CCSD research manager Dr Lila Gurba told delegates at the recent Coal Seam Methane Annual Conference in Brisbane the research is expected to give impetus to the search for clean coal technologies by investigating the possibility of co-firing in power plants.
"Coal will remain the main part of the generating energy mix for the foreseeable future but its environmental performance can be improved if part of the coal is replaced by another fuel having lower GHG emissions," Gurba said.
"This could be a profitable exercise if coal bed methane was piped from coal seams in close proximity to power stations."
Gurba said the project adds value to the Queensland government's discussion paper on legislation requiring energy retailers to source 13% of their power generation from natural coal seam gas.
"CCSD is developing a study that will provide an evaluation of the environmental improvement and the economics of gas co-firing for existing coal-fired power plants. It is expected that future work will include the development of guidelines for gas co-firing."
CCSD chief executive Frank van Schagen said government support for co-firing research is particularly relevant considering the extensive reserves of coal seam gas in Queensland.