Cleaner combustion technology - a revolution waiting to happen

Competition in the electricity industry has been intense since privatisation, with British Coal as the major casualty. As gas and nuclear eat into an over-supplied power market, cleaner combustion technology for high-sulphur fuels has barely had a look in. But if the prospects for new coal-fired capacity are bleak, a quiet revolution is under way in an unexpected quarter - the oil industry. A report for HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) spells out the potential for power generation based on gasification as a solution to the growing headache of unwanted high-sulphur residues - provided formidable institutional barriers can be overcome.

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