- CNX Coal Resources LP and OMNIS Bailey this week announced they will partner to develop "a first-of-a-kind solid energy refinery" that will process waste coal at CONSOL's Bailey Mine Complex.
- The Pennsylvania refinery will ultimately turn waste coal into a clean carbon fuel.
- CNX said the project, which began as a pilot earlier this year, aims to generate a clean fuel that can be used to enhance the energy content and performance characteristics of its coal product.
The quest for "clean coal" continues, now by utilizing a process to remove impurities from waste coal that would have been discarded.
"It just makes sense to further remove the impurities from coal before burning it," OMNIS Chairman Simon Hodson said in a statement. "This is truly clean coal production in our view."
The companies said a pilot plant was constructed at the Bailey Central Preparation Plant in May, to allow for process optimization and commercial-scale testing of clean carbon fuel by power plant customers. Scaling up the process is expected to provide additional revenue streams and help reduce the environmental impacts of coal use.
Officials say the impurities being removed from the waste coal are fossilized mineral matter originating from plants.
Clean coal projects have not had much success of late, perhaps most notably with Southern Co. mothballing its Kemper integrated gasification combined cycle project in Mississippi this summer. Last month, however, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would fund two large-scale pilots for "transformational coal technologies that improve coal-powered systems’ performance, efficiency, emission reduction, and cost of electricity."
The $50 million funding opportunity is available through the agency's Office of Fossil Energy, which said it "has supported a range of potentially transformational coal technologies aimed at enabling step-change improvements in coal-powered systems. Some of these technologies are now ready to proceed to the large-scale pilot stage of development."