Advanced carbon power

We are developing pathways to low emissions electricity from coal through to advanced carbon power technologies - the Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) and the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC).

The Challenge

How to reduce CO2 emissions

Global warming, largely caused by increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, is a modern challenge. While various actions can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the size of the problem is so large that a mix of approaches is necessary. Coal-based electricity provides about 80 per cent of Australia's electricity supply. The major challenge for coal-fired power generation is to reduce its COemissions.

Our Response

Developing advance carbon power technologies

We are developing an alternative pathway to low emissions electricity from coal and other sources of carbon through two advanced carbon power technologies - the Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) and the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC). DICE and DCFC are suitable for large scale electricity generation and decentralised applications at industrial or remote locations. 

Benefits of this technology include increased efficiencies in electricity generation; significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions even without COcapture and storage; delivery of power in a shorter timeframe and at a smaller scale than conventional coal technologies; and diverse fuel potential including black and brown coal, as well as biomass, tar and plastics.

Pilot-scale demonstrations of advanced carbon power

We have demonstrated at laboratory and pilot scale that DICE and DCFC could deliver generation efficiencies of more than 50 per cent and 65 per cent respectively. This is a significant gain when compared to existing coal-fired power stations, which operate at 33 to 38 per cent.

Other outcomes:achieved efficiencies similar to diesel operation

  • suitable MRC has been produced from 17 coals (black, brown, tailings and biochar)
  • solutions have been developed for adapting fuel systems and managing engine wear
  • developed a new method of coal processing to produce MRC fuel by reinventing the physical cleaning process.

Case study

  • Direct Injection Carbon Engine

    A Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) is a specially adapted diesel engine that uses coal and carbon-based slurry as fuel. We have developed a range of fuels that maximise electricity generation and extend the life of the engine.

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