The Future of Coal by Peter James (auth.)

By Peter James (auth.)

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By Peter James (auth.)

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However, it may be introduced to bum coals with ash of low melting point - such as many of the deposits in the western USA - which cause problems in pulverised fuel and other designs. Traditional furnaces are of fixed-bed design, with the most common varieties being the travelling grate and underfeed stoker. Their common features are the use of crushed coal, which lies on a slowly moving bed, with combustion proceeding as it progresses, leaving an ash residue at its end. They sutTer from slow rates of combustion and low heat output, a tendency for coal to cake, and incomplete combustion.

Unfortunately, some countries do not follow these specifications so that the WEC figures, though the best available, are not always strictly comparable. 5m. The maximum depth of lignite reserves also varies between 600m in West Germany and 30m in the USA. Many countries also have different grades of resources and reserves. The US Geological Survey distinguishes between measured, indicated and inferred reserves and hypothetical or speculative resources, whilst the USSR has five categories of reserve and three of resources.

All share certain characteristics, such as the need to gain access to coal seams through the overlying strata, create a suitable environment for mining to take place and provide a force to break the coal away from surrounding rock (usually by mechanical cutting or explosive blast). 8). Underground Mining Historically, coal has been won from underground mines, and this is still the main production method in most countries, despite its difficulties. 16 Work must be carried out in confined spaces many metres below the surface, connected to it by a fragile network of tunnels and shafts, which must constantly be protected from crushing by the pressure of overburden.

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