“Clean” or “cleaner” coal refers to carbon-capture and storage coal. That is to say it is the practice of burning coal for fuel, and capturing the carbon released by that process and storing it, usually underground, so as to divert its contribution to greenhouse gasses and global warming. It is still uncertain as to whether or not clean coal technology is economically feasible or really that much eco-friendlier than other fuel options.
Clean coal simply refers to coal that has been “cleaned” using various technologies. Chemically washing minerals and impurities from the coal, removing sulfur dioxide from the flue gas, and carbon capture and storage all count as clean coal technologies. It is still coal, however, and still produces pollution.
Critics of “clean” coal claim that there is no difference between that and regular coal. According to facts stated by Reality Campaign:
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