As we've seen, China's space exploration plans are ambitious. And Chinese engineers are using transferable technology to create cleaner and more efficient power here on earth. Our reporter Ning Hong visited a coal energy plant in Hebei Province to see how aerospace technology is helping China make the best use of this abundant resource.
This is a state of the art pulverized coal gasification line. It transforms dirty coal into clean ammonia gas that can be used to power factories and light up homes. Instead of releasing tons of carbon dioxide into the air, its major waste product is recyclable solid waste.
This is the largest synthesis ammonia production line in China that uses coal gasification technology. Coal gasification technology reduces this plant's carbon dioxide emissions and also greatly reduces other pollutants. The technology helps us use coal more efficiently, which is a major source of energy for China.
26-year- old Sun Jian oversees this billion dollar production line. He only needs a couple of dozen people to run the plant's automated system. Most of his workers sit in front of computers.
"This plant has an ideal carbon conversion rate. 90 percent of the syn-gas that it produces is made up of effective ingredients," Sun said.
The Chinese aerospace company, Changzheng Engineering developed this production line in 2005. The company used rocket engineering technology to create a clean coal gasification process. It has developed 37 similar projects across China.
Zhu Yuying is a project manager at Changzheng Engineering. He says the company helps China produce clean, safe, and cheap power and chemicals.
"This plant is safe, reliable, stable, economical and environmentally friendly. It has automatic control and automatic protection systems. It can run 358 days a year. Five years ago, the record in China was just 300 days a year. It also costs less to run this plant," Zhu said.
Coal is the major source of energy in China. Over 90 percent of China's carbon energy reserves are coal. Coal gasification technology will provide China an effective way to use this abundant resource in a more effective and environmentally friendly way.