Alliance's New Coal-Burning Technology Offers Clean Solution

Compiled By Glenn Hasek The Zero Emission Coal Alliance (ZECA), a collaboration of 18 members from private industry and government agencies, is developing a new technology that could put a dent in the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by the burning of coal. The group's goal is to create a zero emission coal-burning power plant within the next five years. ZECA is working to create a hydrogen-producing plant that would convert the gas to electricity via a solid-oxide fuel cell. Using calcium carbonate from the initial reaction and waste heat from the fuel cell, the plant would recycle calcium oxide for further hydrogen production and remove pure carbon dioxide in a concentrated stream for permanent sequestration. The closed-loop system will capture harmful byproducts such as oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, mercury, particulates and carbon dioxide before they can be vented into the atmosphere. The process also will extract twice the amount of energy from coal (up to 70%) than current processes.

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