Alternative & Renewable Energy Blog Blog

Alternative & Renewable Energy Blog

The Alternative & Renewable Energy Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about solar power; fuel cells and hydrogen cells; biofuels such as ethanol; wind, water and geothermal energy; and anything else related to renewable power generation. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Which Way, Battery? (Part 5 - Final: Sodium)   Next in Blog: The American Streetcar
Close
Close
Close
19 comments

A Spate of Coal Contradictions

Posted January 14, 2009 7:57 AM

Jumbo shrimp. Safe cigarettes. Clean coal. Three oxymorons, the last brought into focus by the rolling tide of coal ash sludge that broke through a dike at Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston, TN, coal-fired power plant last month. The 2.6 million cubic yards of heavy metal-laden slurry covered as many as 400 acres as deep as 6 feet. Even if carbon capture and sequestration technology to curb emissions becomes reality, coal still produces waste from mining, processing, and ash disposal. Fossil fuels do have a role to play in the transition to renewable energy systems, but isn't there a smarter, cleaner way to do it?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Alternative Power, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Alternative Power today.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 365
#1

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/15/2009 1:22 AM

Yes there is an alternative, but its a Coal crippler if not killer.

Lower heating temperature reduce Horsepower or bar presuure either way you like it.

Model shown is for temperature above 30C. Smallest footprint using Oxygen for cooling and heating. Constructed with autoclave metal.

Output calculation is 720 watts 1 litre per second flow C02 vapour at 9 bar pressure.

Principal of design arrived from Cryogenic refrideration, but does away with compresser as force not freezing is intent.

Steam turbine, power generation require +550C to obtain 175 bar generating 350 megawatts. Co2 turbine require +80C to obtain 9,000 bar for power generation of 18,000 megawatts.

Larger foot print for cooling utilises water type cooling towers.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7266
Good Answers: 420
#2
In reply to #1

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/15/2009 11:44 AM

Huh? Little short on information.

Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - Cardio-7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 621
Good Answers: 10
#3

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/15/2009 1:04 PM

A few thoughts re "clean coal" burning. Can't help eliminate the ash generation, but one might slave the coal burning power plant to an asphalt mfg. plant, using the ash as a reinforcement and extender for paving asphalt. Use as co-feedstock for cement kilns.

Reply
4
Associate

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newton, KS, USA
Posts: 28
Good Answers: 5
#4

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/15/2009 3:24 PM

Alternative Energies are also Destructive and Evil

How can Alternative Energies be good when they require materials that originated from places that all environmentalists say are "evil and destructive"? Alternative Energies require "bad" materials for assembly, such as ceramics, carbons, and metals from Mines, and sometimes plastics and other carbon-based materials, which originate from Oil Wells and Coal mines that environmental groups say are all "evil and destructive". Even "natural" plant fiber materials require machinery and processing and transportation, which also require metals, ceramics, and carbon.

From where do we get the SOURCE materials for wind mills, fuel cells, hydrogen and other alternative energies? Most solar electric panels require ceramics and special elements, such as gallium, arsenic, germanium, etc., that came from mines and smelters. Windmills require metals (originally from mines and smelters). Passive and active solar ventilation and tubing for houses usually require metals and sometimes ceramics, which came from mines and smelters.

Environmental groups say that ALL Mining and Oil / Gas Wells are "bad" and "evil", even with full-scale reclamations and restorations. So how can we go to Alternative Energies when these requires materials that are not accepted by the Environmentalists?

retired University of California technical staff member, Los Alamos, NM, USA

__________________
Catherine, retired from Univ of California, now in Kansas
Reply Good Answer (Score 4)
Anonymous Poster
#5
In reply to #4

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/15/2009 7:26 PM

Easy for environmentalist activists to say anything. They are a bunch of morons for the most part. I know of no thinking individual that has studied the total situation who agrees with them.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Anonymous Poster
#9
In reply to #4

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/16/2009 7:00 PM

I have to rate you a BA for Bigoted answer.

"...materials that originated from places that all environmentalists say " are "evil and destructive" "..materials that are not accepted by the Environmentalists?...Environmental groups say that ALL Mining and Oil / Gas Wells are "bad" and "evil" even with full-scale reclamations and restorations. "

This is hogwash extremist BS. Sure there are some environmentalists who are on a par with fundamentalists. In my experience these some are young, ignorant, or people who make a living by manipulating the young and ignorant with emotional rhetoric. When you start blathering nonsense about "all environmentalists" you're equal to the worst of them and to any fundamentalist or extremist.

I bet you could do better. Go ahead. Post a compelling argument about material needs for alternative energy without bashing. Use language that will make the 'ignorant environmentalist' you're so riled about stop, think, and learn something, accept the challenge of shaping valid compromises (where do you think the idea of remediation and reclamation came from, anyway?), maybe even shake your hand.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Model Rocketry - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East of Seattle, Washington state Republic of the 50 states of America
Posts: 2046
Good Answers: 36
#10
In reply to #9

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/16/2009 10:06 PM

I don't know? I would probably be an "environmentalist" if it was not for the idiot environmentalists. My long term goal would be to colonize the solar system and make earth a park.

But what I see is marketing of bad thinking and calling it environmentalism. Maybe they will all get on the band wagon and run off a cliff.

Global warming caused by mankind- bull! How come the other planets are seeing the same rise in temp?

Ocean acidification most likely caused by mankind and a major issue. Ignored

Garbage seen as waste major issue. Garbage seen as a resource is in perspective. Now make high grade garbage that improves the environment.

I can go on and on. My sister is a greenie school teacher, an environmentalist. Great politics, lousy science.

Brad

__________________
(Larrabee's Law) Half of everything you hear in a classroom is crap. Education is figuring out which half is which.
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Anonymous Poster
#11
In reply to #10

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/16/2009 11:16 PM

I hear you. Marketing of bad thinking, calling it environmentalism. Important issues swept under the rug, common sense on its head.

The fact that we really do have to consider environmental issues is not going away. But the 'marketers' are only polarizing the issue, then you get big oil or industry on the other pinhead, and 'environmentalist' is a dirty word.

I don't get you on global warming though. We made holes in the stratospheric ozone, now they say it's fixed because levels of CFC emissions are back to what they were in the 70's. That is BS http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007102853.htm. http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/hole.html When the arctic is ice free in summer (2015 by the last report) we are going to see major climate changes that will make these years seem like a picnic. Carbon dioxide is warming for sure, but it's a dumbed down view of what all we have done - and are still doing - to contribute to the present climate change issues. Maybe you're right that it would be happening anyway - in some degree. The question is not a blame thing, it's what do we do..

But What is this about other planets warming? I heard nothing about it... not even while vacationing on Jupiter last summer...

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Model Rocketry - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East of Seattle, Washington state Republic of the 50 states of America
Posts: 2046
Good Answers: 36
#12
In reply to #11

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/17/2009 12:57 AM

...then you get big oil or industry on the other pinhead, and 'environmentalist' is a dirty word.

I suspect that some of the funding for the pseudo environment science comes from big industry. Later when things come to a head both sides are wrong so little is done out of embarrassment. (emotional people are easily manipulated) Strictly conjecture.

The Ozone is not fixed, CFC are but a small part of the issues with the hole, Bromides are many many times worse.

Reading several years worth of peer review journals I find no correlation of the CO2 data to the effect of global warming. Yes CO2 is High. Yes Heat is up. But no logical correlation. The Sun Spot Data is rumored to correlate exactly back to the thirteen hundreds. It was presented by two Russian(?) scientist that were turned down for review, but I have not seen that data. The sun spot data I have researched goes back many years and matches better than any of the CO2 data I've seen.

The planets warming has not made much news probably because it is counter productive to the status quo's marketing. You will have to do some serious digging because after I saved the data a malware trojan ate my computer and I lost everything. (the second time I had an external back up but lost all on the computer)

I don't vacation on Jupiter any more, it just makes me feel compressed and the RF burns just make my hair out of control.

Brad

__________________
(Larrabee's Law) Half of everything you hear in a classroom is crap. Education is figuring out which half is which.
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - bwire Hobbies - Car Customizing - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upper Mid-west USA
Posts: 7503
Good Answers: 96
#14
In reply to #10

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/17/2009 1:29 AM

I withhold the environmentalist label until I've determined the source of it's income

__________________
If death came with a warning there would be a whole lot less of it.
Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - bwire Hobbies - Car Customizing - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upper Mid-west USA
Posts: 7503
Good Answers: 96
#13
In reply to #4

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/17/2009 1:27 AM

What came first chicken or egg?

In you scenario we would not have any...

__________________
If death came with a warning there would be a whole lot less of it.
Reply
Anonymous Poster
#15
In reply to #13

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

02/04/2009 3:23 AM

It is obvious: Since mankind bred the chicken (early genetic engineering?!) from jungle fowl, then the egg must have come first. My question is will the results of global warming bring us back to the warmer times? When polar bears and grisleys were both brown, hunting in the woodlands of the north. Perhaps the time when that naked biped that is 'causing' all the warming (this time), began his rise to infamy.

Acidification of the oceans is probably a bigger problem, especially to shellfish and corals and might cause a evolution into more soft encased animal and plant forms. But I suspect life will go on changing and adapting, perhaps leaving us in the discards.

Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Retired Engineers / Mentors - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brecksville, OH
Posts: 1607
Good Answers: 18
#6

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/15/2009 7:57 PM

Back in the mid-'70s, a project was under development by USSteel Research (for the US Dept of Energy) to produce clean BF coke and a host of byproducts from low grade sub bituminous coals.The process utilized a combination of coal gasification, coal liquifaction and carbonization to achieve this end. Every part of the coal molecule was used for a viable product. Whatever happened to this research done using public funds from the government and why doesnt government ever follow through on the completion and commerciaolizationof such technologies. We just run around and wave our hands in the air instead of following through. If we truly wanted to fix the energy problem, it could have een done long ago, but the "energy" compnies (read big oil) were allowed to buy up the major coal reserves using their windfall profits once the technology for clean fuels from coal were developed.

__________________
"Consensus Science got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" : Rephrase of Will Rogers Comment
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Model Rocketry - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East of Seattle, Washington state Republic of the 50 states of America
Posts: 2046
Good Answers: 36
#7
In reply to #6

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/16/2009 12:14 AM

Surprise Surprise. greed vs profit.

__________________
(Larrabee's Law) Half of everything you hear in a classroom is crap. Education is figuring out which half is which.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Car Customizing - Dances with Trees Canada - Member - because I can Hobbies - CNC - too much fun Hobbies - Target Shooting - paper shreader

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 769
Good Answers: 10
#8
In reply to #6

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

01/16/2009 6:54 PM

Typical reaction when the accountants run things.

Got to keep making money, no matter how many may suffer...

__________________
Kevin "Dances with Trees" Willey
Reply
Anonymous Poster
#19
In reply to #6

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

02/06/2009 1:09 PM

Commerciaolization is for Ameracians to do not government.

Dig up the research and use it!

Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Power-User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 365
#16

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

02/04/2009 8:56 AM

Yes.

Example DaS Co2 turbine (see earlier blog) direct comparison to Coal fired Steam turbine. Steam 450 tonne coal burnt per hour for 350 megawatts per hour. DaS Co2 turbine 450 tonne Coal burnt per hour for 18,000 megawatts per hour. The capture of Carbon instead of being pumped into the ground could be used to fill each new DaS Co2 turbine. Coal could charge more per tonne, and the Earth receive far less Carbon in the atmosphere. The cost of power would not have to go up to pay for carbon emissions, A win win all round.

It will happen. Those opposed are a dieing bread putting a last fight resistance much like the horse breeders opposing the introduction of the piston engine.

Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 89
#17

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

02/04/2009 9:50 PM

I totally don't understand this carbon capture junk. It's only really applicable at refineries or such installations, which make it pretty much pointless. If you look at the release of CO2 during the extraction, transportation, refining and final end use, you notice that 20 or so % is produced in the refinery. Most of the CO2 is produced when the fuel is burned (duh) and they only way to realistically lower it is through lower consumption. So is this 20% enough to warrant the massive pipelines and other new infrastructure that will have to be put in or is this some kind of environment bandaid like bioethanol made of corn? Anyone?

__________________
Here is to 14 more years of oil! (feel free to triple it, but that shouldnt make you feel too good)
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Car Customizing - Dances with Trees Canada - Member - because I can Hobbies - CNC - too much fun Hobbies - Target Shooting - paper shreader

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 769
Good Answers: 10
#18
In reply to #17

Re: A Spate of Coal Contradictions

02/05/2009 12:36 PM

Sad as it may seem, it's all about how you look to the public, who for the most part are very gullible. How else would groups like 'green peace' get all those members. It is a feel good move, people can support it and claim to be working to save the planet crap, helps them justify their SUV to drive to the grocery store for a jug of milk. Political types love to support projects that look good and can be spun as green, or environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, countries like Germany and South Africa have been refining diesel from coal for decades, and with all the coal deposits in North America why not do the same and use the resource to it's maximum.

__________________
Kevin "Dances with Trees" Willey
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 19 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Achilles (1); agua_doc (1); Anonymous Poster (5); Brave Sir Robin (1); bwire (2); cafrench (1); Cardio07 (1); Dances with Trees (2); DaS Energy (2); U V (3)

Previous in Blog: Which Way, Battery? (Part 5 - Final: Sodium)   Next in Blog: The American Streetcar

Advertisement