01 May 2008

"Clean Coal" Technology Coming to Cincinnati

The Business Courier reports that Vertus Technologies is partnering with Cincinnati Bulk Terminals to open a coal-scrubbing operation in Queensgate. Some further info:

Cincinnati Bulk Terminals is a dock and storage facility. It calls itself "tri-modal" because it has access to interstates, railroads, and the Ohio river. It will transport coal from around Ohio and Vertus will process it by "Reductive Thermal Processing," or RTP. This basically vaporizes contaminants from raw coal, resulting in a purer coal which can burn more efficiently and with less pollutants released into the atmosphere. The cleaned coal will them be shipped out to regional plants.

The stock price of Vertus' parent company, Nviro Cleantech, has been rapidly declining so this new initiative may help.

The main pollutants of concern in coal burning are sulfur, nitrous dioxide and mercury. Coal burning is the greatest contributor of mercury to the environment (as fish lovers are well aware). Other pollutants such as VOCs, hydrochloric acid and carbon monoxide are also present, as are trace metals cadmium, arsenic, cobalt, selenium, copper, nickel and lead. All of these are released into the environment during normal coal burning.

I was unable to find information about what happens to the contaminants after they are separated from the coal. It is a serious matter since the facility is close to the river and a sizeable human population.

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