Algae biomass has a high Hydrogen content, and has a high thermochemical reactivity as well as high volatile matter. When co-processed with coal, more volatiles are driven-off, and the sulphur in the coal is fairly reduced, as hydrogen sulphide, algae donates hydrogen which is used to remove the sulphur. If coal is pyrolysed in the presence of algae, a low polluting char product is formed.
Yes, the use of algae to clean coal is a good idea. Algae is plentiful and is easily grown, creating a near limitless supply of coal-cleaning agents. Algae-cleaned coal burns purer, so there are less toxic greenhouse gases given off. I see no reason not to invest more in this technology.
Algae is a helpful renewable resource that can be replenished quickly, causes little environmental damage and can be produced anywhere. It is a much more eco-friendly alternative to coal, and it provides a ready economical resource that does not have to be dangerously mined by people. Workers can safely produce coal in controlled settings without risk.
In order to sustain these algae populations, we would need to A) produce artificial fertilizer from petroleum or B) use decaying plant matter that also has the negative byproduct of methan, 16X more potent then c02. Not to mention, mishandling of algae may lead to a biohazard mishap that can ultimately damage the surrounding ecosystems if handled impoperly. This is not a solution to climate change since this method is carbon nuetral in that the carbon that is captured is eventually burned off again unlike other renewable sources like wind or solar which do not require carbon to function and are not carbon nuetral