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Abstract

Hydrogen as a raw material finds its main use and application on the Polish market in the chemical industry. Its potential applications for the production of energy in fuel cell systems or as a fuel for automobiles are widely analyzed and commented upon ever more frequently. At present, hydrogen is produced worldwide mainly from natural gas, using the SMR technology or via the electrolysis of water. Countries with high levels of coal resources are exceptional in that respect, as there the production of hydrogen is increasingly based on gasification processes. China is such an example. There some 68% of hydrogen is generated from coal. The paper discusses the economic efficiency of hydrogen production technologies employing lignite gasification, comparing it with steam reforming of natural gas technology (SMR). In present Polish conditions, this technology seems to be the most probable alternative for natural gas substitution. For the purpose of evaluating the economic efficiency, a model has been developed, in which a sensitivity analysis has been carried out. An example of the technological process of energy-chemical processing of lignite has been presented, based on the gasification process rooted in disperse systems, characteristics of the fuel has been discussed, as well as carbon dioxide emission issues. Subsequently, the assumed methodology of economic assessment has been described in detail, together with its key assumptions. Successively, based on the method of discounted cash flows, the unit of hydrogen generation has been determined, which was followed by a detailed sensitivity analysis, taking the main risk factors connected with lignite/coal and natural gas price relations, as well as the price of carbon credits (allowances for emission of CO2) into account.
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Abstract

This article presents the use of a multi-criterion Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method to assess geological and mining condition nuisance in longwall mining operations in selected coal mines in Poland. For this purpose, a methodology has been developed which was used to calculate the operational nuisance indicator (WUe) in relation to the cost of mining coal in individual longwalls. Components of the aggregate operational nuisance indicator include four sub-indicators: the natural hazards indicator (UZN), an indicator describing the seam parameters (UPZ), an indicator describing the technical parameters (UT) and an environmental impact indicator (UŚ). In total, the impact of 28 different criteria, which formed particular components of the nuisance indicators were analysed. In total 471 longwalls in 11 coal mines were analysed, including 277 longwalls that were mined in the period of 2011 to 2016 and 194 longwalls scheduled for exploitation in the years 2017 to 2021. Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the relationships between nuisance and the operating costs of longwalls. The analysis revealed a strong correlation between the level of nuisance and the operating costs of the longwalls under study. The design of the longwall schedule should therefore also take into account the nuisance arising from the geological and mining conditions of the operations. Selective operations management allows for the optimization of costs for mining in underground mines using the longwall system. This knowledge can also be used to reduce the total operating costs of mines as a result of abandoning the mining operations in entire longwalls or portions of longwalls that may be permanently unprofitable. Currently, underground mines do not employ this optimization method, which even more emphasizes the need for popularizing this approach.
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