Coal supply and cost under technological and environmental uncertainty.Melissa Chan / Mar 31, 2020
Coal supply and cost under technological and environmental uncertainty This thesis estimates available coal resources recoverability mining costs environmental impacts and environmental control costs for the United States under technological and environmental uncerta
This thesis estimates available coal resources, recoverability, mining costs, environmental impacts, and environmental control costs for the United States under technological and environmental uncertainty It argues for a comprehensive, well planned research program that will resolve resource uncertainty, and innovate new technologies to improve recovery and environmentalThis thesis estimates available coal resources, recoverability, mining costs, environmental impacts, and environmental control costs for the United States under technological and environmental uncertainty It argues for a comprehensive, well planned research program that will resolve resource uncertainty, and innovate new technologies to improve recovery and environmental performance A stochastic process and cost constant 2005 dollar model for longwall, continuous, and surface mines based on current technology and mining practice data was constructed It estimates production and cost ranges within 5 11 percent of 2006 prices and production rates The model was applied to the National Coal Resource Assessment Assuming the cheapest mining method is chosen to extract coal, 250 320 billion tons are recoverable Two thirds to all coal resource can be mined at a cost less than dollar 4 mmBTU If U.S coal demand substantially increases, as projected by alternate Energy Information Administration EIA , resources might not last than 100 years By scheduling cost to meet EIA projected demand, estimated cost uncertainty increases over time It costs less than dollar 15 ton to mine in the first 10 years of a 100 year time period, dollar 10 dollar 30 ton in the following 50 years, and dollar 15 dollar 90 ton thereafter Environmental impacts assessed are subsidence from underground mines, surface mine pit area, erosion, acid mine drainage, air pollutant and methane emissions The analysis reveals that environmental impacts are significant and increasing as coal demand increases Control technologies recommended to reduce these impacts are backfilling underground mines, surface pit reclamation, substitution of robotic underground mining systems for surface pit mining, soil replacement for erosion, placing barriers between exposed coal and the elements to avoid acid formation, and coalbed methane development to avoid methane emissions during mining The costs to apply these technologies to meet stringent environmental regulation scenarios are estimated The results show that the cost of meeting these regulatory scenarios could increase mining costs two to six times the business as usual cost, which could significantly affect the cost of coal powered electricity generation This thesis provides a first estimate of resource availability, mining cost, and environmental impact assessment and cost analysis Available resource is not completely reported, so the available estimate is lower than actual resource Mining costs are optimized, so provide a low estimate of potential costs Environmental impact estimates are on the high end of potential impact that may be incurred because it is assumed that impact is unavoidable Control costs vary Estimated cost to control subsidence and surface mine pit impacts are suitable estimates of the cost to reduce land impacts Erosion control and robotic mining system costs are lower, and methane and acid mine drainage control costs are higher, than they may be in the case that these impacts must be reduced.
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