Coal Combustion Products Program

National Energy Awareness Month

Posted: January 26, 2011

The "Clean Coal Technology - It Works!" mobile classroom.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Technology parked its mobile classroom outside Hitchcock Hall during National Energy Awareness Month.  The "Clean Coal Technology - It Works!" mobile classroom visited Midwest university campuses in October, 2010.  During that visit they sat down with Dr. Tarunjit Butalia, Research Scientist and Coal Combustion Products Coordinator, who says that clean coal technologies can help us use our most adundant energy resource in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. 

The classroom is one of two and is a part of a $35 million ACCCE "Clean Coal Technology - It Works." public education and outreach campaign. The Washington, DC based trade association's members are coal companies, railroads and utilities.  Inside the two mobile classrooms -- at 42 feet in length, more like tractor-trailers than RVs -- murals explain past successes and current projects.

Clean-coal technologies have achieved reductions of 40 percent and more in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions since 1980, according to one mural -- all while coal-based electricity has nearly tripled.  Another shows locations around the world where demonstrations of carbon capture and storage are under way, a set of technologies widely seen as necessary to the future viability of coal as governments constrain emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-warming emissions.

In front of the murals, cabinets hold examples of highly engineered advanced materials that reduce emissions. Visitors can work with interactive electronic displays to learn more about clean-coal technologies.  Reactions to the classrooms range from surprise that nearly half the nation's electricity still comes from coal to interest in the fact that technology has been cleaning up power plant emissions for four decades.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is a partnership of the industries involved in producing electricity from coal.  Coal is an abundant and affordable energy resource that provides nearly half of the reliable electricity Americans depend upon each and every day.  ACCCE supports policies that will ensure affordable, reliable, domestically produced energy, while supporting the development and deployment of advanced technologies to further reduce the environmental footprint of coal-fueled electricity generation – including advanced technologies to capture and safely store CO2 gases.