When you think of coal mining, visions of thick black smoke polluting the atmosphere with carbon-based emissions most likely enter your mind.
However, the development of advanced coal technologies could ensure that the production and distribution of fossil energy improves and that environmental effects are dramatically reduced.
Here, Boldbusiness.com looks at the resurrection of the coal sector and how new technologies are set to reduce our global carbon footprint.
We all know coal isn’t clean, and most of the developing world is dependent on it. Therefore, it’s important to focus on capture and store methods to eliminate or at least reduce carbon emissions.
According to the World Coal Association, coal is now about “40 percent of the global electricity mix and it will be 30 percent in 2040.”
Therefore, the fundamental question is how can we make it cleaner to help protect our environment. After all, “the United States will depend on coal for 25 percent of electricity in 2040”, says the International Energy Agency.
Over the past few years, bold ideas have been tried and tested to develop new ways of capturing and storing carbon emissions.
According to Forbes, coal gasification plants can “scrub the mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide before they would separate the remaining byproducts: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which could be used to power everything from cars to power plants.”
While, they state that the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Southern Company had “completed an initial demonstration phase of carbon capture at Southern’s coal-fired Plant Barry in Alabama, which could recover more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide, send it through a 10-mile pipeline, and inject it underground.”
Other bold ideas are also gaining traction within the industry, which are becoming the main point of discussion, debate and development to ensure they fall in line with the Paris climate agreement.
The Paris climate accord aims to “keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by mid Century”. If the world fails to do so then we could face catastrophic natural disasters.
Coal is not going anywhere and it will be mined for many years to come. It is essential to ensure that it is as clean as possible and that any damage done to the environment is minimal.
Reducing carbon emissions will have a bold impact on the world we live in, and improving coal technologies will allow us to tap into fossil fuel energy which will see us through into the next century, and beyond.