Southern Illinois coal attracts world leaders

Southern Illinois coal attracts world leaders
By: Arnold Wyrick
CARBONDALE, Il. - Coal is definitely on a comeback in Southern Illinois.  And the research done at Southern Illinois University is now catching the attention of business leaders from around the world.

They're coming from Czech Republic, Indonesia, Philippines, the Netherlands, Spain and 9 other countries to learn more about Southern Illinois, and clean coal technology.  "What we really hope is that we can be a bridge that's in the future for introducing some Chinese companies to come not only to the Chicago area, but also the South part of Illinois," says Tian De You Consulate General of the People's Republic of China.

Many of the countries already have their own coal reserves.  But they haven't been able to quite figure out how to use it to it's full potential.  "And we want to know what is going on here in this particular field.  To do joint research in this particular field.  Because probably you can use for instance our technology in wind.  This is an area for wind which is very important as well.  And we can use your development in the clean coal technology," says Enrique Alejo Trade Commissioner of Spain.

Researchers at Southern Illinois University spent years perfecting their ability to burn high sulfur coal cleanly.  And now their results are something many European countries want to tap into for their energy needs.
"We're looking at a transitional of our energy policy.  And in that it's very interesting to see of course the research that's done here is using a very old resource like coal.  Which is by the way many people in the world see as a very dirty fuel.  They are coming up with solutions that will make it a cleaner fuel, and a cheaper fuel as well," says Cor Hersbach Deputy Consul General Trade and Cultural Affairs the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The 18 trade commissioners from 15 countries will also spend part of their time touring the Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, Illinois, Bombardier Recreational Products facility in Benton, Illinois, and round out there two day tour of Southern Illinois at the General Tire plant in Mount Vernon, Illinois.