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Russia and Germany will establish a joint scientific center

Friday, 15 September, 2017
Russia and Germany will establish a joint scientific center

Freiberg Mining Academy (FMA) and the Saint-Petersburg Mining University are planning to found a joint Center for developing coal gasification technology. That news was announced by Bernd Meyer, the director of institute for raw material processing of the German Academy, who has paid a working visit to the city on the Neva river.

The stake at coal processing, the reserve of which is enough to last for the next 500 years, this is an opportunity for our country to keep the leadership in the energy sector in the  post - oil epoch. Nevertheless, the traditional technology is already out of date, since combustion products emission pollutes environment and has dramatic impact on human health.

The future of coal is definitely not connected with its burning, but with its processing enabling to develop new ecologically friendly products. This is, in particular, gasification which can be compared in terms of cost efficiency with oil and gas extracting in inaccessible location.

The boom of  coal gasification technology in the middle of the last decade took place alongside with soaring oil prices. But following their sharp decline gas generators, converting coal into gas,  lost their commercial attractiveness. That’s why the scientists, working in this field, are facing the challenge of cost cutting for construction  and exploitation of this facility.

«We discussed with Vladimir Litvinenko, the Rector of the Mining University the idea of establishing a joint Center where this problem could be efficiently solved by increasing efficiency of processing and terms of exploitation as well as speeding up new developments, - noted the director of the Institute for Raw Material Processing of Freiberg Academy Bernd Meyer. Another crucial issue – to decrease ecological impact – to diminish emission during  production of syngas».

In the course of negotiations the parties reached  the agreement to cooperate on the range of important scientific projects related to coal processing.  Moreover, Bernd Meyer confirmed his participation in the work of Competence Center in the mining – technical institution under UNESCO auspices. Its foundation was initiated by the Mining University and approved by the delegates of the World Forum of Resource Universities on Sustainable Development (WFURS).

«Coal in the long – term will remain an integral and important part of world power industry, - said Vladimir Litvinenko. But it is still necessary to understand that the main engine of progress is investment in technology,  but not resources. The future of the industry is closely linked with development of advanced technology products, such as synthetic fuel, chemical and agrochemical products. Coal gasification is a highly potential area».

Bernd Meyer gave a talk  «The Present and Prospects of Modern Coal and Waste Processing Technology»  to students and post- graduates of the University (the translation was provided by his assistant Felix Baytalov). He particularly talked about the most efficient types of gas generators. Among them - those  working on German technology of gasification in fluidized bed and on  hydrocarbon mixtures now being exploited in the USA.

As one of the most promising model the speaker mentioned an American development based on technology for missile engines. It is now being tested, but has commercial potential due to its high speed of conversion coal into syngas.

The guest also mentioned that the greatest number of gas generators are currently working in China. And scientific developments from this country are gaining a solid stand on the world market. The most popular technology still remains that  of  General Electric and Shell.

  • Bernd Meyer headed Freiberg Mining  Academy during 7 years till 2015 and made a great contribution into cooperation between universities of Russia and Germany. He was awarded  the title of Honorable Doctor of the Mining University in 2016.
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