The Environment

Burning coal used to produce a lot of carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions that polluted the air. By removing the sulfur and other impurities from coal, it burns cleaner today and is better for our environment.

Today, mining companies look for low-sulfur coal to mine. The Clean Air Act and The Clean Water Act now require industries to reduce pollutants released into the air and water. These 1990 Amendments were setup for protecting the ozone layer, reducing acid rain, and toxic pollutants. The Clean Air Act is improving our air quality and air visibility for a healthier environment.

Coal-fired power plants now have equipment installed called scrubbers. Scrubbers remove most of the sulfur from the smoke that is produced by burning coal, so it does not get into the air.

The ash that is left over from the burned coal is also recycled. In earlier years the ash was used for landfills, but now it is being used to make materials to build roads and cement products. Today the coal ash, combined with concrete, is also being used to make ocean reefs for marine animal habitats like oyster beds.

Because we have such a large supply of coal here in the United States, researchers are busy working on ways to remove even more carbon dioxide and sulfur from the emissions. This will make getting energy from coal even cleaner for our environment.