Reducing emissions from coal

Coal burns. Water doesn’t. That is the founding principle behind DryFining™, a lignite fuel enhancement process which includes both drying and refining lignite. As a result of our research efforts and our partnerships with other companies, Great River Energy is DryFining all of the coal used at Coal Creek Station and Spiritwood Station to make it cleaner and more efficient, using waste heat.

Read our DryFining brochure

This patented technology is available for commercialization. For more information, please contact: dryfining@grenergy.com.

Benefits of DryFining

Softer coals, such as lignite, naturally have a higher water content than other types of coal. Reducing the amount of water in the coal through a drying process offers a number of benefits:

  • Increases energy density and value of the lignite
  • Reduces total volume of flue gases that must be handled throughout the system
  • Improves overall power plant efficiency

Drying + Refining = DryFining

While the idea may sound simple, developing the best process for drying coal was complex. Great River Energy began researching the coal enhancement process in 1997. Today, as a result of our research and partnerships, we are DryFining all the coal used at Coal Creek Station to make it cleaner and more efficient. We are enhancing the power of lignite using a product that otherwise would be wasted, the waste heat from Coal Creek Station.

Potential impact of technology

This technology has great potential for other power plants throughout the world. Successful commercial application of the technology could result in striking benefits nationwide.

In the United States today:

  • 35 power generation units, with an installed capacity of 15 gigawatts, burn lignite
  • 250 units, with an installed capacity of about 100 gigawatts, burn Powder River Basin coal, a sub bituminous coal with a high moisture content

If used by new and existing power plants, the technology would significantly reduce air emissions in the United States.