Over the past two years, coking coal prices have been the most volatile among major bulk commodities. On the supply side, the most important factor determining the movement of coal prices were weather problems affecting the exports of coal from Australia (Queensland), where the production of the best quality coking coals is concentrated. On the demand side, an important factor is the growing role of China on the market, which, being the world’s largest producer and consumer of metallurgical coal, has also become its largest importer. The dominant, about 75% share of China in the global spot market has resulted in their level of activity influencing the periodic price decreases or increases in international trade and prices based on CFR China (along with Australian FOB prices) have become important indicators to monitor market trends and determine levels of negotiated benchmarks. The exceptional volatility on the market led to a change in the quarterly price fixing mechanism for hard-load hard coal contractors in mid–2017 to apply a formula that assumes the valuation of their quarterly volumes based on the average of the basket of spot price indices. This reflects the broader trend of the evolving market, with growing spot market activity. The article describes the current situation on the international coking coal market and presents short-term forecasts for hard coking hard coal prices (PHCC LV), which are a reference point for fixing prices of other types of metallurgical coal (hard standard, semi-soft, PCI).
An analysis of the power system functioning and the behaviors of the energy market participants allows the trends taking place within years to be identified, including these associated with the evolution of the electric energy and power demand profiles. The problems of balancing the peak power demand are of both a short and long term nature, which implies the need for changes in the electricity generation sector. Apart from the existing “silo-type” generation units, the construction of distributed energy sources implemented in the civic formula in the framework of self-sufficient energy communes and energy clusters is becoming increasingly important. Support for these programs is realized both at the legislative level, as well as within dedicated competitions and ministerial activities. The financial support carried out by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and the Regional Operational Programs is also noticeable. One of the activities aimed at spreading the idea of clustering was the competition for certified energy clusters, conducted by the Ministry of Energy. The goal of the contest was the promotion and development of the distributed energy sector, which could be used for the improvement of energy security in the local manner and constitute a basis for the knowledge necessary in planning and developing the state’s energy policy. The paper presents a synthetic analysis of the results of the competition for a certified energy cluster from the perspective of planning and operational needs related to the functioning of the power system. Further, the information about the investment plans of new generation capacities, including their breakdown with respect to type, achievable power and costs has been provided. Also, the balancing of the demand for electric energy by own generation within the energy clusters has been characterized for three time perspectives
Finite fossil fuel resources, as well as the instability of renewable energy production, make the sustainable management of energy production and consumption some of the key challenges of the 21st century. It also involves threats to the state of the natural environment, among others due to the negative impact of energy on the climate. In such a situation, one of the methods of improving the efficiency of energy management – both on the micro (dispersed energy) and macro (power system) scale, may be innovative technological solutions that enable energy storage. Their effective implementation will allow it to be collected during periods of overproduction and to be used in situations of scarcity. These challenges cannot be overestimated - modern science has a challenge to solve various types of problems related to storage, including the technology used or the control/ /management of energy storage. Heat storage technologies, on which research works are carried out regarding both storage based on a medium such as water, as well as storage using thermochemical transformations or phase-change materials. They give a wide range of applications and improve the efficiency of energy systems on both the macro and micro scale. Of course, the technological properties and economic parameters have an impact on the application of the chosen technology. The article presents a comparison of storage parameters or heat storage methods based on different materials with specification of their work parameters or operating costs.
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.
The analysis of leaching behavior of harmful substances, such as arsenic, is one of the parameters of risk assessment resulting from the storage or economic use of coal waste. The leachability depends both on the environmental conditions of the storage area as well as on the properties of the waste material itself. There are a number of leaching tests that allow to model specific conditions or measure the specific properties of the leaching process. The conducted research aimed at comparing two methods with different application assumptions. The study of arsenic leaching from waste from the hard coal enrichment process was carried out in accordance with the Polish PN-EN 12457 standard and the US TCLP procedure. The leaching results obtained with both methods did not exceed the limit values of this parameter, defined in the Polish law. Both methods were also characterized by the good repeatability of the results. The use of an acetic acid solution (TCLP method) resulted in three times higher arsenic leaching from the examined waste compared to the use of deionized water as a leaching fluid (method PN-EN 12457). Therefore, the use of organic acid tests for mining waste intended for storage with municipal waste should be considered, as the results of the basic test based on clean water leaching may be inadequate to the actual leaching of arsenic under such environmental conditions.
Petrographic and physico-chemical analyses of ashes are carried out on a large scale and presented in numerous scientific papers. The mentioned ashes are obtained from filters and electrostatic precipitators mounted in large industrial installations. The large-scale analysis of the ashes obtained directly from grate furnaces or blast furnaces mounted in low-power boilers started with combating smog and low-stack emissions. The collection of ash samples from household furnaces usually involves the analysis of the combustion of waste in low-power boilers. This is justified in the case of old type boilers, which were designed to use virtually any fuel. Currently, new types of boilers, designed to burn dedicated fuels, are offered on the market. The aim is to use only renewable fuels (biomass) or fossil fuels with high quality parameters, which are more environment-friendly, e.g. eco-pea coal, lignite briquettes, or peat briquettes. The authors of the study focused on examining the ash obtained from boilers for burning wood pellets by performing microscopic analysis of residues after biomass combustion. The above mentioned analysis provides a comprehensive information on the efficiency of the combustion process, the content of contaminants remaining in the ash, and the suitability of ash for other applications. The entire process, from the moment of collecting the samples to the execution of the analysis takes up to 12 hours, which ensures a quick decision on furnace adjustment or fuel change. The ash components were determined based on the results obtained by the Fly-Ash Working Group of the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology (ICCP). The mentioned classification has been supplemented with new key elements occurring in ashes resulting from the combustion of wood pellets in household boilers. This allowed determining the percentage content of characteristic components in the tested material, which can be used as a specific benchmark when issuing opinions on the quality and efficiency of the boiler and the combusted pellets.
The environment is the greatest good for the people. Everyone wants to breath air of the best possible quality, whether living in the city center of a metropolis or in a rural area. Air polluted with very fine particles contribute to the negative effect on people’s health and the whole environment. A significant part of air dust pollution comes from the so-called low emissions sources which include: non-standard furnaces, fireplaces, low-efficiency outdated boilers and local heat sources. Since the beginning of Polish Mining Group’s existence, the company actively participates and supports many activities, the aim of which is to improve the air quality by producing and supplying high quality coal for the residential sector. The company has undertaken pro-ecological activities towards creating a new, pro-ecological strategy as well as product offer. The production of an ecological coal assortment is systematically developing but new coal products are also being launched on the market. One of the company’s priorities is the production of thermal coal for the residential sector. Many organizational and technological changes have been made In that area (e.g. the establishmsnt of the Eco-Fuels Production Plant) to ensure a suitable level of production of the highest quality thermal coal.
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.
Biomass is one of the most frequently used sources of renewable energy. For centuries, wood has been used by people to heat their homes, and nowadays it is also used to generate electricity. The article discusses legal issues related to biomass, classification of biomass for energy purposes, quality parameters of selected ecological fuels, quality requirements for biomass, as well as biomass trade in the world. The article compares the quality requirements for biomass purchased by individual companies from the power sector (mainly dimensions, calorific value, moisture content, ash content, sulfur and chlorine). An analysis of the price of wood pellets on international markets, represented by the biomass stock exchanges: RBCN, EEX and BALTPOOL was also performed. The market analysis clearly shows that the international market for industrial pellets is dominated by intercontinental trade, which mainly concerns exchanges between the United States of America as a producer and Europe as a consumer. The largest amount of biomass is imported by the United Kingdom, mainly for its Drax biomass power plant, and this biomass comes from the USA and Canada. In addition to Great Britain, significant importers of wood pellets are the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. Judging by the interest of Polish energy companies in the purchase of biomass, also in Poland, the development of the biomass market should be expected.
In recent years, the Budryk Coal Mine (KWK Budryk) reached the mining depth of 1300 m, where there is about 160 million tons of coal, including 120 million tons of coking coal (type 35). The task of the Coal Processing Plant complex modernization was undertaken. The article presents the modernization of coal screening, classification and dewatering systems at the KWK Budryk Processing Plant and the implementation of screening of PROGRESS ECO sp. z o.o. SK. The modernization project defined the following technical requirements for all screens in the KWK Budryk Coal Processing Plant extension project: - Vibrating screens with a linear type drive with a drive unit placed on the drive beam of the trommel screen in the form of vibration generators; - Screen drives equipped with a starting-braking device; - The use of main screen drive bearings with a nominal service life of at least 40,000 man-hours; - All work surfaces made of materials with a strength of up to 80 mm grain and abrasion resistance; side strips and sieves fixed in a way ensuring trouble-free operation, and at the same time quick and easy replacement; - Sheets made of stainless steel; - Side walls, beams and other elements attached to them connected with screws using a system protecting against corrosion and elements separation; - The use of a work parameters monitoring and visualization system, i.e. - pitch of the riddle, - bearing operating temperatures and the condition of their wear. Three types of screens were provided: - PWP1-1Z-2,8x6,0 screeners that alternatively perform sieving or desliming processes, - PWP1-2.4x6.0 screening machines performing desliming processes, - PWP1-2.0x6.0 screens performing the classification process.
W artykule przybliżono charakterystykę frakcji nadsitowej wytwarzanych w regionalnych instalacjach przetwarzania odpadów komunalnych. W lipcu 2013 roku wprowadzono zmiany do ustawy o czystości i porządku w gminie, które wdrożyły w Polsce nowy model gospodarki odpadami komunalnymi oparty na mechaniczno-biologicznym ich przetwarzaniu. Podstawowym elementem tego systemu są sortownie odpadów komunalnych, które są obecnie źródłem wytwarzania frakcji nadsitowej posiadającej własności paliwowe. Dla potrzeb rozpoznania jej właściwości autorzy artykułu przeprowadzili badania własne koncentrujące się na rozpoznaniu podstawowych własności energetycznych frakcji nadsitowej w poszczególnych sezonach roku wraz z rozróżnieniem rodzajów zabudowy. Przeprowadzono badania składu morfologicznego dla potrzeb określenia koncentracji frakcji energetycznych. Przeanalizowano stabilność jakościową strumienia frakcji nadsitowej pod względem możliwości energetycznego zagospodarowania w instalacjach termicznego przekształcania odpadów. Badania składu morfologicznego wykazały podwyższoną koncentrację frakcji energetycznych (papier, tworzywa sztuczne, tekstylia) w stosunku do zmieszanych odpadów komunalnych. Jednocześnie badania własności energetycznych wskazują na podwyższoną standaryzację energetyczną tej frakcji w rozkładzie czasowym (pory roku) oraz rozkładzie przestrzennym (zróżnicowany rodzaj zabudowy). Badania wykazały, że wartość opałowa w zbadanych próbkach zawiera się w przedziale 18,1–23,5 MJ/kg, gdzie wartość średnia wynosi 21,5 MJ/kg. Udział popiołu zawiera się natomiast w przedziale 11,8–24,1%, a udział części palnych 67,6–77,5%. Dobre własności paliwowe oraz standaryzacja jakościowa strumienia wskazują na możliwość stosowania rozwojowych technologii zgazowania odpadów zgodnie z nowymi przepisami dyrektywy IED (Dyrektywa 2010). Technologia zgazowania, produkcja syngazu i jego spalanie w silnikach tłokowych małej mocy stanowią obecnie interesującą alternatywę dla klasycznych instalacji termicznego przekształcania odpadów opartych na technologii spalania wpisując się w rozwój instalacji RIPOK i potrzebę wdrażania gospodarki w obiegu zamkniętym.
Coal in Poland is an available conventional fuel providing energy security and independence of the country. Therefore, conventional energy generation should be based on coal with the optimal development of renewable energy sources. Such a solution secures the energy supply based on coal and the independence of political and economic turmoil of global markets. Polish coal reserves can secure the energy supply for decades. Coal will surely be important for energy security in the future despite the growing share of oil and gas in energy mix. The development of renewable power generation will be possible with the conventional energy generation offsetting volatile renewable power generation as Poland’s climate doesn’t allow for the stable and effective use of renewable energy sources. Considering the policy of the European Union with respect to emission reductions of greenhouse gasses and general trends as reflected in the Paris agreement in 2016, as a country we will be forced to increase renewable energy production in our energy mix. However, this process cannot impact the energy security of the country and stability and the uninterrupted supply of energy to consumers. Therefore seeking the compromise with the current energy mix in Poland is the best way to its gradual change with the simultaneous conservation of each of the sources of energy. It’s obvious that Poland can not be lonely energy island in Europe and in the world, which increasingly develops distributed energy and/ renewable technologies as well as energy storage ones. One can notice that without renewable generation and the reduction of coal’s share in country’s energy mix we will become the importer of electricity with raising energy dependence.
The purpose of the article was to characterize the international steam coal market based on the latest available data. The information goes back to the first half of 2018. The article focuses on the description of the three largest exporters and importers of steam coal. Representatives in these categories were selected using the latest global statistics on 2017. In 2017, global production of steam coal amounted to 5.68 billion tons and exceeded production in 2016 by 4%. For several years, invariably the world’s leading exporters of steam coal are: Indonesia, Australia and Russia. In total, these three countries in 2017 supplied 73% of steam coal to the international market. However, for the 46% of global steam coal imports (data for 2017), three Asian countries are responsible: China, India and Japan. For each of the six listed countries (i.e. for: three major global exporters and three major global importers), the paper presents volumes related to coal production, export or import. The directions of deliveries or major coal exporters to a given country were also included. At the end of the article, the price situation was presented, as it appeared in the first half of 2018 on the European and Asian markets.
The paper presents an analysis of the influence of the energy generated from renewable sources on an improvement in the energy efficiency of public utility building and households. It also presents the current state of the technologies for the production of electricity from renewable sources, as well as their share in the national power supply system. The conducted analysis concerns both micro, as well as large systems generating electricity. Systems generating power from renewable sources are gaining in popularity. With an increasing awareness in the society of the beneficial influence that renewable power generating systems have on the environment, as well as the support in form of various programs offering subsidies for the construction of new systems, power generation from renewable sources is becoming increasingly popular and common. Although the renewable energy systems are still not widely considered to be a profitable solution, systems using renewable sources of energy are positively perceived and treated as a new trend in the construction of multi or single-family residential buildings. The increasing share of the renewable energy in the national power supply system significantly reduces the demand for energy produced from conventional sources. This obviously translates into a reduced consumption of primary energy, for example, fossil fuels, and, in turn, leads to the reduced exploitation of natural resources, thus contributing to the protection of the natural environment. A reduced consumption of fossil fuels also means a significant reduction in environmental pollution during their processing into electricity or heat. Actions aiming at improving energy efficiency and reducing final energy consumption are being undertaken by many countries all over the world, and by the European Union. In 2012, the European Parliament and the Council issued Directive 2012/27/EU obliging the Member States to initiate actions aiming at a reduction in the consumption of final energy by 1.5% a year. The paper presents the current status of generation of energy from renewable sources during the last 13 years. The ways for using energy from the renewable sources to improve the energy efficiency of facilities were also discussed.
The article presents the directions of foundry waste management, mainly used for spent foundry sands (SFS) and dust after the reclamation of this waste. An important aspect of environmental protection in foundry production is the reduction of the amount of generated waste as a result of SFS regeneration. The advantage is the reuse of waste, which reduces the costs of raw materials purchase and environmental fees for landfilling. Non -recycled spent foundry sands can be used in other industries. SFS is most often used in road and construction industries as well as inert material in closed mines (Smoluchowska and Zgut 2005; Bany-Kowalska 2006). An interesting direction of using SFS is its application in gardening and agriculture. The article presents the advantages and disadvantages of such use. It was found that spent foundry sands can be useful for the production of soil mixtures for many agricultural and horticultural applications. Due to the possibility of environmental pollution with heavy metals and organic compounds, such an application is recommended for the so-called green sands, i.e. SFS with mineral binders. In addition, an innovative solution for the energy use of dusts after spent foundry sands reclamation with organic binders has been discussed and proposed by some researchers. It was shown that dust from reclaimed SFS with organic binders can be used as an alternative fuel and raw material in cement kilns, due to the high percentage of organic substances which determine their calorific value and silica.
For a very long period of time, Polish waste management was based mainly on landfilling at landfills, which had a negative impact on the surrounding environment. The EU requirements for the Member States have led to a revolution in Polish legislation on waste management and local governments have become responsible for creating local waste management systems that will affect the achievement of EU targets. One of the solutions undertaken by several municipalities is the construction and operation of a municipal waste thermal treatment installation, which not only reduced the amount of waste deposited, but also supported the local power industry by generating electricity and heat. The emission standards for installations producing energy from waste, as in the case of conventional power plants and combined heat and power plants, are very strict, therefore, the continuous monitoring of emitted pollutants is carried out, and waste gas treatment systems are developed based on the best available techniques (BAT). The article presents emission standards applicable to waste incineration plants, including duties in the field of the environment, as well as issues related to the installation as a source of energy. In addition, the currently functioning waste incineration plants in Poland have been briefly characterized, and development plans in this area in the country have been described.
The problem of of the use of fly ash still constitutes a research and exploration area for scientists. This is due to the fact that, 6,000,000 Mg of coal combustion by-products (CCB) are storage on landfills yearly in Poland alone. One of the potential directions of using fly ash is to use it as a substrate in hydrothermal syntheses of mesoporous materials (synthetic zeolites). Zeolites are aluminosilicates with a spatial structure. Due to their specific structure they are characterized by a number of specific properties among others molecular-sieve, ion-exchange and catalytic that can be used in engineering and environmental protection. So far, the synthesis has been carried out using coal combustion by-products such as fly ash or microsphere. The article analyzes whether separation from the fly ash of the appropriate fraction (below 63 μm) will affect the formation of zeolite grains. The syntheses were carried out using class F fly ash and the fraction separated from it, which was obtained by sieving the ash through a 63 μm sieve. Chemical (XRF) and mineralogical (XRD, SEM-EDS) analyzes were carried out for substrates as well as the obtained reaction products. In the case of substrates, the analysis did not show any significant differences between the ash and the separated fraction. However, in products after synthesis (Na-X zeolite with a small amount of Na-P1 zeolite, and small amounts of quartz and unreacted aluminosilicate glass - mullite) higher aluminum and sodium contents were observed from the separated fraction, with a lower calcium and potassium content. A small proportion of illite was observed on the diffraction curve of the zeolite from the fraction. Observations of grain morphology showed no differences in formation. Based on the conducted analyzes, it can be stated that, considering the economics of the synthesis process, the separation of fine fractions from the fly ash does not affect the quality of the synthesis process.
The changes in the domestic solid fuel market (including forecasted increases in the fuel prices) and the growing requirements related to actual environmental standards, result in increased interest in renewable energy sources, such as biomass, wind and solar energy. These sources will allow to achieve reduction in the CO2 emission, and consequently – avoid environmental costs after 2020. Therefore, the development of distributed energy systems, based on the use of biomass boilers, gas boilers and high efficiency combined heat and power units, will enable the fulfillment of current standards in the field of energy efficiency and emission of pollutants to the atmosphere. It should be emphasized that the actions taken to reduce emissions (e.g. anti-smog act) will contribute to reducing coal consumption in the municipal and housing sector (households, agriculture and other customers) in favor of biomass and other renewable energy sources. The article reviews selected biomass technologies: - fluidized, dust and grate boilers, - straw-fired boilers, - cogeneration systems powered by biomass, - torrefaction and biomass carbonisation. The mentioned technologies are characterized by a high potential of in the field of dynamic development and practical application in the coming years. Thus, they can improve difficult situation in the distributed energy sector with a capacity up to 50 MW.
In the over 150 years of hydrocarbon history, the year 2017 will be one of the many similar. However, it will be a breakthrough year for liquefied natural gas. In Asia, China grew to become the leader of import growth, becoming the second world importer, overtaking even South Korea and chasing Japan. The Panama Canal for LNG trade and the “Northern Passage” was opened, so that Russian LNG supplies appeared in Europe. The year 2017 was marked by a dramatic shortening of the length of long-term concluded contracts, their shorter tenure and reduction of volumes – that is, it was another period of market commoditization of this energy resource. The article describes the current state of LNG production and trade till 2018. It focuses on natural gas production in the United States, Qatar, Australia, Russia as countries that can produce and supply LNG to the European Union. The issue of prices and the contracts terms in 2017 was analyzed in detail. The authors stress that the market is currently characterized by an oversupply and will last at least until mid–2020. Novatek, Total – Yamal-LNG project leaders have put the condensing facility at 5.5 million tons into operation. The Christophe de Margerie oil tanker was the first commercial unit to cross the route to Norway and then further to the UK without icebreakers and set a new record on the North Sea Road. In 2017, the Russian company increased its share in the European gas market from 33.1 to 34.7%. In 2017, Russia and Norway exported record volumes of „tubular” – classic natural gas to Europe (and Turkey), 194 and 122 billion m3 respectively, which is 15 and 9 billion m3 more natural gas than in 2016. The thesis was put forward that Russia would not easily give up its sphere of influence and would do everything and use various mechanisms, not only on the market, that it would simply be more expensive and economically unprofitable than natural gas. It was also emphasized that the pressure of the technically possible and economically viable redirection to European terminals of methane carriers landed in the American LNG, results in Gazprom not having a choice but to adjust its prices. The Americans, but also any other supplier (Australia?) can simply do the same and this awareness alone is enough for Russian gas to be present in Europe at a good price.