EPA Examines New Coal Technology for Cleaner Energy
(Washington, D.C. - July 7, 2006) A new technology can help provide electricity from coal in an environmentally sustainable way, according to a technical report EPA released today. The technology, known as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), partially burns coal to generate gas. EPA examined the environmental impacts of IGCC technology as part of the agency’s continued efforts to understand how the latest available science and technology could lead to a cleaner method to generate power from coal.
The technical report found that IGCC can lower air emissions, lower water usage and produce less solid waste. The technical report also found that IGCC has the potential to provide a more cost effective approach to capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, produced during coal combustion.
More than 50 percent of electricity in the United States is generated from the burning of coal. Only two coal fired power plants in the country currently use IGCC technology; however, several companies have announced plans to build and operate additional IGCC facilities. EPA will continue to monitor the progress of IGCC technology as more facilities begin using the technology.
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