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Frontiers in Energy >> 2011, Volume 5, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11708-010-0136-4

Synergistic utilization of coal and other energy – Key to low carbon economy

State Key Laboratory of Control and Simulation of Power System and Generation Equipment, Department of Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Available online:2011-03-05

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In China, coal is a dominant component of energy mix, and it is expected to remain as such over the next 30 to 40 years. Coal is expected to be used even more in power generation. The direct combustion of coal already has been causing severe pollution and ecological degradation, and it is quite difficult to address the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) given the direct combustion of coal. Therefore, the polygeneration system based on coal gasification, which is one of the major examples of synergistic utilization of coal, is proposed. It is a comprehensive solution to meet the energy challenges China is facing. Furthermore, the synergy of fossil fuels (especially coal) with renewable energy, the synergy of different kinds of energy for energy storage, the synergy of centralized and distributed supply of different kinds of energy, and the synergy of different kinds of energy in smart energy grid (power, gas, heat, and water) are the keys to making China a low-carbon economy. Carbon dioxide (CO ) mitigation in China should begin from the coal-chemical industry given their accumulated relevant experiences. The mitigation process should gradually be transformed into the “IGCC+ polygeneration+ CCUS”. The objectives of this paper are to describe the synergistic utilization of coal, and to analyze the synergy of coal with other energy resources, and to propose the scientific and technological problems to achieve these synergies.

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