A quest for black gold

Concerned about the pollution from combusting coal to generate power, the departments of science and technology and coal have set up a core group of bureaucrats and scientists to identify clean-coal technologies. Under the chairpersonship of R K Sachdeva, advisor in the ministry of coal, the group intends to draw up a preliminary report of clean-coal technologies available in India and abroad.

Large quantities of fly ash and global warming gases like carbon dioxide are produced when coal is burnt. Says Y S Rajan, the executive director of the DST's Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, "We have just started the process of evaluating different clean-coal technologies in India and it will be some time before we see changes in the industry."