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 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 paper discusses the current situation as well as the perspectives for hard coal extraction in India, a global leader both in terms of hard coal output and import volumes. Despite this, over 300 million people lack access to electricity in this country. The main energy resource of India is hard coal and Coal India Limited (CI L) is the world’s biggest company dealing with hard coal extraction. CI L has over 450 mines, employs over 400,000 people, and extracts ca. 430 million tons of hard coal from its 471 mining facilities. India is planning the decisive development of hard coal mining to extract 1.5 billion tons in 2020. Hard coal output in India can be limited due to the occurrence of various threats, including the methane threat. The biggest methane threat occurs in the mines in the Jharia basin, located in East India (the Jharkhand province), where coal methane content is up to ca. 18 m3/Mg. Obtaining methane from coal seams is becoming a necessity. The paper provides guidelines for the classification of particular levels of the methane threat in Indian’s mines. The results of methane sorption tests, carried by the use of the microgravimetric method on coal from the Moonidih mine were presented. Sorption capacities and the diffusion coefficient of methane on coal were determined. The next step was to determine the possibility of degassing the seam, using numerical methods based on the value of coal diffusion coefficient based on Crank’s diffusion model solution. The aim of this study was the evaluation of coal seam demethanization possibilities. The low diffusivity of coal, combined with a minor network of natural cracks in the seam, seems to preclude foregoing demethanization carried out by means of coal seam drilling, without prior slotting.
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 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.
The aim of the study is to determine the mercury content in hard coal, randomly taken from the USCB and in by-products of hard coal mining (fresh mining waste), i.e. aggregates (gangue) and hard coal sludge and mining waste from the Siersza dump (weathered waste). The 34 samples were intended for analysis. The total mercury content and the amount of mercury leaching from solid samples was determined. The percentage of the leaching form in the total element content, i.e. the level of mercury release from the material (leaching level), was also calculated. The amount of mercury leaching was determined by a static method using a batch test 1:10. The highest possibility of leaching mercury is characterized by weathered waste from the Siersza dump and slightly lower analyzed hard coal from the U pper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB). For hard coal samples, the total mercury content is between 0.0275–0.1236 mg/kg. However, the amount of mercury leaching from coal samples is 0.0008–0.0077 mg/kg. The aggregate is characterized by a higher total mercury content in the finest fraction 0–6 mm, within 0.1377–0.6107 mg/kg and much lower in the 80-120 mm fraction, within 0.0508–0.1274 mg/kg. The amount of elution is comparable in both fractions and amounts to 0.0008–0.0057 mg/kg. Coal sludge has a total mercury content of 0.0937–0.2047 mg/kg. L ow leaching values of 0.0014–0.0074 mg/ kg are also observed. Weathered mining waste has a total mercury content of 0.0622–0.2987 mg/kg. However, leaching values from weathered waste are much higher than from fresh mining waste. This value is 0.0058–0.0165 mg/kg. In the hard coal extracted from U SCB, the leaching level is 4.7% on average. Mining waste is characterized by a large variation in the proportion of mercury leaching form and the differences result from the seasoning time of the samples. Waste or by-products of hard coal production, such as aggregates and coal sludge, show a mercury washout form at an average level of 1.7%. The proportion of leachable form in weathered waste increased strongly to 7.3%. Elution characteristics vary for different groups of materials tested. Factors such as the type and origin of samples, their granulometric composition and the seasoning time of the material are of fundamental importance and demonstrated in the work.
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.
Households are the most significant group of consumers in the municipal and household sector in Poland. In 2010-2016, households consumed annually from 8.9 to 10.8 million Mg of coal (77-81% share in this sector). As of the beginning of 2018, seven voivodships in Poland have already introduced anti-smog resolutions, one has its draft, three are considering introduction of such resolutions. In the face of introducing anti-smog resolutions, the analysis of coal consumption by households was conducted for a situation where anti-smog resolutions will be introduced in all voivodships in Poland. A forecast of hard coal consumption by Polish households in 2017-2030 was presented in the article. Two scenarios differentiated in terms of calorific value of coal were taken into account: (i) concerned coal with a calorific value of 24 MJ/kg (min. Q for eco-pea coal: grain size 5.0-31.5 mm), (ii) – coals with a calorific value of 26 MJ/kg (Q recommended for use by producers of class 5 boilers). In the perspective of 2030, the largest decrease in hard coal consumption can be expected (jointly) in the voivodships of Śląskie, Dolnośląskie, Opolskie and Lubuskie. Under the assumptions made, in relation to 2016, it may be reduced by half and fall from 2.8 to the level of 1.4-1.5 million Mg. The smallest decreases in consumption may occur (jointly) in the Małopolskie, Lubelskie, Podkarpackie and Świętokrzyskie voivodships – decrease by 16-22% and fall from 2.6 to approximately 1.9-2.0 million Mg. On a national scale, coal consumption may decrease from the current 10.4 (2016) to around 6.3-6.8 million Mg (a decrease of 30-35%). Despite the decrease in hard coal consumption in the 2030 perspective, one should expect an increase in demand for high quality coal dedicated to modern boilers (usually pea assortments) as well as qualified coal fuels (mainly eco-pea coal).
A significant part of hard coal production (15–19% in the years 2010–2017, i.e. 1.0–1.3 billion tons per year) is traded on the international market. The majority of coal trade takes place by sea, accounting for 91–94% of the total coal trade. The article discusses the share of coal in international seaborne trade and the largest coal ports. Coal is one the five major bulk commodities (in addition to iron ore, grain, bauxite, alumina, and phosphate rock). In the years 2010–2016, the share of coal in international seaborne trade and major bulk commodities was 36–41% and 11–12%, respectively. Based on the analysis of coal throughput in different ports worldwide, the ports with the largest throughput include the ports of Qinhuangdao (China), Newcastle (Australia), and Richards Bay (South Africa). For 2013–2017, their throughput amounted to a total of 411–476 million tons of coal. The largest coal exporting countries were: Australia, Indonesia, Russia, Colombia, South Africa, and the US (a total of 85% share in global coal exports), while the largest importers are Asian countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (a 64% share in global imports). In Europe, Germany is the largest importer of coal (54 million tons imported in 2016). The article also discusses the freight costs and the bulk carrier fleet. Taking the price of coal at the recipient’s (i.e. at the importer’s port) into account, the share of freight costs in the CIF price of steam coal (the price of a good delivered at the frontier of the importing country) was at the level of 10–14%. In the years 2010–2016, the share of bulk carriers in the world fleet was in the range of 11–15%. In terms of tonnage, bulk carriers accounted for 31–35% of the total tonnage of all types of ships in the world. The share of new (1–4 years) bulk carriers in the total number of ships on a global scale in the years 2010–2016 was 29–46%.
Paper deals with the new localizer GLOP2 designed for detection of the miners trapped in underground hard coal mines. The results of a field test conducted in coal mine BOBREK show that the presented localizer allows for efficient measurement of the distance between a trapped miner and the rescuer in the range of up to 15 m.
The coal fed to gravity enrichment consists of coals coming from different deposits and exploitation fronts. These coals differ in quality parameters, especially the amount of gangue (stone) changing over time. This results in the instability of work, especially jiggers, which have a relatively low accuracy assessed by probable scattering or imperfection rates. This deteriorates the quality of the concentrate obtained, the quality parameters of which change over time. The improvement of jiggers work would be possible by averaging the feed. This process is practically impossible due to the failure to design such a node during plant construction, which are, in most cases, directly related to the shaft. In the article, the authors propose to solve the process of averaging the feed before directing it to the enrichment process in jiggers by introducing its deshaling in vibratory- air separators of the FGX type.
The implementation of EU environmental regulations in the energy sector is challenging for the power industry of its member states. The main role is played by documents such as the Winter Package and, especially, the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the emission limits of certain pollutants and the implementation of BAT conclusions in order to achieve the EU’s decarbonization objectives. These regulations impose a greater need to control harmful substances emitted to the atmosphere while using fossil fuels, including hard coal, which is the main fuel for domestic units. At the same time, the decline in domestic fossil fuel production and decrease in the quality of parameters of the hard coal makes it difficult to purchase the proper fuel for power plants. As a consequence, the costs of hard coal increase. The article presents the concept of a mathematical model that can be applied for the optimization of coal supplies. The employment of this model allows one to achieve cost reductions. One of the advantages of the proposed tool, in addition to minimizing the cost of purchase and use of hard coal, is its rational management, especially for companies producing and using hard coal.
Coal mining is one of the most important sectors of the Polish industry. It can be said that the coal is a national raw material. This results in Poland being a pioneer in the European Union in terms of coal mining as well as its use in the production of electricity and heat. There are many companies in Poland which have been established and developed around the coal mining industry aimed at coal extracting. The operations of those companies depends on the condition of the mining companies and their cooperation with them: commercial, service and advisory, called referred to as “mining supporting companies”. The article focuses on the results of a survey carried out in mining supporting companies, such as mining machinery and equipment manufacturers, mining-related service companies and mining-related research and development institutions. The authors evaluated the relationship and dependence of those companies on the mining industry. It was assumed that the measure of the mining supporting companies condition is the overall quantity of public related payments contributed to the state budget and local budgets. In the article, the authors raised the problem of the size of losses for public finances, as a result of the significant limitations of financial flows from the mining companies. The surveyed companies are those associated with the Polish Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce. As a result, the authors prepared conclusions regarding the dependence of the mining supporting companies on the situation of the mining subsector.
The role of the hard coal mining sector in ensuring energy security of the country has been presented in the paper. An analysis of its current status was made based on the results obtained by the sector in 2017. Moreover, the determinants which are the precondition for further sustainable and efficient operation in the years to come have been defined.
The purpose of the research was mapping, inventorization, and valorization of coal mining waste dumps from the mines of JSW SA company, for the needs of recovery of coal from the dump material as well as the reclamation and management of examined facilities. The valorization of post-mining waste dumps has been carried out using a methodology which considers the problems of reclamation, management, accessibility of the dumps as well as environmental hazards connected with disposing of mining and preparation wastes on the ground surface. An inventorization of 10 coal mining waste dumps coming from 6 mines of JSW SA including in their range 7 deposits: Borynia, Jastrzębie, Zofiówka, Budryk, Knurów, Szczygłowice and Pniówek was carried out. The source material within the localization of particular dumps was obtained from archival materials coming from coal mines and municipalities where the dumps are located. Verified data has been drawn on topographical map, which results in the map of coal mining waste dumps. The results of the valorization of the dumps comprise the defining of: the name of the dump, state of the dump, surface of the dump, accessibility, name of the coal mine from where the wastes come from, type of technical and biological reclamation and possibilities of coal recovery, which have been brought on the drawn map. Basing on collected and elaborated data, an attempt of defining of potential possibilities of recovery of coal from the dumps and connection of coal quality in the deposits of JSW SA and in waste material was made. The results of the research showed that in spite of preliminary information that a majority of the investigated dumps may be considered as potential facilities for coal recovery, ultimately the recovery is economically justified only in several cases (5 facilities).
The new legislative provisions, regulating the trade in solid fuels in our country, draw attention to the need to develop and improve methods and methods of managing hard coal sludge. The aim of the work was to show whether filtration parameters (mainly the permeability coefficient) of hard coal sludge are sufficient for construction of insulating layers in landfills at the stage of their closing and what is the demand for material in the case of such a procedure. The analysis was carried out for landfills for municipal waste in the Opolskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie provinces. For hard coal sludge, the permeability coefficient values are in the range of 10–8–10–11 m/s, with the average value of 3.16 × 10–9 m/s. It can be concluded that this material generally meets the criteria of tightness for horizontal and often vertical flows. When compaction, increasing load or mixing with fly ash from hard coal combustion and clays, the achieved permeability coefficient often lowers its values. Based on the analysis, it can be assumed that hard coal sludge can be used to build mineral insulating barriers. At the end of 2016, 50 municipal landfills were open in the Opolskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie Provinces. Only 36 of them have obtained the status of a regional installation, close to 1/3 of the municipal landfill are within the Major Groundwater Basin (MGB) range. The remaining storage sites will be designated for closure. Assuming the necessity to close all currently active municipal waste landfills, the demand for hard coal sludge amounts to a total of 1,779,000 m3 which, given the assumptions, gives a mass of 2,704,080 Mg. The total amount of hard coal sludge production is very high in Poland. Only two basic mining groups annually produce a total of about 1,500,000 Mg of coal sludge. The construction of insulating layers in landfills of inert, hazardous and non-hazardous and inert wastes is an interesting solution. Such an application is prospective, but it will not solve the problem related to the production and management of this waste material as a whole. It is important to look for further solutions.
Nowadays, actions allowing for a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission are taken worldwide. Great emphasis is placed on reducing mercury emission from the processes of energochemical coal conversion, mainly from the coal combustion processes. One of the methods which enable a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission is the removal of mercury from coal before its conversion. It should be pointed out that mercury in hard coal may occur both in the organic and mineral matter. Therefore, a universal method should allow for the removal of mercury, combined in both ways, from coal. In the paper, a concept of the hybrid mercury removal process from hard coal was presented. The idea of the process is based on the combination of the coal cleaning process using wet or dry methods (first stage) and the thermal pretreatment process at a temperature in the range from 200 to 400 °C (second stage). In the first stage, a part of mercury occurring in the mineral matter is removed. In the second stage, a part of mercury occurring in the organic matter as well as in some inorganic constituents characterized by a relatively low temperature of mercury release is removed. Based on the results of the preliminary research, the effectiveness of the decrease in mercury content in coal in the hybrid process was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%. The effect of the decrease in mercury content in coal is much more significant when mercury content is referred to a low heating value of coal. So determined, the effectiveness was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%.
Because of the value of time, investors are interested in obtaining economic benefits rather early and at a highest return. But some investing opportunities, e.g. mineral projects, require from an investor to freeze their capital for several years. In exchange for this, they expect adequate remuneration for waiting, uncertainty and possible opportunities lost. This compensation is reflected in the level of interest rate they demand. Commonly used approach of project evaluation – the discounted cash flow analysis – uses this interest rate to determine present value of future cash flows. Mining investors should worry about project’s cash flows with greater assiduousness – especially about those arising in first years of the project lifetime. Having regard to the mining industry, this technique views a mineral deposit as complete production project where the base sources of uncertainty are future levels of economic-financial and technical parameters. Some of them are more risky than others – this paper tries to split apart and weigh their importance by the example of Polish hard coal projects at the feasibility study. The work has been performed with the sensitivity analysis of the internal rate of return. Calculations were made using the ‘bare bones’ assumption (on all the equity basis, constant money, after tax, flat price and constant operating costs), which creates a good reference and starting point for comparing other investment alternatives and for future investigations. The first part introduces with the discounting issue; in the following sections the paper presents data and methods used for spinning off risk components from the feasibility-stage discount rate and, in the end, some recommendations are presented.
In this study, a new laser flash system was proposed for the determination of the thermal conductivity of brown coal, hard coal and anthracite. The main objective of the investigation was to determine the effect of coal rank, composition, physical structure and temperature on thermal conductivity. The solid fuels tested were medium conductors of heat whose determined thermal conductivities were in the range of 0.09 to 0.23 W/(m K) at room temperature. The thermal conductivity of the solid fuels tested typically increased with the rank of coal and the measurement temperature. The results of this study show that the physical structure of solid fuels and temperature have a dominant effect on the fuels' thermal conductivity.
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 new legislative provisions, regulating the solid fuel trade in Poland, and the resolutions of provincial assemblies assume, inter alia, a ban on the household use of lignite fuels and solid fuels produced with its use; this also applies to coal sludge, coal flotation concentrates, and mixtures produced with their use. These changes will force the producers of these materials to find new ways and methods of their development, including their modification (mixing with other products or waste) in order to increase their attractiveness for the commercial power industry. The presented paper focuses on the analysis of coal sludge, classified as waste (codes 01 04 12 and 01 04 81) or as a by-product in the production of coals of different types. A preliminary analysis aimed at presenting changes in quality parameters and based on the mixtures of hard coal sludge (PG SILESIA) with coal dusts from lignite (pulverized lignite) (LEAG) has been carried out. The analysis of quality parameters of the discussed mixtures included the determination of the calorific value, ash content, volatile matter content, moisture content, heavy metal content (Cd, Tl, Hg, Sb, As, Pb, Cr, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, and W), and sulfur content. The preliminary analysis has shown that mixing coal sludge with coal dust from lignite and their granulation allows a product with the desired quality and physical parameters to be obtained, which is attractive to the commercial power industry. Compared to coal sludge, granulates made of coal sludge and coal dust from lignite with or without ground dolomite have a higher sulfur content (in the range of 1–1.4%). However, this is still an acceptable content for solid fuels in the commercial power industry. Compared to the basic coal sludge sample, the observed increase in the content of individual toxic components in the mixture samples is small and it therefore can be concluded that the addition of coal dust from lignite or carbonates has no significant effect on the total content of the individual elements. The calorific value is a key parameter determining the usefulness in the power industry. The size of this parameter for coal sludge in an as received basis is in the range of 9.4–10.6 MJ/kg. In the case of the examined mixtures of coal sludge with coal dust from lignite, the calorific value significantly increases to the range of 14.0–14.5 MJ/kg (as received). The obtained values increase the usefulness in the commercial power industry while, at the same time, the requirements for the combustion of solid fuels are met to a greater extent. A slight decrease in the calorific value is observed in the case of granulation with the addition of CaO or carbonates. Taking the analyzed parameters into account, it can be concluded that the prepared mixtures can be used in the combustion in units with flue gas desulfurization plants and a nominal thermal power not less than 1 MW. At this stage of work no cost analysis was carried out.
This article presents the use of a multi-criterion Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method to assess geological and mining condition nuisance in longwall mining operations in selected coal mines in Poland. For this purpose, a methodology has been developed which was used to calculate the operational nuisance indicator (WUe) in relation to the cost of mining coal in individual longwalls. Components of the aggregate operational nuisance indicator include four sub-indicators: the natural hazards indicator (UZN), an indicator describing the seam parameters (UPZ), an indicator describing the technical parameters (UT) and an environmental impact indicator (UŚ). In total, the impact of 28 different criteria, which formed particular components of the nuisance indicators were analysed. In total 471 longwalls in 11 coal mines were analysed, including 277 longwalls that were mined in the period of 2011 to 2016 and 194 longwalls scheduled for exploitation in the years 2017 to 2021. Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the relationships between nuisance and the operating costs of longwalls. The analysis revealed a strong correlation between the level of nuisance and the operating costs of the longwalls under study. The design of the longwall schedule should therefore also take into account the nuisance arising from the geological and mining conditions of the operations. Selective operations management allows for the optimization of costs for mining in underground mines using the longwall system. This knowledge can also be used to reduce the total operating costs of mines as a result of abandoning the mining operations in entire longwalls or portions of longwalls that may be permanently unprofitable. Currently, underground mines do not employ this optimization method, which even more emphasizes the need for popularizing this approach.
The article compares the management of energy resources in Poland and Ukraine over the period 2000–2017. The analysis took changes in the volume of coal, oil and natural gas resources into consideration. The indicators of supplies of these fuels for Poland and Ukraine have additionally been compared with selected EU countries. In order to assess energy security of Poland and Ukraine, the changes in the primary energy consumption have been analyzed in general in first order, then the possibilities of meeting the demand for natural gas, coal and oil have been determined based on the domestic extraction of individual energy resources. Such a comparison indicates the dominant role of coal in Poland while the extraction of oil and natural gas meets the domestic demand to a greater extent in Ukraine. Over the period 2000-2017, trends in primary energy consumption were different; a 17% increase was noted in Poland, while a nearly 40% decline was noted in Ukraine. The main factors responsible for radical changes in fuel and energy management in Ukraine have been identified: military operations in the east of the country and the annexation of Crimea, demographic changes. These events had a negative impact especially on the volume of hard coal mining in Ukraine; the significant increase in imports from 5.36 to 19.14 million tons in 2011-2017 was necessary for balancing. The balance of foreign exchange for electricity was also compared. Over the past years, this comparison has been favorable for Ukraine, where the dominance of electricity exports over imports is noticeable, which generated revenues of over USD 200 million in 2017.
Work is being carried out on possibilities of limiting the content of mercury in hard coal products by gravity concentration of run-of-mine coal in the Branch of the Institute of Mechanized Construction and Rock Mining in Katowice and on the Faculty of Energy and Fuels of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. Under domestic industrial conditions, gravity concentration is carried out with heavy medium liquids and in jigs. Preliminary - pilot studies have shown the possibility of mercury removal also by using the dry deshaling method involving vibratory air separators. Mercury is mainly found in the pyrite and the rubble formed by the mineral carbon, but also in the organic carbon. Some of it is located in layers of coal roof fields, which in the course of their exploitation go to coal. The mercury removal efficiency during the gravity concentration process will depend on the decomposition of the listed components in the density fractions. The paper presents the results of investigations of total mercury and total sulphur content in the separated coal fractions from four mines. These contents were determined in fractions: –1.5 g/cm3 (conventionally clean coal – concentrate), 1.5–1.8 g/cm3 (conventionally middlings) and +1.8 g/cm3 (conventionally rock – waste). The results are summarized in Tables 3–5 and in Charts 1–4. Conversely, graphs 5-8 show the relationship between mercury content and total sulphur content in the tested coal samples. The study, which can be called a preliminary analysis of the susceptibility of the coals to gravity concentration, showed that the dry deshaling method on the vibratory air separators would allow significant amounts of mercury accumulated in the middlings and waste fractions to be removed.