Clean Coal Technologies - Overview
What are Clean Coal Technologies ?
Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs) are defined as:
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
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
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