THE EXPANDED DEVELOPMENT OF COAL IN APPALACHIAN PENNSYLVANIA THROUGH THE UTILIZATION OF COAL PIPELINE TECHNOLOGY
The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the hypothesis that the utilization of coal pipeline technology can promote the development of Appalachian coal resources. The necessity of developing Appalachian coal is based on the assumptions that: (1) Coal is the nation's primary medium-term energy source; and (2) Eastern coal resources of the Appalachian and Midwestern regions constitute a significant supply source. Coal pipeline technology offers potential for the resolution of a major impediment to coal development in the Appalachian region: the transportation constraints of handling the rapid expansion of coal production. Specifically, the integration of the coal pipeline into existing transportation networks may serve to upgrade the region's transportation capabilities, thereby facilitating the movement of coal to market places. This could enable many Appalachian coal resources, heretofore unavailable, to become available reserves.
Investigation of this hypothesis entailed: (1) construction of a site-selection methodology which was applied towards the identification of those sites most suitable for coal mining; (2) development of a cost comparison methodology for alternative modes of short haul coal transport (Rail, Truck, Pneumatic Pipeline, and Slurry Pipeline); and (3) application of the costing methodology to mine sites selected for a comparative cost analysis of alternative transport modes.
The most important contribution of this research was the creation of an analytical tool, with which a comparative cost analysis of short-haul coal transport modes could be made. This cost comparison methodology was tested in sixty-six hypothetical scenarios and thirty-eight site-specific scenarios. Given the assumptions of the hypothetical scenarios and the characteristics of the Appalachian region examined in the site-specific cases, results of this analysis indicated that the employment of the coal pipeline as a feeder mode could enable significant cost reductions in the short-haul transport of coal.
Area planning & development
0999: Area planning & development