Poorly planned or managed coal seam gas (CSG) exploration or extraction activities pose considerable risks to both groundwater and surface water systems. Key water quality issues, from my own perspective, are listed below. Specific issues may be of greater or lesser significance for particular projects, but all of these issues should be thoroughly and transparently assessed for all proposed (or existing) projects.
Cleaning the Air We Breathe, Coal Fired Power Plant - Case Study
By cleaning flue gases from coal power plants, the amount of environmentally hazardous emissions can be sharply reduced. Mist elimination from Munters is a critical part of this process. Munters has worked with leading power generating companies for decades and have through testing and follow up built an extensive parameter database and design tool to be able to adapt and optimize results based on customer conditions. Air Pollution in China In recent years, the demand for power in China has increased and as...
Coallercoaster: As U.S. coal production drops, international demand rises
According to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the number of new and reactivated coal mines in the U.S. hit a 10-year low in 2013 — down nearly 67 percent from 2008. Total coal production in the U.S. was also down during the same time period. The drop was driven by a number of factors, including regulatory pressure, reduced investment, shifting demand toward natural gas and renewables and weak exports. Overall, the total number of coal mines in the U.S. also declined,...
Organic pollution removal from coke plant wastewater using coking coal
Coke plant wastewater (CPW) is an intractable chemical wastewater, and it contains many toxic pollutants. This article presents the results of research on a semi-industrial adsorption method of coking wastewater treatment. As a sorbent, the coking coal (CC) was a dozen times less expensive than active carbon. The treatment was conducted within two scenarios, as follows: (1) adsorption after biological treatment of CPW with CC at 40 g L−1; the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was 75.66%, and the...
Recycling of coal seam gas-associated water using vacuum membrane distillation
Coal seam gas-associated water (CSGAW), which is a by-product of coal seam gas (CSG) production typically contains significant amounts of salts and has potential environmental issues. In this study, we optimized a bench-scale vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) process with flat-sheet hydrophobic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes for the treatment of synthetic CSGAW (conductivity = 15 mS/cm). To study performance of the VMD process, we explored the effects of feed temperature (Tf = 60, 70, and 80°C), feed...
The Great Transition – Closing Coal Plants
We may wake up one morning in the not-too-distant future and realize that the world has reached a tipping point on coal. So concludes the Earth Policy Institute in Chapter 3 of its upcoming report entitled The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy. Use of this fuel will be declining worldwide, as it already is in many countries. Coal accounts for some 40 percent of global electricity generation. Natural gas accounts for 22 percent, hydroelectric power provides 16 percent, nuclear...