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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » February 23, 2012
Technology
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Clean Coal Technology Center
February 23, 2012   
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The Clean Coal Technology Center (CCTW) is the largest investment project in research infrastructure in the Polish southern region of Silesia.

The partners in the project are the Central Mining Institute (GIG) in the city of Katowice and the Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal (IChPW) in the city of Zabrze.

Thanks to the project, it will be possible to conduct laboratory research into clean coal technologies. The CCTW research infrastructure will make the institution a leading European center in developing new processes and methods in the area of clean coal technology.

Under the project, unique facilities will be constructed, including an installation for coal gasification under high pressure, coal combustion in oxygen, and underground coal gasification. The facilities will be located in three cities. The ground installations for coal combustion in oxygen and coal gasification for industrial needs will be based in Zabrze near the IChPW. The facility for underground coal gasification will be in GIG’s experimental mine Barbara in Mikołów. And large research facilities in the form of modern laboratories will be developed in Katowice.

The first facility of the Clean Coal Technology Center—the Center for Process Simulation, Control and Process Archiving—was launched in January 2011 at IChPW in Zabrze. It will design, model and analyze experimental coal gasification processes in installations above ground.

GIG’s new radiometric laboratory, provided with state-of-the-art equipment, will soon be launched in Katowice. In another project, an innovative experimental installation for the development of coal and biomass gasification technology for industrial use will be built at the Barbara experimental mine in Mikołów.

The Clean Coal Technology Center receives funding under the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Program for 2007-2013. The funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund. The total value of the project is almost zl.162 million, or 45 million euros, of which EU funding will be worth around zl.137 million, or 38 million euros. It is estimated that around 60 new specialist jobs will be created at the center by the end of 2013. The center will work with scientists from many countries. It will also train research workers from other scientific centers, university students and industrial practitioners.
Ewa Dereń

Marek ¦ci±żko, director of the Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal in Zabrze:

The development of the Clean Coal Technology Center is divided into several stages. The launch of the Center for Process Simulation at the Institute marks the end of the first stage. Contracts have already been signed with companies to finance individual research projects conducted with the use of the new installations. The remaining pilot installations should be ready in 2012.

The pilot installations are the crucial part of the Clean Coal Technology Center project because Poland does not have this kind of testing grounds at present. And there are few such facilities across Europe because they are expensive. Combustion in pure oxygen, called oxy-combustion, is still a new technology in the world, as is high-pressure gasification for special applications. For this purpose we are working on a completely new reactor design. We know we are unable to compete in areas where the world has already outdistanced us, but we want to carve out new market niches. The installations will allow us to conduct research on a scale making it possible to transfer the research findings to industrial practice. Additionally, we will become a key partner for Polish universities and international centers.

The development of clean coal technology is of crucial importance to using coal in the future. The goal is to turn coal combustion into a process free from carbon dioxide emissions and waste. And coal should be processed more efficiently into a wider range of final products, including gas and liquid fuels. The Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal is now the key partner in all Polish projects associated with clean coal technology. The institute has worked in the energy sector for years, developing standards widely applied in Poland today. We are a technology institute, which means we develop our own technologies and help bring licensed technologies into industrial practice thanks to our expertise and familiarity with technology development trends. It has always been our main task to provide applied knowledge and this also holds true for our most recent challenge associated with clean coal technology—the goal is to develop the best possible solutions in the energy sector as soon as possible. There is every indication that the EU directive on reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be shaping our world in the coming years. And we have to get ready for that.
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