Coal Gasification is the process of converting coal into synthetic “natural” gas by a process using incomplete combustion to create carbon monoxide (CO). The CO is transformed into a substitute natural gas through chemical interaction with a catalyst for use as a fuel or further processing and concentration into an industrial feed stock or liquid fuel.
The Department of Energy states that coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen, and other valuable energy products. Gasification, in fact, may be one of the most flexible technologies to produce clean-burning hydrogen for tomorrow’s automobiles and power-generating fuel cells. Hydrogen and other coal gases can also be used to fuel power-generating turbines, or as the chemical “building blocks” for a wide range of commercial products.
The capability to produce electricity, hydrogen, chemicals, or various combinations while eliminating nearly all air pollutants and potentially greenhouse gas emissions makes coal gasification one of the most promising technologies for energy plants of the future.
A recent story from Power Engineering International says that GE Power & Water developed a new innovation aimed at assisting coal-fueled power plants in further reducing their emissions.
The article states, “The air-filtration media technology involves bi-component felt media for construction of fabric filters used in coal-fired boiler baghouses. There continues to be a pressing demand for further innovations in clean coal technology, as the fossil fuel continues to show resilience as an energy source, despite the continuing progress towards renewable energy.”
Over the last several decades, the coal-based electricity industry has invested billions to clean the air, and the results are that emissions of major pollutants from coal-fueled power plants have been reduced by nearly 90 percent per unit of electricity generated.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal will continue to account for the largest share of electricity generation through 2040. And the International Energy Agency reports that even though coal demand growth has slowed in the U.S., coal’s share of the global energy mix is still rising, and by 2017 coal will come close to surpassing oil as the world’s top energy source.
Over the last several decades, the coal-based electricity industry has invested billions to clean the air. The result is that emissions of major pollutants from coal-fueled power plants have been reduced by nearly 88 percent per unit of electricity generated. And not only that, the coal-based electricity industry has invested $110 billion through the end of 2012 to achieve these emission reductions.
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