DICE (or the direct injection carbon engine) has the potential to provide the coal industry with an innovative step technology to increase both its competitiveness and environmental acceptance (including a 20-35% reduction in CO2 intensity) for electricity generation – and for all markets. A particular advantage of DICE is the relatively short development time and low development cost to achieve commercialisation. Development costs can also be shared with the low rank coal industry, and with engine OEMs.
It is proposed that DICE would be fired with a micronised refined carbon (MRC) produced from coals using existing commercial technologies. R&D over the last 5 years has demonstrated the production of relatively low cost MRC from a range of black coals including tailings (including operation of a pilot plant by XT at Glencore’s Bulga site) and combustion behaviour in a laboratory engine at CSIRO (including a 40 hour test to investigate fouling). All R&D and pilot tests have given excellent results, justifying the next stage of development. This has led to the establishment of a four stage gated development program with the Test Engine ProviderMAN Diesel & Turbo, leading to the potential of the first commercial plant by 2020.