May 5, 2000 -- A new process using methane gas and waste coal could significantly reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
"This new technology being developed in Queensland has the potential to reduce the nation's greenhouse emissions by more than three per cent," says State Premier, Mr Peter Beattie.
The Premier is attending the launch on Friday of the joint CSIRO and Liquatech Turbine Co Pty Ltd project at the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT).
"The process will provide Australian coal mines with a way to dispose of waste coal that is better for the environment and will also increase the profitability of underground mining," says Mr Beattie.
Ten percent of the energy value of coal in underground mines leaks into the atmosphere in the form of methane gas, which has 21 times the greenhouse gas effect of CO2.
The CSIRO technology uses this methane gas in conjunction with a kiln and combustion turbine technology to convert waste coal into electrical power.
According to Liquatech CEO, Mr John Hocken, this initiative will provide a timely boost in research and development for the coal mining industry in Queensland and Australia.
"Waste coal can now be used to supply coal mines with onsite electrical power generation technologies and a new approach towards methane gas reduction," he says.
"Using this technology for the conversion of waste coal has the potential to produce up to $600 million for the Queensland economy over a ten year period," says Mr Hocken.
The introduction of this technology into Australian coal mines will also provide up to 300 new jobs during the manufacture and setting up phases of the project.
"The Queensland Government's support of this project reflects their commitment towards innovative solutions to industry problems," says CSIRO scientist Dr Cliff Mallett, who heads the project.
"This project is an example of the successful collaboration between industry, CSIRO and the State Government."
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