What Is Clean Coal?Email this post to a friend.
We have all heard of the term in today’s changing world. It entails so much more than showing your Irish pride on every March 17th by wearing Green. And while St. Patty’s Day is a great holiday, “going green” refers to a movement to be kinder to the environment.
People are going green in so many ways. And the media has a big impact on it. There is an effort to clean up the Earth, to save our resources, and to do all we can for a better tomorrow. Cars are being developed that are more environmentally friendly. People are car pooling and/or walking more. They are picking up their trash and throwing it away. Plastic and Styrofoam is being replaced with resources that are reusable. There are even light bulbs that are more eco-friendly. At the end of the day, everyone can find a way to do his or her part.
Even the government is going green these days. Recently, the Energy secretary in Washington stated that he wanted to provide $2.4 billion from the economic recovery package towards the development of the technology used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories that burn coal. In today’s failing economy most would consider this a lot of money. However, the energy secretary says it is essential that we determine ways to capture the carbon dioxide for coal-burning power plants that are often blamed for global warming. Coal is an essential energy source for the United States however, it has side effects that need to be dealt with. We need to find a solution for clean coal.
Given the recent discussions about the energy stimulus package, don’t be surprised if you continue to hear more about clean coal in the recent future. Environmentalists consider it to be a real solution to the causes of global warming. Although some are skeptical, can coal every really be clean?
For now, here is how clean coal is created:
- Washing. The washing removes the impurities from the fossil fuel allowing it to burn more efficiently.
- Gasification. The coal is not burned, instead it reacts with oxygen and steam creating a “syngas”. This syngas is primarily composed of hydrogen, which is then burned in a gas turbine.
- Flue scrubbing. The flue is sprayed with a solution composed of limestone and water. This reacts with sulphur dioxide and creates and gypsum. Then construction can begin.
- Low NOx burners. These are used to decrease the nitrogen oxide gas created. They restrict the amount of oxygen aloud in the chamber that the coal is burning in.
- Flue filters and precipitators. Here particles are charged by an electrical field and then deposited on to collection plates or fabric filters. These can be used to remove particles.
Besides the actual creation of clean coal, the only other concern is dealing with the emission of carbon dioxide. Most use carbon sequestration, while others use ocean sequestration or geological sequestration. The key is to get rid of the carbon dioxide, which is the major cause of global warming.
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