Clean coal” constitutes a process whereby power-generating efficiency is increased by about 30% and CO2 emission is reduced by approximately 30%. For conventional coal-fired power generation, heat from coal burned at a temperature of around 700 degrees Celsius produces steam, which rotates a turbine. A CoolGen's plant is totally different as it roasts coal at above 1300 degrees while simultaneously blowing oxygen over it in order to convert the solid fuel into a gas. The system can drastically cut the discharge of CO2 because it uses gas from the roasted coal to generate power instead of burning the rock.

The concept of creating commercially viable ways of stopping the carbon emissions from coal-fired electricity plants has been the holy grail of the fossil fuel industry for decades. The cost of building the required infrastructure would be enormous and the time periods involved may be too long to prevent the risk, identified by the consensus of expert scientists, of potentially catastrophic climate change.