COORDINATOR: UNIVERSITY OF OVIEDO (CRC Group)
The University of Oviedo is one of the oldest Spanish Universities, being among the most highly ranked in the fields of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The University conducts 80% of the R&D and Innovation activity in Asturias and the income it obtains from scientific output amounts to around 40 million euros a year, with nearly 500 contracts or agreements with companies to carry out research projects. The research group “Research Group for Catalysis, Reactors and Control” is the group coodinating this project. This group is constituted by four full Professors, one Associate Professor and two Teaching Assistants of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, leaded by Prof. Salvador Ordóñez. The group has performed an extensive research on the application of heterogeneous catalysis and chemical reactor technology to different environmental problems (GEI emissions, chlorinated wastes, biofuels from biomass, hydrogen technology, etc). Their research involves both fundamental-experimental aspects (catalyst synthesis and testing, adsorbents development, etc.) as well as process modelling and simulation and industrial implementation. As example, the group leader (S. Ordóñez, ChemEng Ph.D in 1999) has more than 150 papers in JCR-indexed journals, with an h-index of 33. In addition, the group has four industrial patents (one of them in the field of lean methane emissions upgrading) and has maintain research cooperation with different Spanish and European companies.
The University of Exeter is one of the most reputed British Universities, especially in the field of the Engineering disciplines. Two departments of this University will work together on the METHENERGY project, Camborne School of Mines (CSM) and Functional Materials. CSM is in fact older than the host university and worked closely with the international mining industry for over a hundred years before joining Exeter in 1993, where the proximity of other scientific and technological expertise offers exciting opportunities. The project principal investigator Professor John Coggan has over 25 years of experience in mine design, having previously worked in the mining industry in the UK, South Africa and Botswana, including experience of coal mining. He has an extensive research publication record in mining and related areas. For this project, the underlying science will be directed by Dr Yongde Xia in the Functional Materials department. Dr Xia originally qualified at the University of Fudan, China and has research experience in Korea, France and the UK. His main area of expertise is in the experimental preparation and characterisation of nanostructured porous materials for energy applications. Dr Xia has produced more than 90 scientific journal papers in the field.
Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) is the largest research centre in Northern Greece and was founded in March 2000. CERTH is a non-profit organization that directly reports to the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), of the Greek Ministry of Development. The mission of CERTH is to carry out fundamental and applied research with emphasis on development of novel products and services of industrial, economic and social importance. The research responsible, Dr. Koukouzas, is Dr. Geologist & Director of Research at CERTH/CPERI. He has been Project Manager and Principal Investigator at various projects on fossil fuel characterization, combustion, emissions, and applications of coal combustion by-products, primarily fly ash. He has been Deputy Director of CERTH/ISFTA supervising a team of over 40 scientists with offices in Ptolemais, Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Dr. Koukouzas is a member of the Executive Committee of the Monitoring and Assessment Exercise of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel. He also represents the country in several International Organizations, such as CSLF, EURACOAL, ETP, ZEP, and others. Some previous and ongoing relative RFCS projects which he managed on behalf of CERTH include CFB800, CLEFCO, ABETRAP, CLEAN SELECTIVE, UCG-CO2Storage, MANAGER and COAL2GAS. Overall, he has been Scientific Responsible for over 35 EU and national projects since 2003. He has authored and coauthored over 150 publications in scientific journals and conferences, with h-index: 16 and over 850 citations. Dr. Koukouzas is member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (Elsevier).
Premogovnik Velenje, d. d. (the Velenje Coal Mine) is a technologically advanced company with lignite mining as its primary activity. With an over 139-year tradition in lignite mining, it is firmly rooted in the Slovenian energy economics. At today’s mining output, there are enough deposits of the Velenje lignite for another four decades of the coal mine operation. Based on the tradition, experience and knowledge, PV has more departments dealing with research activities. Beside Research and development department, Clean coal technology department, big support is given by the Technical 2department and Work preparation department (equipment specialists) who continue their mission of planning and further development of excavation in the sense of continuous increase of economic efficiency of production, increase of safety and humanity of work as well as reduction of environmental impacts. More than 50 experts are employed in the Technical Services department, among them more than two thirds are mining, mechanical, electrical and geological engineers. The participation of the company mainly deals with the use of ventilation exhausts. For main ventilation CMV is using flow-through ventilation were mine faces, main roadways, pumping station etc. are ventilated. CMV installations consider natural ventilation and artificial (forced) ventilation. For safety reasons (CMV is methane mine) two main fans and depression ventilation are used with diagonal way of ventilation. CMV has two exiting airways (two main fans) and fife air entering airways (shafts, dips). These ventilation approach is very interesting for installing end-of-pipe devices for methane concentration and/or upgrading.
VSB-Technical University of Ostrava. The department involved in the project (Geotechnics and Underground Engineering) performs active research in the technologies of underground construction, design of geotechnical constructions and support, mathematical modelling of geotechnical and hydrogeological processes and constructions (including stochastic methods), methods of geotechnical monitoring, monitoring of mining induced seismicity, processing of soil properties, foundation engineering. Soil mechanics laboratory, laboratory of geotechnical and seismic monitoring are at disposal. The department is equipped by software for numerical modelling of geotechnical and hydrogeological problems (FEFLOW, GMS, Visula MODFLOW, Plaxis, Phase, Midas GTS, Flac, Udec, Geo5, PFC2D). The department is involved in different projects in the field of the management of mine waters, CO2 capture and after-closure management of mines.
The Central Mining Institute (GIG). The strategic and key aim of the Institute is to strengthen its position in the European Research Area in the field of mining, environmental engineering and new directions for the use of coal fuel. The Institute’s activities include projects, financed or co-financed by various programmes using resources of the European Union. GIG’s area of activity covers target projects, own research projects, commissioned projects and development projects, implemented under Structural Funds and EU programmes. GIG participates in activities carried out under a strategic research and development programme, and so-called Technology Initiative. The strong position, tradition and constant development of the Institute is proved among others by operating Experimental Mine Barbara which is currently a part of the Institute, and has been a unique training ground on a global scale since 1926. Other successful projects include Silesian Centre for Environmental Radioactivity established in 2012, and Clean Coal Technology Centre created in 2013. All facilities and research centres run by GIG have a unique scientific and research equipment, and methods of world-class research, which allows for the implementation of work in the area of mining, geoengineering, and environmental engineering and protection, as well as other specialities related to these disciplines in the full range of research and a high level of science. The qualified staff of the Institute and the research team have experience and have achieved success in the area of research, including among others numerous scientific publications, especially in the area related to the topic of the project or related topics, participation in national and European projects and numerous awards for achievements in science. The results of the Institute’s research, developed and implemented inventions (several dozens of inventions submitted to the Polish Patent Office, including PL 195 518 B1 patent on the method for determining drainage capacity of rocks by Przemysław Bukowski, an associate professor, (one of the key members of the project team) have a significant contribution to the development of innovation in the field of mining, geoengineering, and environmental engineering and protection in mining areas.
Green Gas DPB, a.s. The company was established in 1960. Since 2008 company is the part of Green Gas International group. The essential mission company is to extract, by environmentally friendly means, underground methane from both active and closed coal mines. The main business activities are the production of electricity, gas and heat power production, gas distribution, gas trading, mining and surface drilling works, and specialised engineering activities in the field of geology and mining. Company structure is composed from 5 divisions (electricity, mine and natural gas, engineering services, surface and in-mine drilling, special remediation). Company has an average of 320 employees (2015), of which 140 are workers and 180 technicians, engineers and administrative staff. Annual budget is on average level of 50 mil. EURO.The company has adopted an integrated management system according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001.
SRK S.A. This company was established as a result of achieving the objectives of the Adjustment to Government Programme: Reform of Hard Coal Mining in Poland in Poland for 1998 – 2002. The creation of the Company is the result of the merger in 2000 of different mines-joint-stock companies.In the following years the company took over additional mines. As a result, it brings together 26 abandoned coal mines. SRK S.A. is a mining company, set up to conduct the mines liquidation, securing neighbouring mines against the threat of flooding, gas and fire, during and after mine closure. The company deals with managing assets of the liquidated mines and creating new jobs, especially for employees of liquidated mines. Besides, its activities also include tasks related to the removal of mining damage and mining areas reclamation. In 2015, SRK SA expands its operations in restructuring of mining companies and takes over another additional six mines, in which there will be realized not only liquidation, as well as rehabilitation programs to improve their effectiveness and to sale of part of the mines to new investors. SRK SA is maintaining contacts with companies in other European Union countries, including Germany, Great Britain, Spain, which deal with problems associated with the liquidation and restructuring of mining companies.
Chalmers University of Technology. Materials Microstructure team at Chalmers Dept. of Physics is a well-established group in materials characterization and high-temperature corrosion, operating in Gothenburg, Sweden. The mission of the group is “to reveal the detailed microstructure of key materials for a sustainable future, to understand the development of microstructure during fabrication and service, and to engineer materials microstructure to improve/for improved properties, by using advanced methods of microscopy, microanalysis and modelling, in world-wide collaboration with universities, research institutes, industry and society.” The team has deep expertise in microscopy, high-temperature corrosion and coating technology and possesses a wide range of state-of-art microscopy instrumentation, incl. EDX-SEM, TEM, EELS, and FIB (see the detailed description). Mats Halvarsson is Professor and Head of Materials Microstructure Division at Chalmers University of Technology/Dept. of Physics. Prof. Halvarsson has directed a large number of R&D projects on high-T corrosion and nanomaterials characterization and has supervised more than 20 PhD students and postdocs in this field. He has authored more than 100 papers for international scientific journals and his publications have been cited more than 1000 times at Scopus and WoK. The most recent RFCS project that Prof. Halvarsson has directed on behalf of Chalmers Materials Microstructure team is the “AUSPLUS” project (Austenitic steels for complex and variable Stress-temperature, Pressure and environmentaL conditions of next generation Ultra Supercritical power plants 2010-14) where the team focused on the corrosion mechanisms on 22Cr austenitic alloy in oxy-combustion environment. The group consists of over 20 highly trained engineers and physicists and their expertise is considered essential for the materials development/characterization/selection part of the project.
SADIM. SADIM was created in 1999 as a company, promoted and owned 100% by HUNOSA Group. It was settled to promote the diversification of its sole shareholder by developing Engineering and Consulting areas. SADIM counts with a staff of more than 40 highly qualified professionals, which may be strengthened, by the staff of HUNOSA with a wide experience on technical issues. Sadim has three Business Areas: 1) ATEX. Advisory and consulting related to Explosive Atmospheres. In addition, SADIM-ATEX is the only Inspection Body Type C in Spain accredited by ENAC to develop Conformity Inspections according to R.D. 681/2003 (Directive 1999/92/EC). 2) Engineering Area. A wide range of Engineering and Consultancy services customized to the client needs, such as mining method design, feasibility studies, mining permits, environmental studies, project management, construction and mining operation, staff training, etc. 3) ITC Area. ITC developments, document management system, Geographical Information System (GIS), property register services, Multimedia solutions, specialized formation, etc. As a result, HUNOSA has always been present in Expert Committees of the European Union. In the same way SADIM is the only company accredited by ENAC to develop Conformity Inspections according to R.D. 681/2003 (Directive 1999/92/EC). ENAC accreditations are recognized in more than 60 countries thanks to the EA MLA Multilateral Agreement established between Accreditation Bodies from all over the world.
Polska Grupa Górnicza (PGG) is one of the largest domestic and European coal producer (its output is about 12 million tons of high quality thermal coal which constitutes about 18 % of total Polish coal production). The Group’s mines extract coal deposits using the longwall mining system with a fall of roof or hydraulic backfill, which is connected with the need to protect the surface infrastructure. The Company develops and improves extraction technologies for low deposits (namely, coal deposits with a height of up to 1.5 m), which results in the expansion of the extraction area by further excavation fields. The Group is modernising the basic equipment of longwalls in order to improve reliability and limit failures of the installed devices and improve the health and safety conditions. Modifications are also applied to the ventilation structure of mines, which contributes among other things to minimising ventilation and fire risks. For quality and safety issues, the company is supported by the following management systems: ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environment and PN-N-18001 for work safety. The company is also involved on coal mining logistics (coal transportation within mine facilities, conveyor belts for staff transportation, air conditioning installations, etc.).
PGG also takes action aimed at better utilization of coal bed methane and limitation of its influence for environment. The above purpose will be performed by maximizing of methane captured either during mining works or initial, pre-exploitation drainage with the use of surface boreholes and hydraulic fracturing. Captured methane is burned in gas engines for electrical energy and heat production