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Five coal samples from Odagbo (Kogi State), Owukpa (Benue State), Ezimo (Enugu State), Amansiodo (Enugu State) and Inyi (Enugu State) weresubjected to proximate analysis, ultimate analysis, calorific value determination, petrographic and thermogravimetric analysis to determine their suitability for power generation. Tests were carried out at the laboratories of Advanced Coal Technology, South Africa (now Bureau Veritas Testing and Inspections South Africa, BV-TISA) and the Institute of Applied Materials of the University of Pretoria. Based on analysis of results of tests carried out, Amansiodo coal is a bituminous, low sulphur and medium ash coal; while Owukpa coal is a sub-bituminous A, low sulphur, low ash coal rich in huminites. In addition, Odagbo coal is a sub-bituminous B, medium sulphur, low ash coal rich in huminites; Ezimo coal is a sub-bituminous C, low sulphur, high ash coal; while Inyi coal is a sub-bituminous C, low sulphur, high ash coal.Between Odagbo and Owukpa sub-bituminous coals, Owukpa has a lower ignition temperature (283.63oC) due to its higher volatile matter content (39.1%). However, Ezimo sub-bituminous coal, which has a lower volatile matter (31.1%) unexpectedly has the same ignition temperature as Owukpa (283.63oC) due to its higher liptinite content (7.2%) when compared with that of Owukpa (2.9%). The five (5) coal samples analysed can be used for power generation using circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) technology due to its tolerance of a widevariety of coals and particle sizes. Amansiodo coal is suitable for power generation using pulverised coal combustion technology based on comparison of its gross calorific value (27.48MJ/kg), ash content (8.6%), inherent moisture content (5.4%), sulphur content (0.92%), etc with requirements published by coal-fired power plant operators. Gross calorific values, inherent moisture and contents of Odagbo, Owukpa, Ezimo and Inyi sub-bituminous coals make them largely suitable for pulverized coal combustion when compared with the coal fuel used for the Genessee Phase 3 power station in Canada. The ease of combustion of the coal samples in decreasing order is Odagbo, Owukpa, Inyi, Ezimo and Amansiodo. The ignition temperatures of the coals increase with decreasing volatile matter content, their calorific values are strongly correlated with the fixed carbon, elemental carbon, volatile matter and hydrogen contents in decreasing order.




1.1  Background to the Study

Access to energy, especially electricity, is a driving force for economic and social development (Samboet al., 2009). Energy is a key factor in industrial development and in providing vital services that improve the quality of life. Traditionally, energy has been regarded as the engine of economic progress. Limited access to energy is a serious constraint to development in the developing world, where the per capita use of energy is less than one sixth that of the industrialised world(IAEA, 2005).It is widelyaccepted that there is a strong correlation between socio-economic development and theavailability of energy.

The electricity demand in Nigeria far outstrips the current epileptic supply. Nigeria is faced with acute electricity supply problems, which is hindering its development notwithstanding the availability of vast natural resources in the country (Sambo et al., 2009). There are currently 23 grid-connected generating plants in operation in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) with a total installed capacity of 10,396.0 MW and available capacity of 6,056 MW. Most generation is thermal based, with an installed capacity of 8,457.6 MW (81% of the total) and an available capacity of 4,996 MW (48% of the total). Hydropower from three major plants accounts for 1,938.4 MW of total installed capacity and an available capacity of 1,060 MW (KPMG Nigeria, 2013). 


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