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Liquid Coal is Environmentally Friendly???

With the coming of the new year come new thoughts. An article about liquid coal on MSN certainly caught my attention.

Now, thoughts of coal don’t exactly bring environmentally friendly to mind. Instead it brings up pictures of black smoke and hideous pollution as coal is burned. But apparently this isn’t the case when it comes to the plans for using liquid coal in cars.

The trick is that they can catch the harmful CO2 produced from burning the liquid coal. I’m not exactly sure how this is done in cars, but it sounds like they’ve done some work with this sort of technology in South Africa, which uses liquid coal more than we do here in the U.S. Done correctly it is about 30% less polluting than gasoline. Pretty neat stuff.

Some say this technology could be used to fill all our transportation fuel needs. Hard to say if that’s truth or hype, but a rather interesting notion.

Considering how much coal the U.S. can produce I find this very interesting. More of a stopgap than anything, however, since we’re still talking about a supply that may run out in a century or so. It’s certainly no permanent solution.

It should be interesting to see where this one goes. Getting any alternative energy source going has been ridiculously slow going, but I will take what improvements I can get and hope for more.

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