Proses Pengeringan Batubara muda lewat solvent extraction

Rekan-rekan akademiker dan industriawan yang terhormat:

Pemakaian batubara sebagai alternative energi di masa krisis energi boleh jadi menjadi altenative yang menjanjikan. Hal ini dilihat dari aktivitas exploitasi maupun explorasi yang dilakukan di Indonesia, nilai export yang menanjak terus tahun ke tahun, kebijakan bea export/pajak export sbg tanda dukungan pemerintah. Di negara tetangga China, pilihan batubara sebagai sumber energi nasional tidak tanggung-tanggung. 70% dari pemakaian/produksi energi di China bersumber dari batubara. Dengan demikian China menjadikan batubara sebagai pilihan investasi energi mereka (Literatur: The Evolution and Future of IGCC, Co-Production and CCS for China’s Energy, Xiao Yunhan, Professor, PhD., Deputy Director General, Bureau of High-Tech R&D, Chinese Academy of Sciences).

Di Indonesia, deposit batubara memang cukup menjanjikan. Banyak kalangan mem-prediksi cadangan batubara Indonesia mampu mencukupi kebutuhan sampai 130 tahun ke depan.

Batubara muda (brown coal): Kendala yang ada bahwa cadangan ini sejumlah besar dalam bentuk low rank coal (batubara muda) yang berkandungan air tinggi sehingga nilai pembakarannya rendah, tidak laku dijual, tidak memenuhi standard export, kandungan non-combustable component juga besar.  Beberapa proses dewatering sudah dicoba untuk dikembangkan, tetapi belum ada yang berhasil dikembangkan sampai skala produksi. Berikut artikel untuk mulai menggeluti bidang ini:

 

Dewatering of coal through solvent extraction

Kouichi Miura , , Kazuhiro Mae, Ryuichi Ashida, Tomoichiro Tamura and Takayuki Ihara

Abstract

A new non-evaporative coal dewatering method was presented, in which a bed of coal was contacted with a flowing non-polar solvent at less than 200 °C. Water in coal was released by thermal energy added and the released water was dissolved into solvent and was carried away from the coal bed. When the solvent was recovered at room temperature, most of water is separated from the solvent due to the decrease in the solubility of water in the solvent. Then the water is easily separated from the solvent by decantation. This method, therefore, removes water without causing phase change of water. When an Australian brown coal whose water content was 50% was treated by tetralin at 150 °C, the water content was reduced to less than 2%. This clarified that the presented method is more effective than the other methods from both the energy saving viewpoint and dewatering efficiency. The mechanism of dewatering was discussed based on the strength of hydrogen bonds formed between coal and water and the change in the solubility of water in the solvent with increasing temperature.

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