What are clean Coal Technologies ?

Coal combustion is considerably hazardous to environment if not properly contained. It is possible to remove from coal-burning most of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). However, carbon dioxide (CO2) and radionuclides is more difficult to remove. Coal-fired power plant are the largest producer of mercury at 50 tons out of 150 tons produced in the US. Coal-fired power plant globally produce 5000 tons of mercury. Coal power production is the major mercury polutor in the US.

US Department of Energy working with private inductry in the process of developing carbon capture and sequestration technologies. Pre-capture, oxy-fuel combustion, and post-capture carbon capture and Sequestration (CCS) are major methods of CCS.

The most popular coal power plant is Vattenfall's Schwarze Pump plant in Germany that uses oxy-fuel carbon capture technology. However, carbon stored underground has not yet shown to stay there indefinetely.

Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) is another CCS under developement.

Other CCS uses dewater low rank coals. Higher level of moisture content coal has lower calorific content per ton and produces excess emissions while burning ineffciently. Reducing the moisture using dewater method can reduce the emissions by 50 percent. Commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration power stations cannot be commercially viable until 2020 or 2025. This long time frame is a great concern for environmentalists due to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change that going to appear soon. With high costs of sequestering carbon, higher impact on environment, uncertainty on managing pollutants and radionuclides, coal as a alternative energy for crude oil is not generally acceptable. There are other zero emission alternative energy sources that needs to be explored as collective source for energy independence. Coal is not "clean" as those major coal producers make us believe with their lavist TV ads.

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