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Lignite Drying Process Means Cleaner Fuel and Increased Effi
2016-01-06 17:22
Lignite is geologically younger than higher-grade coal, and is more accessible because veins are relatively close to the surface, eliminating the need for underground excavation.  Surface mining also eliminates the risk of methane or carbon monoxide buildup, which is a primary safety concern in underground mining.
 
Lignite mining is not totally without risk.  As lignite mines are excavated, there is risk that the tall, sloped earthen walls could collapse after a heavy rain.  Such incidents are extremely rare, in part because the industry has developed constant monitoring systems to alert authorities when weather could affecting mining conditions.  The most common accidents in lignite mining are associated with the maintenance and operation of the heavy equipment required to dig and haul the coal.
 
The heating content of lignite is approximately 7,000 BTUs per pound, and its water content is about 35 percent.  Lignite-generated electricity is abundant, accessible, low-cost, reliable, environmentally compatible and is used in an environmentally-responsible manner by power plants.
 
The drying of lignite for power generation is the founding principle behind DryFining, a fuel enhancement system in which the material is simultaneously dried and refined.  As a result of research efforts led by Great River Energy of Maple Grove, MN and its partnerships with Heyl & Patterson and other organizations, the DryFining process makes lignite cleaner and more efficient by using a power plant's waste heat.