Recuperative Thermal Oxidizer for Clean Coal Operation​

Project No 3112

Recuperative Thermal Oxidizer for Clean Coal Operation

The Challenge

A coal mining operation wanted to a way to clean the methane released in the process. The coal industry is changing. Vanishing are the images of smog-filled towns and blackened valleys of soot that made coal a byword for dirty fuel. In fact, like it or not, coal still produces about half of U.S.-produced electricity and about a quarter of the electricity produced worldwide. So while immediately closing down coal operations is not a viable option, so the challenge is to retrofit these operations to meet regulatory standard

The Solution

While the technologies for “cleaning” hazardous byproducts such as methane released during the coal mining process are still being developed, and precise efficiencies remain at issue, to convert the poisonous methane (a chemical twenty-four times as conducive to Global Warming as is the oft-maligned carbon dioxide) into a less dangerous substance such as carbon dioxide as opposed to releasing the potent and poisonous methane directly into the atmosphere may just be possible – and feasible

Using regenerative or recuperative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) as a heat-dispersing distilling agent, the conversion process can take place at least somewhat efficiently. After the methane is converted into carbon dioxide, it can be more safely transported away, while the general atmospheric warming is significantly diminished. In fact, RTOs can even be used to diminish carbon dioxide, if the process is allowed to continue. If this latter step can be accomplished on a consistent basis, the idea of “clean coal” becomes not only possible, but inevitable.

The Results

Using regenerative thermal oxidizers to convert methane into carbon dioxide may prove a deterrent to Global Warming. The idea of carbon capture and storage could well be the solution to minimizing the deleterious effects of coal-based pollution.

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