What Is Clean Coal Technology (& How Does It Work)?

What Is Clean Coal Technology (& How Does It Work)?

This is a short guide outlining what clean coal technology is, and in a general sense how it works.


Summary – What Is Clean Coal Technology?

  • Clean coal technology involves any part of the coal-for-energy process that reduces emissions (usually carbon dioxide) and air pollution/contamination (usually sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter)
  • There’s several ways clean coal technology can be implemented, and each works differently


What Is Clean Coal Technology?

The definition of clean coal has changed over time:

  • It started out with washing coal at the mine, which removes some of the sulfur and other contaminants, and makes the coal cleaner and cheaper to transport (wikipedia.org)
  • It then proceeded to CSS (carbon capture and storage technology), whereby the carbon dioxide generated at coal plants it captured and stored underground (usually in rock formations and aquifers)
  • And most recently, it’s been used to describe coal plants with new designs that are more efficient and/or reduce pollution/emissions (such as Super critical coal power plants, Ultra super critical coal power plants, and other types of High efficiency low emission coal power plants)

The reality is though – ‘clean coal’ can be used as a term to describe any part of the coal-for-energy process (it could be a new design, device, method/technique, action, regulation, or something else) that reduces or eliminates emissions (usually CO2) or air pollution (usually sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter).


  • The term ‘clean coal’ is increasingly being used for supercritical coal-fired plants without CCS, on the basis that CO2 emissions are less than for older plants, but are still much greater than for nuclear or renewables

– world-nuclear.org


For air pollution:

  • [with clean coal technology, the] primary focus was on SO2 and NOx, the most important gases in causation of acid rain, and particulates which cause visible air pollution and have deleterious effects on human health

– wikipedia.org


List Of Clean Coal Technologies & Techniques

You can read more in this guide about a list of the different clean coal technologies and techniques.



1. http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/clean-coal-technologies.aspx

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_coal_technology#Clean_coal_and_the_environment

3. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/a-list-of-clean-coal-technologies-techniques-ways-to-make-coal-cleaner-more-eco-friendly/

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