Coal has been used as a source of fuel for centuries; however the gaseous emissions have a detrimental impact on physical health and environment at large. The emissions that are generated due to the thermal decomposition of coal are nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), mercury, and other byproducts based on the type of coal being used. They not only pollute the environment, but also bring about climatic change causing acid rain and a variety of diseases such as lung cancer and heart-related disease.
Clean coal technologies are developed to overcome the negative impact of coal on human health and environment. Some of the technologies include chemically washing the minerals and filtering out the impurities to remove pollutants. The clean coal technology helps in reducing the atmospheric problems caused by burning coal. These technologies include Pre-combustion capture, Post-combustion capture and Oxy-fuel combustion.
When it comes to fuels, another effective and less hazardous alternative is natural gas. It is often referred to as the ‘bridge’ to help people overcome their dependence to fossil fuels. According to the studies conducted by US scientists, the gaseous emissions from the combustion of natural gas are considerably lower than that of coal or oil.