Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Call for proposals for coal research

The European Commission has requested proposals in the area of the use of solid fuels for large-scale electricity generation.

The steel research programme of the ECSC concerns the use of coal and metallurgical coke for steel production. All EU funded research takes account of the importance of protection of the environment and improvement of public understanding of the role of coal as an energy source.

The principle objectives for further ECSC coal research are given below in addition to the areas of research which can help to achieve these objectives.

A. Efficient protection of the environment:

1) Coal mining:
- Methods for the control of methane emissions and utilization of mine gases;
- Minimization of dirt production and increased use of dirt as a raw material;
- Exploitation and reclamation of spoil tips;
- Abatements of water pollution: minimization of effluents from mines and coal preparation plants by recycling and re-use of water;
- Avoidance of the use of potentially harmful fluids in mining equipment;
- Control of subsidence.

2) Coal utilization:
- Improved understanding and prediction of gaseous, liquid and solid emissions, and development of improved economical techniques for their control;
- Improved efficiency to reduce emissions of CO2 and other pollutants;
- Reduction of pollution from coking plants;
- Utilization of residues and behaviour of residues at disposal sites;
- Clean transport, handling and storage of coal;
- Clean coal use technologies.

3) Information to the public and decision makers.

B. Improving the competitive position of coal:

1) Reduction of coal production costs:
- Improved reconnaissance by, e.g. integration of new reconnaissance techniques;
- Improved planning, modelling, integration, management and control of operations;
- Improved shaft sinking, roadways and support techniques; - Improved techniques for coal winning, with particular emphasis on increased mechanization and automation, greater efficiency and equipment reliability, and improved diagnostic systems for machinery;
- Improved mining services: increased mechanization and automation of transport, development of continuous transport systems.

2) Product quality:
- Improved methodology, including continuous monitoring, for the selection of coal seams and for coal quality control in coal preparation plants;
- Limitation of size degradation in mining;
- Improved coal preparation: optimization of water content in products, elimination of environmentally undesirable substances, integrated process control;
- Improvement of handling of coal;
- Blending of coals for special purposes;
- Improvement in the production and quality of manufactured fuels.

3) Reduction of the cost of coal utilization:
- Conventional and advanced power generation, heat and steam production for industry, domestic heating, metallurgical use;
- Development of integrated systems (combustion and gasification systems, including hot gas cleaning);
- Combined heat and power systems;
- Reduction in the cost of pollution control technology;
- Improvement of reliability, availability and thermal efficiency;
- Improvement of performance, operation and control.

C. Rational utilization of Community resources:

- Conditioning of coalfields (e.g. coal-bed methane extraction);
- Evaluation of the feasibility of accessing partly-exhausted coal reserves;
- Methodology for the economic assessment of reserves;
- Study of dynamic phenomena and the application of geophysics for deep mine developments.

Applications for funding must relate to the specific areas outlined above and priority will be given to research which satisfies the criteria of the guidelines.
This programme operates on an annual basis.

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