three major global exporters and three major global importers), the paper presents volumes related to coal production, export or import. The directions of deliveries or major coal exporters to a given country were also included. At the end of the article, the price situation was presented, as it appeared in the first half of 2018 on the European and Asian markets.
Observing the situation in the power industry it is easy to see that there are very deep changes in it. They rely primarily on moving away from conventional energy to renewable energy. This is particularly the case for energy in the European Union. Europe strives to be a forerunner in renewable technologies and a leader in the fight against global warming. The mining industry is being abolished and coal-fired power stations are being displaced by renewable energy sources. This situation is not only a result of EU directives but also of grassroots social initiatives inspired by environmental groups. The new lignite openings are being blocked, due to the lack of public acceptance, and the construction of conventional power plants. They do not help economic arguments for the development of energy based on coal, lignite, fuel that is significantly cheaper than the other, or to provide potential investors with the creation of new jobs. Also, coal investments are suspended in other regions of the world. CoalSwarm coal research shows that 2016 saw a dramatic fall in the amount of coal investment in the world. Even in China and India, where most of the coal industry has developed in recent years, about 100 investments have been suspended. The situation in the US is unclear. Although Barack Obama signed the Paris Agreement, current United States President Donal Trump has spoken out about this agreement and in numerous speeches and is eager to return to the dominant role of coal in the American economy. Poland still maintains the carbon structure of the power industry, but the Minister of Energy has announced that the new block at the Ostrołęka power plant will be the last coal-fired power plant to be built in Poland. This statement allows us to believe that there may be a return to Poland’s energy policy in the nearest future, and the long-awaited document, Poland’s energy policy until 2050, will determine the direction of change for the coming years.
The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to the lower demand from China and the US. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of the world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/ton and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010 – 2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tons in 2016. A decline by 4.8% is expected in 2019 primarily due to the expected reduction in demand in major importing countries in Asia.
Significant quantities of coal sludge are created during the coal enrichment processes in the mechanical processing plants of hard coal mines (waste group 01). These are the smallest grain classes with a grain size below 1 mm, in which the classes below 0.035 mm constitute up to 60% of their composition and the heat of combustion is at the level of 10 MJ/kg. The high moisture of coal sludge is characteristic, which after dewatering on filter presses reaches the value of 16–28% (Wtot r) (archival paper PG SILESIA). The fine-grained nature and high moisture of the material cause great difficulties at the stage of transport, loading and unloading of the material. The paper presents the results of pelletizing (granulating) grinding of coal sludge by itself and the piling of coal sludge with additional material, which is to improve the sludge energy properties. The piling process itself is primarily intended to improve transport possibilities. Initial tests have been undertaken to show changes in parameters by preparing coal sludge mixtures (PG SILESIA) with lignite coal dusts (LEAG). The process of piling sludge and their mixtures on an AGH laboratory vibratory grinder construction was carried out. As a result of the tests, it can be concluded that all mixtures are susceptible to granulation. This process undoubtedly broadens the transport possibilities of the material. The grain composition of the obtained material after granulation is satisfactory. Up to 2 to 20 mm granules make up 90–95% of the product weight. The strength of the fresh pellets is satisfactory and comparable for all mixtures. Fresh lumps subjected to a test for discharges from a height of 700 mm can withstand from 7 to 14 discharges. The strength of the pellets after longer seasoning, from the height of 500 mm, shows different values for the analyzed samples. The values obtained for hard coal sludge and their blends with brown coal dust are at the level from 4 to 5 discharges. The strength obtained is sufficient to determine the possibility of their transport. At this stage of the work it can be stated that the addition of coal dust from lignite does not cause the deterioration of the material’s strength with respect to clean coal sludge. Therefore, there is no negative impact on the transportability of the granulated material. As a result of mixing with coal dusts, it is possible to increase their energy value (Klojzy-Karczmarczyk at al. 2018). The cost analysis of the analyzed project was not carried out.
Hard coal sludge is classified as group 01 waste or it is a by-product in the production of a hard coal with variable energy importance. Pulverized lignite is not waste but a final product of drying and the very fine pulverization of lignite with a high calorific value. The study comprised the basic material before granulation such as coal sludge (PG SILESIA) and pulverized lignite (LEAG) as well as their prepared blends after the granulation on a pipe vibration granulator designed at AGH. The pulverized lignite of the LEAG company shows a low sulfur contents. In the analyzed samples its average content (Stot d) is 0.61%. An average value of this parameter in the analyzed coal sludge samples is 0.55%. The addition of pulverized lignite does not have a significant impact on the total content of sulfur and of analyzed toxic elements (Hg, As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Tl, and W) in the samples. The calorific value of coal sludge falls within the range of 11.0−12.4 MJ/kg (on a dry basis). For the coal sludge and pulverized lignite blends the calorific value clearly increases to values of 14.8−17.7 MJ/kg (on dry basis). The calorific value slightly decreases in the
The national power industry is based primarily on its own energy mineral resources such as hard and brown coal. Approximately 80% of electrical energy production from these minerals gives us complete energy independence and the cost of its production from coal is the lowest in comparison to other sources. Poland has, for many decades had vast resources of these minerals, the experience of their extraction and processing, the scientific-design facilities and technical factories manufacturing machines and equipment for own needs, as well as for export. Nowadays coal is and should be an important source of electrical energy and heat for the next 25–50 years, because it is one of the most reliable and price acceptable energy sources. This policy may be disturbed over the coming decades due to the depletion of active resources of hard and brown coal. The conditions for new mines development as well as for all coal mining sector development in Poland are very complicated in terms of legislation, environment, economy and image. The authors propose a set of strategic changes in the formal conditions for acquiring mining licenses. The article gives a signal to institutions responsible for national security that without proposed changes implementation in the legal and formal process it, will probably not be possible to build next brown coal, hard coal, zinc and lead ore or other minerals new mines.
The level of sales of a given good depends largely on the distribution network. An analysis of the distribution network allows companies to optimize business activity, which improves the efficiency and profitability of a company’s sales with an immediate effect on profit growth. The so-called spatial analysis is highly useful in this regard. The paper presents an analysis of the network of authorized dealers of the Polish Mining Group for the Opolskie Province. The analysis was done using GIS (SIP) tools. The purpose of the analysis was to present tools that could be used to verify an existing distribution network, to optimize it, or to create a new sales outlet. The prresented tools belong to GIS operations used to process data stored in Spatial Information System resources. These are so-called geoprocessing tools. The article contains several spatial analyses, which results in choosing the optimum location of the distribution point in terms of the defined criteria. The used tools include a spatial intersection and sum. Geocoding and the so-called cartodiagram were also used. The presented analysis can be performed for both the network of authorized retailers within a region, a city or an entire country. The presented tools provide the opportunity to specify the target consumers, areas where they are located and areas of potential consumer concentration. This allows the points of sale in areas with a high probability of finding new customers to be located, which enables the optimal location to be chosen, for example, in terms of access to roads, rail transport, locations of the right area and neighborhood. Spatial analysis tools will also enable the coal company to verify its already existing distribution network.
Coal in Poland is an available conventional fuel providing energy security and independence of the country. Therefore, conventional energy generation should be based on coal with the optimal development of renewable energy sources. Such a solution secures the energy supply based on coal and the independence of political and economic turmoil of global markets. Polish coal reserves can secure the energy supply for decades. Coal will surely be important for energy security in the future despite the growing share of oil and gas in energy mix. The development of renewable power generation will be possible with the conventional energy generation offsetting volatile renewable power generation as Poland’s climate doesn’t allow for the stable and effective use of renewable energy sources. Considering the policy of the European Union with respect to emission reductions of greenhouse gasses and general trends as reflected in the Paris agreement in 2016, as a country we will be forced to increase renewable energy production in our energy mix. However, this process cannot impact the energy security of the country and stability and the uninterrupted supply of energy to consumers. Therefore seeking the compromise with the current energy mix in Poland is the best way to its gradual change with the simultaneous conservation of each of the sources of energy. It’s obvious that Poland can not be lonely energy island in Europe and in the world, which increasingly develops distributed energy and/ renewable technologies as well as energy storage ones. One can notice that without renewable generation and the reduction of coal’s share in country’s energy mix we will become the importer of electricity with raising energy dependence.
Coal combustion processes are the main source of mercury emission to the environment in Poland. Mercury is emitted by both power and heating plants using hard and brown coals as well as in households. With an annual mercury emission in Poland at the level of 10 Mg, the households emit 0.6 Mg. In the paper, studies on the mercury release in the coal and biomass combustion process in household boilers were conducted. The mercury release factors were determined for that purpose. For the analyzed samples the mercury release factors ranged from 98.3 to 99.1% for hard coal and from 99.5% to 99.9% for biomass, respectively. Due to the high values of the determined factors, the amount of mercury released into the environment mainly depends on the mercury content in the combusted fuel. In light of the obtained results, the mercury content in the examined hard coals was 6 times higher than in the biomass (dry basis). Taking the calorific value of fuels into account, the difference in mercury content between coal and biomass decreased, but its content in coal was still 4 times higher. The mercury content determined in that way ranged from 0.7 to 1.7 μg/MJ for hard coal and from 0.1 to 0.5 μg/MJ for biomass, respectively. The main opportunity to decrease the mercury emissions from households is offered by the use of fuels with a mercury content that is as low as possible, as well as by a reduction of fuel consumption. The latter could be obtained by the use of modern boilers as well as by the thermo-modernization of buildings. It is also possible to partially reduce mercury emissions by using dust removal devices.
The paper presents brown coal as one of the two basic domestic energy raw materials apart from hard coal. Historically, the use of brown coal in Poland is primarily fuel for the power plants. It was used for the production of lignite briquettes in small quantities and as fuel for local boiler houses and as an addition to the production of fertilizers (Konin and Sieniawa). At present, after changes in the case of the quality of fuels used in local boiler plants, brown coal remains as a fuel for the power plants in almost 100%. Currently, the brown coal industry produces about 35% of the cheapest electricity. The cost of electricity production is more than 30% lower than the second basic fuel – hard coal. The existing fuel and energy complexes using brown coal, with the Bełchatów complex at the forefront, are now an important guarantor of Poland’s energy security. In contrast to the other fuels such as: oil, natural gas or hard coal, the cost of electricity production from brown coal is predictable in the long term and almost insensitive to fluctuations in global commodity and currency markets. Its exploitation is carried out using the high technological solutions and respecting all environmental protection requirements, both in the area of coal extraction and electricity generation. Importantly, the fuel and energy complexes using brown coal showed a positive profitability so far and generated surpluses enabling the financing of maintenance and development investments, also in other energy segments. In particular, the sector did not require and has yet not benefited from public aid in the form of, for example, subsidies or tax concessions. Polish brown coal mining has all the attributes necessary for long-term development to ensure the country’s energy security. The document which is a road map for the brown coal industry is the Program for the Brown Coal Mining Sector in Poland adopted by the Council of Ministers on May 30, 2018. The Program covers the years 2018–2030 with a perspective up to 2050 and presents the development directions of the brown coal mining sector in Poland together with the objectives and actions necessary to achieve them. The Program presents a strategy for the development of brown coal mining in Poland in the first half of the 21st century. Possible scenarios have developed in active mining and energy basins as well as in new regions with significant resources of this mineral. This is to enable the most efficient use of deposits in the Złoczew and Konin regions as well as the Gubin and Legnica brown coal basins, and then deposits located in the Rawicz region (Oczkowice) as well as other prospective areas that may eventually replace the existing active mining and energy areas. This will allow power plants to continue to produce inexpensive and clean electricity, using the latest global solutions in the field of clean coal technologies.