Aiming for cleaner Indian coal

The Coal Working Group of the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue has scheduled a workshop on pre-combustion coal cleaning in India this August as part of the two nations’ on-going cooperative effort to elevate energy security, reduce pollution and mitigate the growth of carbon dioxide emissions. In a meeting in Washington earlier in June, working group members set tentative workshop dates of August 21-23 in Ranchi and also reviewed three proposals for research, development and demonstration that will be submitted to the Government of India for funding.  The proposals deal with underground coal gasification, with coal cleaning and waste management and with CO2 sequestration.  

The meeting was co-chaired for the US by the Department of Energy’s Acting Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy Thomas Shope and S.P. Seth, Additional Secretary of India’s Ministry of Coal, and builds on a broad range of existing energy co-operation between the two nations.  Project discussions were led by DOE Lead Coordinator Barbara McKee and also touched on the US regulatory framework for development of coal resources in a cost effective and environmentally sound manner.

Forecasts identify India as one of the world’s fastest growing sources of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide due to its high economic growth and reliance on domestic coal for energy to support that growth. Coal washing will lower pollution and raises efficiency in power generation, and other uses, by removing significant amounts of sulphur and ash before combustion.  Every 1% gain in combustion efficiency reduces CO2 output by slightly more than 2% per kilowatt hour.