Advanced Coal Conversion Process
KELLY, JAMES M., Western Energy Company, Billings, MT
The advanced coal conversion process (ACCP) developed by Western Energy Company is a thermochemical process which uses low pressure and moderate-temperature gas to heat raw coal. This heating shrinks the pore volume through dehydration, decarboxylation, and attendant repolymerization reactions, inhibiting reabsorption of moisture. Minor devolatization occurs as well as some organic sulfur removal. The ACCP uses no additives in this process. The alterations to the raw coal result in a product which is drier, cleaner burning, and hydrophobic to the extent it no longer reabsorbs moisture--a process which would cause spontaneous combustion. As an additional benefit, the shrinkage of the capillaries in the coal causes the ash and pyrite particles to be easily separated from the coal. Simpl gravity separation procedures then remove these impurities, further enhancing the quality of the coal.
High temperature, high pressure, and chemical additives are elements which, in any combination, make a process expensive. In any process, omitting one or more of these elements reduces the capital costs of the equipment as well as the operating costs of the plant. Western's ACCP process produces a high-quality product using low pressure and no chemical additives.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91010©1991 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Billings, Montana, July 28-31, 1991 (2009)