is coal power clean

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  • What is ‘clean coal’?

  • The phrase refers to technologies that mitigate or avoid pollutants or CO2 emissions generated by converting coal to electric energy, says Jnos M. Ber, professor emeritus of chemical and fuel engineering. Low-cost, easily transportable and widely available, coal is the primary fuel for generating electricity in the US and many other countries.

  • Can coal be cleaned without burning it?

  • Researchers have discovered a stunning new process that takes the energy from coal without burning it — and removes virtually all of the pollution. The clean coal technique was developed by scientists at The Ohio State University, with just $5 million in funding from the federal government, and took 15 years to achieve.

  • What are the economics of coal power in the US?

  • The US is actually one of the cheapest places to build an advanced coal-fired power plant. Domestic coal is high-quality and plentiful, capital is easily available, and cost estimates are based on running plants 鈥?and generating income 鈥?85% of the year. Outside of the US, the economics of coal power are often worse.

  • How efficient are coal-fired power plants?

  • Yet even the most efficient coal-fired power plants only operate at around 44% efficiency, meaning that 56% of the energy content of the coal is lost. These plants emit 15 times more carbon dioxide than renewable energy systems and twice as much CO2 as gas-fired power plants.

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