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Water use in the Chinese coal industry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. (Globala energisystem)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Freshwater resources are getting increasingly scarce throughout the world. In 21th century China, coal is the fuel of the nation’s economic growth. Coal is also the nation’s largest source of industrial water use. The objective of this thesis is to project water use in the Chinese coal industry up until 2035 by presenting two scenarios simulating two different approaches to water management policies.Literature studies makes up the base for estimating water use in three stages in the coal’s life cycle; mining, washing, and combustion. Through univariate sensitivity analysis, significant parameters are identified and included in the scenario modeling. Key for the study is the separation of water withdrawal rates and water consumption rates.The results indicate that future coal production and electricity demand have strong influence on water consumption. The coal industry’s water consumption is expected to have increased by 18-28% by 2035 depending on water use policies. By 2035, a business-as-usual scenario (BAU) will have increased annual water consumption by 24-63% from current levels, compared to an increase of 6-35% in a water saving scenario (WS). In terms of water withdrawal by 2035, the results show a 18-47% increase in the BAU scenario and a 9% decrease to 13% increase in the WS scenario. It is concluded that water management has high potential in mitigating and reducing water withdrawal rates, but failure to do so may result in a significant increase.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 44 p.
UPTEC STS, ISSN 1650-8319 ; 15005
Keyword [en]
water, freshwater, coal, China, withdrawal, consumption, projections, scenarios
Keyword [sv]
vatten, färskvatten, kol, Kina, kolindustri, vattenuttag, vattenkonsumtion
National Category
Water Engineering Energy Systems Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253931OAI: diva2:816658
Educational program
Systems in Technology and Society Programme
Available from: 2015-06-24 Created: 2015-06-03 Last updated: 2015-08-11Bibliographically approved

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