A SECURE SUPPLY FROM START TO FINISH
Reliability and security of supply are especially important for industrial processes. Rheinbraun Brennstoff’s refined products can offer something few competitors can match. From extracting the raw material in RWE’s opencast mine, to refining it in our plants, all the way through to the final sale, we control the whole process from start to finish.
It all starts with the raw material. Our Rhenish lignite is a secure source of energy. Not only is it on our doorstep, we also have enough of it to last several more decades at a stable price. It is used at our production facilities to manufacture high-quality refined products for industry, environmental protection, and private consumers.
As a customer you can rely on the fact that we apply the same high standards of quality, reliability and environmental sustainability at every stage of the process, from extraction in the opencast mine to delivery to your premises.
HAMBACH OPENCAST MINE
Hambach opencast mine lies at the heart of the Rhenish lignite mining area, between the towns of Jülich and Elsdorf. The mine began operating in 1978, and it is currently 370 metres (1214 ft) deep. Its 85-square kilometre (53-square mile) area is home to 2.5 billion tonnes of lignite, buried up to 450 meters (1476 ft) deep.
The opencast mine makes uses of the world’s biggest excavators. Each one is 220 metres (722 ft) long, 96 metres (315 ft) tall, and weighs 13,500 tonnes. They can handle up to 240,000 tonnes of coal every day. Hambach currently produces around 39 million tonnes of lignite every year. 27 million tonnes are used for power generation, with the remaining 12 million being used in the refining plants.
Knapsacker Hügel, located in the town of Hürth, produces Lignite Energy Pulverized. The production process is subject to strict environmental criteria. For example, emissions from the plant are cleaned up using electrostatic filters, and the filtered material is then re-used.
Up to two million tonnes of refined products are produced at Knapsacker Hügel every year.
The Knapsacker Hügel power station doesn’t just supply the refining plant’s production and transport units with power and steam; it also provides district heating and steam to industrial consumers and to the town of Hürth. Co-generation allows the power plant to achieve up to 85 per cent efficiency.
Circulating fluidized-bed combustion in the power station’s boiler means its combustion temperature is relatively low, at approximately 850°C. Additional approved substances, such as sewage sludge, can be burned at the same time. This ensures that the power station makes environmentally-friendly use of biogenic fuels, making a positive contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
The Wachtberg refining plant in Frechen produces Lignite Energy Pulverized, Lignite Energy Compact and fireplace briquettes. Fireplace briquettes are also suitable for domestic use, whereas LE Pulverized and LE Compact are only used in industry. The plant produces up to two million tonnes of refined products every year.
Extruders are used to press the dried lignite into briquettes at up to 1,000 bar, without the use of a binding agent. They are then packed and sold under the UNION® brand name, designed for household use in fireplaces and central heating systems. Briquettes can also be delivered in bulk quantities to both private and industrial customers.
The Frechen power station supplies power and steam to the site’s production and transport equipment and achieves levels of energy efficiency of up to 85 per cent thanks to co-generation.
Circulating fluidized-bed combustion in the power station’s boiler means its combustion temperature is relatively low, at approximately 850°C. The plant can also burn sewerage sludge. This ensures that the power station makes environmentally-friendly use of biogenic fuels, making a positive contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
The Fortuna-Nord refining plant in Niederaussem near Bergheim manufactures around 200,000 tonnes of HOK® Activated Lignite annually. Around 800,000 tonnes of Lignite Energy Pulverized also leave the plant every year.
The coking plant contains two rotary hearth furnaces in which the dried lignite is subjected to extreme heat on a slab. This causes it to excrete water and gaseous component compounds. The whole process is carried out using reduced amounts of oxygen to ensure the lignite does not burn. The resulting HOK® Activated Lignite is then allowed to cool before being ground into various fractions, sieved and packed for transportation, either bulk storage or in various sizes of container. The gases released during the coking process are re-used in the plant as part of a co-generation process.
THE COAL INNOVATION CENTRE
The ‘Coal Innovation Centre’ in Niederaussem is where RWE is using the latest technological innovations to make coal a future-proof source of energy. The aim is to drastically reduce the CO2 emissions produced during power generation.
This is why we are concentrating our work on future technologies at our Niederaussem power station site, and are investing in the research and development of technologies for reducing and converting CO2 emissions.