There is no two ways about it: coal is one of the dirtiest, nastiest providers of energy we currently have available to us. While there are a few iterations of clean coal, most of them are created by stripping the substance of its CO2.
The carbon is removed from the coal and stored for later usage, after being used by industrialists or having been turned into a liquid by utilizing pressurization. With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons associated with clean coal.
List of Pros of Clean Coal
1. Supplies Are Abundant
Luckily for the majority of industrialized nations, the supplies are clean coal are certainly abundant. While clean coal supplies cannot be found everywhere in the world, they are located in countries such as Russia, Canada and the United States, which also happen to be the nations that need it most.
2. Inexpensive As Compared To Other Fuels
While there are costs associated with the usage of clean coal, these costs tend to pale in comparison to other fuels, especially conventional coal. Capturing carbon and storing it is usually much less expensive than the costs of storage for other fuels. It also provides continuous power, which lowers costs, as well.
3. Low Investment Capital Required
The problem with many forms of alternative energy is that they are unable to be implemented at a cost that is worthwhile to the governing bodies of the nations where the proposals are made. When compared to nuclear energy or gas related energy, the amount of investment capital needed is much, much smaller.
List of Cons of Clean Coal
1. Finite Supplies
In modern society, there are those who believe that focusing on ways to make coal cleaner is to miss the point entirely, since it is a nonrenewable form of energy. Coal supplies are finite and will run out one day and detractors believe that our energies are better spent on the development of renewable energy.
2. Coal Mining Is Problematic
Coal mining in any area causes a number of unforeseen problems in the region. The environment adjacent to the mines experiences increased toxic emissions, coal ash spreads everywhere and can be difficult to dispose of, plus the global warming implications that accompany any usage of coal.
3. Increased Health Risk
Coal emissions have been linked to a number of health issues in citizens who are located in close proximity to areas where the clean coal is burned. Those who already have asthma experience an increased instance of attacks, lung cancer is an increased risk, and the burning of mercury can also become a major health hazard. Methane emissions are also higher in regions where clean coal is used, another common problem.