Susan Barrows of the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology explains the technology behind a proposed $725 million plant in Pennsylvania to covert waste coal into clean diesel fuel.

In her essay, Barrows says contaminants in coal such as mercury and sulfur must be contained and removed to avoid poisoning the chemical catalysts needed to complete the Fisher-Tropsch conversion. Sulfur oxides are usually emitted when burning coal to produce electricity, which leads to acid rain. She also says the carbon dioxide can be captured and sold to the food and beverage industry.

Wrapping up her comments, Barrows says that as a green scientist she is in favor of the plant as long as this carbon dioxide capture technology is maintained. She believes the project is a good way to reduce tons of waste coal and produce 5,000 barrels of "ultra-clean" diesel fuel per day.

[Source: Patriot-News]

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