oa South African Journal of Chemical Engineering - Impact of coal quality on thermal power plant savings : a case study for an Indian thermal power plant

Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1026-9185



Majority of Indian thermal power plants receive coal from different seams or collieries with frequent variations in individual coal quality. This variation in coal quality effect the overall power generation cost which is again related to various cost component in a complex way. These cost components are coal transportation, ash disposal, plant maintenance and operation, reduction in plant peak and rated capacity, and plant availability. In this paper a methodology is presented to quantify different coal utilization cost components, each proportional to the ash content of the coal. The impact of different cost components varies within 5% to 30% or even more than that for some specific situation. This uncertainty in total economic penalties attributable to ash content is quantified by taking a stochastic approach. To illustrate, two coals containing 22% and 32% ash are considered. These coals are pulverized and used for power generation where the incremental utilization costs range from Indian rupees (Rs) 255 to Indian rupees (Rs) 665 per tonne (1,000 kg) of coal. The result leads to a conclusion that coal beneficiation may have broader economic justification than sometimes realized. The model can be used to determine the realistic value of a coal and optimal beneficiation levels.

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