Clean Coal Essay

5924 words - 24 pages

Advanced Clean Coal Technology
DeVry University
Technology Society and Culture
Professor Paul
Team D

Table of Contents

Renee M King
I A brief description of the why the technology is needed …………….page 3
II The historical development and context of the technology ………… 5
III The technology in its cultural context, media influence…………… 9

IV Psychological considerations and sociological effects…………..….page 10

V Economic questions and considerations
VI Implications for the Environment

VI Political and legal influences
IX Moral and Ethical Implications

Advanced Clean Coal Technology

I A ...view middle of the document...

Developing countries saw coal as an inexpensive way to power their growth. Coal will provide the fuel for energy well into the future. The reason for this is because coal is cheap and it is abundant. America has the greatest reserve of coal in the world but it is an environmental villain. The burning of coal produces many by-products that are harmful; it is the leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution. Coal burning releases sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and mercury. Plus other harmful pollutants emitted annually from a typical, uncontrolled coal plant include approximately: 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium. Releasing 720 tons of carbon monoxide, that causes headaches and places additional stress on people with heart disease. Spewing 220 tons of hydrocarbons, a volatile organic compound which forms the low lying ozone layer. 225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion (Coal Power:air pollution).

Coal is a dirty fuel to burn, so the Department of Energy and the private sector are working to clean up the process. In the last 20 years scientist have developed ways to capture the pollutants to trap them before the impurities can escape into the atmosphere. In 1986 a program was initiated that was the most ambitious government-industry undertaking to develop environmental solutions for the nation’s abundant coal resources (The 1986-93 clean coal tecnology program). The goal of this program was to find the most innovative technology emerging from around the world. Today we have technology that can filter out up to 99 percent of the tiny particles and remove 95 percent of the acid rain pollutants in coal. There are small things that can be done to start, that could make coal plants two percent more efficient and emit four to six percent less carbon. This can be done simply by improving basic maintenance and replacing old turbine blades.

There are various types of technology to the have be developed, implemented, refined and perfected to use in the process of cleaning up coal. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) states that the power plants built today emit 90 percent less pollutants (SO2,NOx, particulates and mercury) than the plants they replaced from the 19070s (Clean Coal Technology-From research to reality). Then recently Canada opened a carbon dioxide capture and sequestration coal burning plant in (Roach, 2014).

II The historical development and context of the technology
The first technology is Electrostatic precipitator (ESP) has been used in the industry for over 60 years. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resource they can collect particles sized 0.1 to 10 microns and are more efficient at collecting fine particles than scrubbers or cyclones. The electrostatic precipitators take advantage of the electrical principles that opposites...

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