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Coal, Clean Technology

  • By: Jean-Francois Denault
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

Coal is one of the most popular fossil fuels around the world since it easy to find, harvest, and manufacture. It is used mainly to generate electricity. Most countries with heavily developed industrial sectors (such as China and the United States) continue to use and invest in coal-based power production. Since it has been extensively used, it is an efficient technology when one looks at it from a “raw material to electricity generated” ratio.

Nonetheless, burning coal generates negative by-products in the environment, as coal is very carbon intensive. Burning coal to generate electricity is one of the major carbon dioxide (CO2) sources today. Since CO2 is released directly in the atmosphere, its treatment is a constant challenge. Some direct environmental impacts include acid rain, terrain ...

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