Science students on the Potchefstroom Campus of the North West University (NWU) have started a project in which they are looking at ways of introducing an alternative energy source using ‘green coal’.

They say it would benefit South Africa whose electricity supply is unstable and help to fight global warming.

One of the scientists, J.J Grobler, is optimistic about the initiative. “South Africa is currently on world class in this technology. It can definitely be implemented in the next five years to create a clean coal and to reduce waste products as almost any product can be used with this technology to be turned into bio-fuel.”

The Director for the Engineering Research Unit at the university, Prof Frans Waanders believes using green coal is the way to go.

“For gasification if you want to use it for Sasol; you make petrol, diesel or chemicals or you can use it in Eskom to burn. That is what we did where we got recent results that the people that have tested 100 kilo in the laboratory.”