American manufacturing giant General Electric (GE) is trying to make burning coal cleaner – with a special type of foam.
The firm has brought out new technology in North America which is meant to cut down the dust emissions from moving coal between barges or railway trucks at coal plants by up to 90%.
The United States still relied on coal for 43% of its electricity in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The plants have come under increasing pressure from the federal government to become cleaner, with coal legislation becoming a real bone of contention between Republican and Democrat politicians.
John Schumann, at the firm’s Power & Water business said: “As coal plants face challenges to meet or exceed environmental considerations, GE’s PowerTreat programme gives utilities more fuel consumption flexibility and the ability to burn challenging coal. This new line of products improves the quality of coal, while reducing dust and minimizing hazardous conditions such as spontaneous combustion and hot spots.”