What Are Clean Coal?

1180 WordsDec 10, 20165 Pages
Imagine a world where the air is always clean, free of pollution. A place where children with asthma need not to worry of the air quality in the inner cities. A world where the energy produced to heat a home, turn on a light bulb, and charge your cellphone is always abundant and affordable. Doesn’t this world sound like a wonderful place? Turns out this world isn’t just a figment of the imagination. In fact, we are on the verge of a technological breakthrough that can take steps towards making this fantasy a reality. What is this innovation? It is Clean Coal Technology. What is clean coal? This label may seem fairly oxymoronic and difficult to understand. The term “clean coal” is actually a broad term that covers many different technologies that vastly improve the efficiency of burning coal for energy and reduce the pollution produced from it. How does the coal industry make coal cleaner, do they just throw it in a bathtub wash it? In fact, on a basic level, that is what Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) Technology, more commonly known as Coal Scrubbing, does. Coal is placed in large tanks filled with water and a limestone solution and then boiled. It is the limestone that is able to collect the sulfur concentrations out of the coal and into the solution. Through this process, “more than 95 percent of the sulfur pollutants in coal can be captured inside the boiler” (US Dept. of Energy). While these numbers are truly staggering, that 95% just includes the sulfur that is
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