Activities of DICEnet

To date, DICE R&D has focused on the two key technically difficult areas: coal cleaning and combating engine injector tip and cylinder wear. The next step is to broaden development to include the entire fuel cycle, and is a particular focus of DICEnet. This is essential as the fuel cycle is new, and development requires a holistic approach, to ensure the engagement of stakeholders and to ensure that all areas of technical risk are identified and addressed.

DICEnet activities include:

  • Providing industry level engagement with the coal, renewables, engine, generation and service industries to provide the fuel and demonstration projects necessary for commercial deployment.
  • Assisting the establishment and funding of pilot and demonstration projects, to ensure long-term development of the technology and the new fuel cycle – internationally for maximum global benefit.
  • Providing co-ordination between the MRC producers and engine manufacturers to help integrate R&D, to optimise between the needs of the engine and the MRC quality that the industry can economically produce for different applications. This will include developing a detailed understanding of the value-in-use of MRC and the trade-off between engine repair and maintenance, performance and capital cost with fuel production cost – for different applications, and for both current and future engine designs.
  • Optimisation of the fuel processing chain for different applications to maximise a wide range of other benefits, such as increased grade recovery of coal, support for renewables, ability for small-step staged implementation, integration benefits with CO2 capture, reduction in fresh water consumption, and CDM-type benefits.
  • Coordinating the development of new tests and standards to achieve the quality necessary for DICE.
  • Aligning the development of the DICE fuel cycle with similar established fuels, particularly coal water fuels for boilers. Although MRC is of higher quality than coal water fuels for boilers, the growth in China, and rising interest in these fuels in Indonesia and India, provides a ready market for higher ash MRC and helps to establish the necessary logistics, and to break the chicken-and-egg nexus between MRC and DICE.
  • Supporting RD&D to exploit the potential of DICE to be an enabling technology for CCS (using both post-combustion capture and oxy-firing approaches). However, much more work is required to investigate this important adaptation.