Project Description

Oxy-fuel combustion and a number of other technology options form a broad portfolio of innovative technology commonly referred to as Low Emission Coal Technologies.

Approximately 70% of the future cuts in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are estimated to be due to implementation of these types of technologies.

Oxy-fuel combustion is particularly attractive because of its inherent ability for in-situ separation of CO2 and relatively simple process.

Oxy-fuel combustion burns coal with pure Oxygen to avoid unnecessary heating on Nitrogen and simpler CO2 capture.

Large scale air separation unit (ASU) can be utilised to deliver high purity oxygen using cryogenic process.

However, this process is energy intensive due to demand in air compression, liquefaction and distillation. ASUs consume between 10% and 40% of the gross power output of the oxy-fuel plant.

The novel invention provides a significant step change to cryogenic ASUs by being able to reduce energy consumption to about 80%.

This is a significant step change making oxy-fuel combustion more favourable for carbon capture.


Professor Behdad Moghtaderi and Emeritus Professor Terry Wall AM, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Professor Moghtaderi’s research expertise is in the general field of energy and the environment.

He has broad experience, knowledge and achievements in this field, particularly in application areas, such as renewable energy resources (e.g. biomass combustion / gasification, and geothermal power cycles), fire safety science, hydrogen powered micro-energy systems, and energy efficiency in buildings.

Professor Wall has a high international standing for leadership and personal contributions in R&D on coal combustion which enhanced power station performance and environmental control in Australia and overseas, and provided major support to the Australian coal export industry.

He has played key roles in the establishment and management of the CRC for Black Coal Utilisation and the succeeding CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development.

Features and Benefits

  • A step change improvement to reduce energy demand in Oxygen production.
  • About 80% less energy is required, compared to conventional cryogenic ASUs.
  • No catalyst required.

Market Value and Size

Carbon dioxide posed a significant problem to climate change. With more than 29 giga tonnes of carbon dioxide produced annually, it poses a large market for carbon reduction technologies. Australia alone produces 576 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2008.

Potential Application and Market Opportunities

Oxy-fuel combustion is already believed to be more economically and technically viable among other advanced low carbon technologies (i.e. IGCC and Post-combustion capture).

The invented process provides a step change to make Oxy-fuel technology even more economically viable.

Industrial partners are welcomed to further develop this technology.