The objective of these new technologies is the radical cost reduction and improvement in the efficiency of coal use which will contribute substantially to more economic, cleaner and environmentally friendly measures for the 'dirtiest' fossil fuel. Having in consideration that potential near future markets for clean coal technologies would mainly be in third countries, the replacement in these countries of old technology coal power plants by advanced ones would extremely help environmental local and global objectives.
The Australian CSIRO Liquatech Hybrid Coal and Gas Turbine System will generate electricity from waste coal and gas that would otherwise have cost money to incinerate and polluted the atmosphere. The method harnesses existing technologies in a 1.2 megawatt hybrid coal and gas turbine system that burns waste coal and methane to generate electricity. A standard three million tonne coal mine produces somewhere around 800,000 tonnes of reject coal. This reject coal is either reburied or is just stockpiled in which case it spontaneously combusts and produces carbon dioxide polluting the atmosphere. The methane is gas of low concentration (about 0.3 percent) which comes out from the ventilation of mines. (Methane is twenty-times more toxic to the atmosphere than standard CO2 so burning it reduces this toxicity by seven times.) One tonne of methane produces three tonnes of CO2 plus the heat which is then used for electricity generation. Methane represents probably about six per cent of Australia's greenhouse emissions.
Since coal is abundant and relatively cheap, and will remain the fuel of choice for many industrializing countries, a collective effort to promote clean coal technologies is essential.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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