Demand for coal is forecast to increase by more than 50% from now to 2030, mainly due to economic growth in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially is in China and India.
Regarding applications in industries, coal is divided into two main categories:
Thermal coal (using energy when burning coal to generate electricity or applying cement production):
- Coal is mainly used in thermal power plants. Modern coal burning systems can use different types of coal (depending on the system’s design).
- However, a plant designed for a particular type of coal may not be suitable for other types of coal.
- Coal-fired power plants are a traditional source of electrical power in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia, and are currently growing rapidly in India and China.
- In addition to electricity, coal is also used as an energy source to produce cement, this is an important product for the construction industry.
- Cement is made from a mixture of calcium carbonate, silica, iron oxide and alumina usually burned by coal in a high temperature furnace.
- This clinker is mixed with gypsum and ground into a fine powder to make cement. The furnace usually burns coal in the form of a powder, for example ~ 70% <75 microns and consumes about 450 g of coal (bitumen) per ton of cement produced.
Metallurgical coal (mainly for steel production):
- Metallurgical coal or coking coal is very important for steel industry, especially sustainable steel production, because more than 70% of global steel production is dependent on coal.+ In 2010, the world crude steel output is 1.4 billion tons, using about 721 million tons of coking coal.
There are also other forms of coal use, such as converting coal into gas gasification so as not to pollute the environment.