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05 June, 2009

A sophisticated mathematical model to identify how furnace operations will need to be modified to use dried brown coal is one of the diverse range of CSIRO projects in this edition.

Dried brown coal has 70 per cent less water than the brown coal currently used in Victorian power generation plants, which gives it the potential to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from that source.

CSIRO’s Dr Phil Schwarz said the change from wet to dried coal represents a challenge for existing combustion systems.

“Dr Schwarz and his team have developed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that reproduces the coal-burning process within a furnace.”

“Directly replacing the present coal with dried coal will change the temperature profile in the furnace and it may not operate optimally," Dr Schwarz said.

The project is partly funded through the Victorian Government’s Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS).

Dr Schwarz and his team have developed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that reproduces the coal-burning process within a furnace. The researchers are validating the CFD model using a scaled-down physical model.

The information from the CFD model could be used by Victorian power generation companies to reconfigure their furnaces to accommodate the dried coal, and help to maximise outputs.

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