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(20 August 2020)
Fed Uni secures research funding to test hydrogen viability in Latrobe Valley
Federation University Australia researchers have been awarded $1.5 million in funding to support a hydrogen pilot project that is expected to change the way energy is produced in Australia and internationally.
The Hydrogen Production Evaluation Data Research Project will be undertaken by Federation University in collaboration with Australian Carbon Innovation.
The research team was awarded the project, in partnership with Australian Carbon Innovation, to analyse the quality and performance of pilot hydrogen plant currently under construction in the Latrobe Valley.
The aim of the research is to evaluate the scalability of hydrogen production as an alternative to the combustion of brown coal in a traditional boiler to produce energy. Conversion of the coal to hydrogen, coupled with efficient carbon capture and storage (CCS) will ensure that the hydrogen is low in greenhouse gas emissions and will complement intermittent renewable hydrogen.
(1 June 2020)
Australian Carbon Innovation welcomes support from the State Government
Australian Carbon Innovation (ACI) welcomes the support of the Victorian state government
to progress the sustainable utilisation of Victoria’s carbon resources.
The 21st century will be one where different forms of carbon will be central to the
development of a modern economy and an advanced manufacturing society. This will be
particularly true in the Latrobe Region where the economy and community is transitioning
from a coal fired power led sector to one where the skills attained over many generations
can be utilised in new industries that will rely on economic, sustainable and reliable carbon
feedstocks from both the coal fields and the broader carbon resource in the region.
ACI chief executive officer Brian Davey says the support will lay the foundation for a broader
research and commercialisation program that is supported by industry, the State government
and Federal government. The outcome of this funding will result in more jobs, which are
higher paid and will improve the social and economic well being of the region and state.
“Carbon is an essential element in the transition to a new low emission sustainable
economy. Gippsland’s vast resource of carbon, whether from coal, timber or hydrocarbons
represents an invaluable asset to its citizens. Our objective is to find ways to sustainably
utilise this resource for current and future generations.”
(3 April 2019)
Australian Carbon Innovation creating new industry opportunities
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) has announced a new name, a new logo and new website as part of an extensive refocusing initiative. The company will now be known as Australian Carbon Innovation (ACI) effective immediately.
ACI will continue to operate in the same professional capacity, with the name and branding change reflecting the need to represent all of the carbon sources required for a long term sustainable economy. The new direction and priorities of the company, and the brown coal industry, is best summed up by the new tag line “Creating a sustainable carbon future”.
ACI chief executive officer Brian Davey says the new name reflects the evolving focus and strategic direction of the company, and the use of brown coal and other carbon sources for uses other than power generation.
“Carbon is an essential element in the transition to a new low emission sustainable economy. Gippsland’s vast resource of carbon, whether from coal, timber or hydrocarbons represents an invaluable asset to its citizens. Our objective is to find ways to sustainably utilise this resource for current and future generations.”
Part of the new ACI direction is to take the extensive R&D work that has been supported by BCIA, to commercial proof of concept stage, thus motivating industry to invest in high-value domestic production of new, often export-focussed, products that make best use of an abundant resource.
(7 July 2017)
Victorian brown coal policy offers development pathway for Latrobe Valley beyond energy security
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s ‘Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal’ as an important step forward in effectively and efficiently tackling climate change through support for low-emissions development of the world class Latrobe Valley brown coal resource.
The Government’s policy was released by Minister for Industry, Employment and Resources Wade Noonan late today and recognises the need for ongoing industry-focused research and development in carbon capture and storage and other new technologies imperative to the sustainable use of coal for energy and value-added products.
BCIA Chief Executive Brian Davey said: “Victoria’s brown coal resource is critical to the long term future prosperity of the Latrobe Valley and the State as a whole. The Government’s policy was developed over a long period with the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders throughout the Latrobe Region and the wider community.”
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(21 April 2017)
Latrobe Valley coal and energy executive to head research company
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced the appointment of well-known Victorian coal and energy sector executive, Brian Davey, as the Company’s new Chief Executive. Mr Davey has more than 30 years’ experience across various industry sectors including operations, financial management, marketing and technology and is a long-term resident of the Latrobe Valley.
Mr Davey also has a strong track record in innovation, research and project management having developed and implemented various advanced coal technology programs for the Victorian Government over the course of nearly a decade. After leaving the public service four years ago, he worked as a consultant supporting several international clients to advance lignite projects in India and Indonesia.
BCIA Chair, Gerry Morvell, welcomed the appointment of Mr Davey and said the Board was delighted to have attracted an outstanding candidate with detailed knowledge of the Latrobe Valley coal and energy sectors. “Significantly, Mr Davey shares the Board’s vision of an alternative low-emissions future for Victoria’s world-class carbon resource, together with skills development opportunities for the Valley matched to future industry needs.”
(14 February 2017)
Community forum hears progress and opportunities for Valley's future beyond Hazelwood
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) tonight showcased progress in emerging technologies which offer significant potential to transform Latrobe Valley brown coal into a range of environmentally responsible products – including low-emissions power, carbon fibres and polymers, fertilisers and building products.
Strong interest saw about 100 people attend BCIA’s third community forum in Traralgon including local residents and business owners together with representatives of environment and sustainability groups; business, regional development and industry associations; research and education institutes and local and State politicians.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “It is really heartening to see such strong community interest in securing a sustainable future for Victoria’s world-class brown coal resource.”
BCIA launched a comprehensive report at the forum detailing the outcomes from its research program, and showing the way to a range of prospective new industries based around the vast resource in the Latrobe Valley. The report, ‘Positioning brown coal for a low-emissions future’, details the research, technologies and opportunities associated with the sustainable use of brown coal and covers the work undertaken by BCIA and its partner organisations during recent years.
(4 August 2014)
Research trial shows Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) project on track to reduced brown coal emissions
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced higher energy efficiency levels were achieved for the conversion of brown coal to electricity in a prototype direct injection carbon engine during recent laboratory tests.
The research results indicate the CSIRO-led Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) project is on track to achieve a step-change in fuel cycle efficiency. State-of-the art brown coal power plant technology could reduce emissions from Victoria’s existing power stations by 30 per cent. As a distributed generation option, DICE has the potential to considerably exceed this, cutting emissions at a much lower capital and operating cost.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “The advanced technology DICE program is one of more than 30 BCIA research projects spearheading Australia’s efforts to deliver more sustainable energy from brown coal, reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired power and cutting the cost of carbon capture technologies.
“Importantly, DICE can turn on and off rapidly, allowing it to be used to back up intermittent energy sources such as solar power. DICE can be implemented as a small-scale distributed power generation option. These capabilities can enable DICE to provide low cost, low emissions option that delivers grid security while enabling a more complimentary approach with renewable technologies.”
(16 July 2015)
BCIA funds Victoria’s first 24/7 capable CO2 capture facility for brown coal power generation
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced funding for a research and development project which will target significantly reduced carbon emissions from brown coal power generation in Victoria and throughout the world.
The project, selected in BCIA’s 2013/14 competitive R&D funding round, also aims to slash the capital and operational costs for large-scale carbon capture plants; arguably the greatest challenge facing global deployment of carbon capture for fossil fuel power generation.
BCIA has received multi-million dollar funding from the Victorian Government and the Australian Government via a relationship agreement with Australia National Low Emissions Coal R&D (ANLEC R&D). The ANLEC R&D relationship agreement provides for BCIA to manage ANLEC R&D’s brown coal energy research portfolio.
Today BCIA announced $650,000 awarded towards a research project which will combine CSIRO CO2 capture innovation with that of major Japanese technology vendor; IHI Corporation. The project targets a 40 per cent reduction in the energy usage of current plant post combustion capture (PCC) processes for Victorian brown coal-fired power plants. Capturing CO2 requires significant power and consequently increases energy costs. There are currently about 25 pilot-scale PCC processes operating throughout the world seeking to reduce this energy penalty.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “This research project is targeting a 40 per cent reduction in energy use of current post combustion capture (PCC) processes and will see the installation of a $1 M Japanese-built PCC pilot plant at AGL Loy Yang Power station; the first in Victoria to operate around the clock. The expected reduction in energy usage – as targeted by this project – would lead to significant savings in the cost of energy supplied to the consumer compared to implementing carbon capture using first-generation PCC plant."
Caption: CSIRO's existing post-combustion carbon capture pilot plant scrubs CO2 from flue gas at the AGL Loy Yang brown coal power station in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria; image courtesy of CSIRO.
Caption: Monash University PhD-student, Mai Bui, records data from CSIRO's existing post-combustion carbon capture pilot plant located at the AGL Loy Yang brown coal power station in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria; image courtesy of CSIRO.
(28 April 2014)
$12M low emissions lignite R&D to power Victoria’s economy
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced funding for five research and development projects which will target improved efficiency and significantly reduced carbon emissions from brown coal power generation in Victoria and throughout the world."
Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe said “Victoria has a great opportunity to capitalise on projects such as this with its abundant reserves of brown coal which, with the right measures in place for making brown coal an efficient and sustainable industry, has great potential for boosting the economy.”
“That is why the Victorian Government is supporting and investing in projects that can deliver real outcomes for innovating the industry, creating jobs and delivering a sustainable energy source for future demand,” Mr Northe said.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “Our 2013/14 R&D funding round demonstrates there is substantial international and domestic commercial interest in securing a sustainable future for Victoria’s vast and unique brown coal resource; one of the largest and lowest cost lignite coal resources to be found anywhere in the world.
Caption: Direct Injection Carbon Engine at CSIRO laboratory; image courtesy of CSIRO.
Caption: Atomisation research at CSIRO laboratory for Direct Injection Carbon Engine project; image courtesy of CSIRO.