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Current Page: Clean Coal > Clean Coal Technologies - Overview

Clean Coal Technologies - Overview

What are Clean Coal Technologies

Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs) are defined as:

'technologies designed to enhance both the efficiency and the environmental acceptability of coal extraction, preparation and use'.

These technologies reduce emissions, reduce waste, and increase the amount of energy gained from each tonne of coal.

CCT programmes are being vigorously pursued by many countries, with hundreds of millions of dollars being spent annually on developments in utilisation techniques. These technologies will enable coal use to be increasingly efficient and environmentally acceptable as a vital world energy source throughout this century.

Most CCTs concentrate on power generation from coal, as more than 50% of coal produced is used to generate electricity. An impressive array of technologies is already commercially viable, and a large number of others will become available in the near future.

Clean Coal Technologies for Coal Extraction

CCTs for the extraction of coal are readily available. Improved exploration methods, such as geophysics and seismic techniques, minimise any environmental impact, while improving mine planning by reducing geological uncertainties. Improved mining technologies aim to maximise extraction efficiencies while minimising energy usage. Measures to reduce noise and dust levels are standard practice, thus minimising risks to the operators.

Mining can release methane gas from coal, which can be a potential hazard. Various means to drain the gas are used, and in some cases it is being developed as an energy source. Mine plans include provisions to avoid the risk of ground water contamination and in some cases the back-filling of mined space with coal washery discard or power station ash and other residues. (See also Methane Capture and Use )

Clean Coal Technologies for Coal Preparation

CCTs for the preparation of coals can reduce their ash content, and clean them of impurities such as dirt and sulphur. New technologies are being developed to improve the efficiency and cost of these operations, while improving the quality of any waste water. (See also Coal Preparation )

Next Page: Clean Coal > Clean Coal Technologies - Examples

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