Ahrko Systems has developed a revolutionary low cost method to dry brown coals, sands and ores.
Coal energy generation requires wet coals like brown coals to be dried before use. Brown coal is a soft material that has a much lower carbon content than black coal and a higher moisture content. High moisture content increases the energy content required to generate electricity and results in higher levels of pollutants compared to black coals which are both more efficient and lower polluting. As a result, brown coal provides only 25% of the heating value of black coal, but has a low sulphur and ash content compared to black coals.
Reducing the moisture content of brown coal by drying improves energy efficiency and reduces emissions ultimately producing a much more efficient black coal equivalent product. An efficient drying process reduces costs, lifts the calorific value per tonne of coal burned, and reduces environmental emissions.
Drying other minerals has a similar cost and energy saving benefit.
The Ahrko system uses the principle of diluted phase pneumatic conveying and variable temperature air-driven vortexes to calibrate the drying process to customer specifications. The system can be calibrated to remove as little as 5-10% of moisture from brown coals to meet the specifications of power stations, and up to 85% of moisture by pre-heating the air for value added product manufacturers. The Ahrko system costs 10% of the capital and operating costs of a comparable system, and is deployed on a zero cost placement model for a per tonne royalty, making this technology very attractive to customers.
Ahrko’s initial target markets are mineral sands and brown coal power generators in Victoria. Markets to be developed over time include various sands including mineral, silica and fracking sands, and ores predominantly iron and nickel.
With the assistance of PKF, Ahrko has bootstrapped itself using the R&D tax incentive and a long term relationship with the University of Melbourne funded by a $440,000 grant from the Australian Research Council to 2020 to support development of the technology. Ahrko has been assisted with in kind support from energy Australia and GHD, Energy Australia’s global engineering partner. Ahrko has proved its technology and is seeking first sales.
Stay in touch with Ahrko at http://www.ahrkosystems.com