When people think of contemporary energy technologies, coal isn't usually the thing that comes to mind. Wind power, solar, hydrogen and even tidal forces grab all the headlines, even if many of those solutions are decades if not generations away from practical, wide scale implementation. Recent advances in coal processing, however, have quietly made it one of the most exciting energy stories of our time. That's not only because these new technologies make coal cleaner and safer than ever before, but also because they can be put in place right now.
Some of leaders of this new wave of coal production include companies like Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), which opened its first Clean Coal Technology facility last month, and American Electric Power Company (NYSE: AEP), which recently received the prestigious Edison Electrical Institute Award for its Clean Coal Technology-fired power plant. These facilities are seen as key indicators of coal's future, offering investors, regulators, environmentalists and businesses alike the opportunity to see just how far the industry has come in recent years and how much further it may still be able to go.
For an even better sense of the industry's future, though, consider the suite of solutions offered by AuraSource (OTCQB: ARAO). This Arizona-based company has developed a number of pioneering, cost-effective approaches to modern coal processing that can generate dramatic improvements in yields, cleanliness and efficiency. Many investors also believe that these approaches can generate value growth for shareholders over the long term.
Foremost among AuraSource's innovations is AuraCoal, a patented process for preparing an ultra-low-ash coal-water slurry that transforms standard coal into a high quality, low-cost alternative to oil or natural gas. Advances of this nature are essential for the continued use of coal as a major fuel source, and AuraSource hopes that they ultimately contribute to the rehabilitation of what has been increasingly seen as an unappealing energy medium. While still plentiful, coal is widely disparaged because of its harmful emissions, its contribution to climate change and the environmental and human toll associated with antiquated mining operations.