Clean coal has long been an industry focus. Primarily emphasizing the need for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the movement has emphasized the need for carbon capture technologies. But while the world is focused on carbon and climate change, the U.S. coal-fired power industry has been leading the world in emissions control over the past decade, particularly with mercury emissions. The Arctic recently made headlines following a study that confirmed extensive mercury contamination due to mercury emissions from burning coal around the world.
In response to environmental concerns and their desire to improve the environmental footprint of their plants, coal-fired plant operators have taken steps to prevent these emissions. As the coal industry works to adapt to shifting public expectations, it’s clear that to be truly clean requires capturing non-carbon sources, too. Through innovations that go beyond carbon capture, operators can work toward a clean coal-fired plant, while maintaining profitability.