CCC/205 ISBN 978-92-9029-525-9

September 2012

copyright © IEA Clean Coal Centre


Pulverised coal firing has been the dominant technology for generating power in utility boilers for

almost a century. During this period, boiler designs have evolved through an accumulating collection

of knowledge that has led to many empirical relationships that still guide current and future design

directions to some degree. In the late 1940s the developed nations began to undertake coal research

based on scientific principles to ensure the most efficient use of the primary energy resource

represented by coal. As the body of scientific knowledge on the physics and chemistry of coal

combustion grew, it was used to direct the improvements to efficiency required and, later, the control

of pollutants produced during the combustion of coal. This involves not only the control of emissions

of particulates, SOx and oxides of nitrogen but also of trace elements, polycyclic aromatic

hydrocarbons and, increasingly, CO2. There have been a number of developments in the coal-fired

power generation sector including cofiring with secondary fuels, particularly biomass and waste and

the development of radically different combustion systems (for example, oxyfuel) to meet carbon

capture and storage requirements.


This report sets out the recent advances in this area of coal science and how they are being brought to

bear on the current challenges in the field of pulverised coal combustion.

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