American homes have long used natural gas and propane for heating and cooking. It’s an efficient fuel for furnaces, water heaters, ranges, and clothes dryers. Gas for all of those appliances can also be derived from coal.
In addition to its home uses, gas is also increasingly used as a transportation fuel in vehicles such as natural gas powered buses. Gas can also be used to produce hydrogen – an element with numerous industrial uses that is also seen as a potential clean transportation fuel of the future.
Coal gasification has been around in various forms since the early 1800s. By the 1850s and ‘60s, most cities and towns used coal-derived gas for street lights and other purposes.
Today’s coal gasification facilities are much larger, cleaner and more efficient than their 19th Century forebears. For instance, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant operated by Dakota Gasification Company produces about 153 million cubic feet of gas each day, the majority of which is distributed throughout the eastern United States.
Look here to see how gas derived from coal is: