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Technology to Bring Back Coal Plant to Front Stage

"When you gasify coal and burn the resulting gas, you can easily remove the hazardous materials from it, such as mercury. We have already developed the gasification technology needed for the power generation. What we need to do is to pull down the cost and find good business partners in Korea, Japan and China."

Korea should turn its eyes back to coal mines if looking for a next-generation energy source to replace petroleum, the newly appointed chief of GE Energy's Asian division has said.

With oil and natural gas prices soaring and coal in plentiful supply, the coal-burning power plant will be a reasonable solution until cleaner energies such as wind and solar power are commercialized, according to Choi Chi-hun, vice president of GE Energy.

"Nuclear power is the most efficient and cleanest energy. But people feel that building and operating nuclear plants is too dangerous. So, the next best thing is the coal," Choi said, during a meeting with reporters in Seoul on Monday.

"When you gasify coal and burn the resulting gas, you can easily remove the hazardous materials from it, such as mercury. We have already developed the gasification technology needed for the power generation. What we need to do is to pull down the cost and find good business partners in Korea, Japan and China."

Under current technologies, coal can be transformed into gas when it is heated in a pressurized chamber with oxygen. The resulting gas can be burned in a combined-cycle power plant in the same way that natural gas power... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Korea should turn its eyes back to coal mines if looking for a next-generation energy source to replace petroleum, the newly appointed chief of GE Energy's Asian division has said.
 
With oil and natural gas prices soaring and coal in plentiful supply, the coal-burning power plant will be a reasonable solution until cleaner energies such as wind and solar power are commercialized, according to Choi Chi-hun, vice president of GE Energy. 
 
"Nuclear power is the most efficient and cleanest energy. But people feel that building and operating nuclear plants is too dangerous. So, the next best thing is the coal," Choi said, during a meeting with reporters in Seoul on Monday. 
 
"When you gasify coal and burn the resulting gas, you can easily remove the hazardous materials from it, such as mercury. We have already developed the gasification technology needed for the power generation. What we need to do is to pull down the cost and find good business partners in Korea, Japan and China."
 
Under current technologies, coal can be transformed into gas when it is heated in a pressurized chamber with oxygen. The resulting gas can be burned in a combined-cycle power plant in the same way that natural gas power plants work, though it still emits greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
 
GE Energy, which saw a quarter of its $4 billion coming from the Asian region in the first quarter of the year, will raise efforts to sell the coal gasification technology in Asia, Choi said, adding they will maintain their main product lineup of gas turbines and other power generation equipment.
 
Choi is the only Korean in GE"s "corporate officers," a group of core executives in the world's second biggest company. GE has around 170 corporate officers of whom three are Japanese and two are Chinese nationals, Choi said.
 
The son of a former four-star army general, the 49-year-old served three years as a South Korean air force officer in early 1980's after finishing school in the Untied States. With his military experience, he joined General Electric's aircraft engine department when the U.S. firm was bidding for Korea's fighter plane program in 1988.
 
The headquarters of GE Energy's Asia-Pacific division will be set up in Tokyo.
 


Source: http://times.hankooki.com/...

MAY 15 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/2631-technology-to-bring-back-coal-plant-to-front-stage
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