CLEAN COAL INNOVATION? New technology has possibility of making coal-fired emissions clean

Port Dover Maple Leaf: Viewpoint - March 17, 2010

The New York Times newspaper dated March 7, 2010 reported an American innovator "has a technolo-gy that might make coal the cleanest, cheapest energy source by turning its carbon-dioxide emissions into bricks to build your next house".

This new technology is something the Ontario Government will hopefully investigate for its Nanticoke Generating Station (and other coal-fired installations).

The news article explains (in part) that when CO2 is combined with seawater or any kind of briny water the result is CaC03, calcium carbonate (the stuff of corals and what appears on shower heads). At a demonstration plant near
Santa Cruz, California a process has been developed that takes CO2 emissions from a coal (or gas) fired power plant and sprays sea water into it and naturally converts most of the CO2 into calcium carbonate, which is then spray-dried into cement, or shaped into pellets that can be used as concrete aggregates, for building walls or highways. The newspaper column added, "instead of letting the C02 emissions go into the atmosphere and produce climate change it might actually make ‘clean coal’ a possibility".

The newspaper article mentioned several large corporations that are interested in this technology and some that are skeptical. One person was quoted as saying, "if this works coal-tired power would become more than 100 per cent clean. Not only would it not emit any CO2, but by producing clean water and cement as a by product it would be taking all of the CO2 that goes into making those products out of the atmosphere?