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Where R&D should venture next

Nearly 40 per cent of delegates polled at the 33rd Coaltrans World Coal Conference believe that research and development in the coal industry should be focused on looking at more efficient, more flexible and cleaner power plants.

Just over a quarter of delegates at the event in Berlin said that R&D should concentrate on finding ways to reduce the environmental footprint of coal such as on ground water and on emissions to air, while 19 per cent said it should look at CO2 capture and storage.
Around 15 per cent thought R&D efforts should be focused on coal conversion such as upgrading and gasification.

When it came to what type of “blue sky” research should be pursued to address alternative uses of European coal resources and improve the security of supply, 23 per cent said underground coal gasification and 19 per cent voted for robotic mining. Almost 30 per cent of delegates, however, said “forget about blue sky research”.

Alan Haigh, head of the European Commission’s Research Fund for Coal & Steel (RFCS), which was set up over 10 years ago to look after the competitiveness of the industry, told delegates that since its inception more than €500 million has been allocated in support of the industry.

The RFCS believes that investment in research and innovation is “vital” if Europe’s coal and steel industries are to remain competitive in an increasingly fierce global market and contribute to economic growth and job creation in all member states.

Every year around € 55 million is made available to universities, research centres and private companies to fund projects. These projects cover production processes, application, utilisation and conversion of resources, safety at work, environmental protection and reducing CO2 emissions from coal use and steel production.
This content is provided by Coaltrans Conferences for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.

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