Skip to comments.All the Coal, None of the Carbon- Almost
Posted on 02/25/2013 6:59:06 AM PST by Kaslin
It looks like the radical environmental left may have to find a new favorite dirty four letter word. Scientists at Ohio State University have announced the discovery of a new process that takes the energy from coal without burning it – "and removes virtually all of the pollution."
The technology, known as Coal-Direct Chemical Looping (CCDL), captures more than 99 percent of coal's carbon dioxide emissions based on laboratory research. The team of scientists led by Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Clean Coal Research Laboratory at Ohio State University, has been working on this and other clean coal technologies for 15 years with funding by the Department of Energy.
Almost as amazing as the discovery itself, Prof. Fan's research project has survived three different Presidential Administrations with vastly different energy policies.
Carbon-dioxide has long been targeted by global warming alarmists.
According to the EPA, coal-fired power plants produced about one-third of the nation's annual total emissions of carbon dioxide. As the villain-of-choice for the Obama Administration, restrictive air-quality emission standards were purposely crafted to achieve the President's objective to "bankrupt" coal-fired plants faced with the cost-prohibitive and technologically impossible task of achieving the new standards.
But, this new technology virtually eliminates pollutants and "could reduce the cost of carbon dioxide capture by more than half if implemented on a commercial scale," according to the OSU research team.
Coal has been a staple of American energy production for centuries in large part because it is so plentiful throughout much of the U.S. Today, the U.S. has more than 25 percent of the world's known "reserves" of coal, and vastly more of total coal "resources," as explained by the Institute for Energy Research
American Coal. The United States has enough recoverable coal reserves to last at least another 250 years, with reserves that are over one-and-one-half times greater than our nearest competitor, Russia, and over twice that of China. America’s known reserves alone constitute 27 percent of the entire world’s coal supply.
While known reserves are high, actual US coal resources are much higher than current estimates. Why? Because “reserves” represent coal that is readily evident as a result of ongoing mine operations, while “resources” include all those areas known to contain coal but have yet to be actually quantified by direct exposure due to the mining process. In-place U.S. coal resources (the entire estimated volume that is within the earth) totals 10 trillion short tons, and would last over 9000 years at today’s consumption levels. Alaska is estimated to hold more coal than the entire lower 48 states. (While the EIA’s estimate of recoverable coal reserves in Alaska is 2.8 billion short tons, geological estimates by the US Geological Survey put the in-place figure at over 6 trillion short tons.)
Combined, all these US coal resources may contain the energy equivalent of 35 trillion barrels of oil. While such figures are speculative and incorporate some coal resources that may not be economically viable with today’s technology, the future is full of promise. The US’s coal resources are clearly vast.
The OSU discovery was funded by a DOE research grant of just $5 million – less than 1 percent of the amount that was squandered on the now bankrupt Solyndra solar energy start-up company in California. Further, the total investment in Professor Fan's research hardly amounts to a rounding-error of the $80 billion set aside in Barack Obama's 2009 Economic Stimulus legislation for "green energy projects" – many of which have already collapsed.
In addition to efforts to regulate coal out of existence, the Obama Administration earned the infamous distinction of "the most anti-oil and gas record in U.S. history." During the last four years, the Administration has issued moratoriums, delayed permitting, cancelled leases, and limited access to federal lands for energy production. More recently, the Interior Department and EPA have begun aggressively pursuing new regulations on hydraulic fracturing technology (fracking) that has exponentially expanded recoverable resources and reduced consumer energy costs.
The OSU discovery exposes the fallacy of radical left and particularly the Obama Administration. They believe people are the problem, when in fact people will invariably find the smart, safe, and efficient solutions to the challenges we face.
At a time when North American energy independence in a real possibility due to our vast resources coupled with scientific advancements like fracking and encouraging discoveries like coal-direct chemical looping, our government and all citizens should be supporting – not trying to destroy – all options for safe, efficient energy production.
If nothing else, coal to oil can be processed with natural gas. Heavy hydrocarbon plus light hydrocarbon equals oil. South Africa has been doing this for years. Germany did something similar during the war.
Until recently natural gas was too expensive, but now producers would love to expand the market.
Coal to liquids is not the same as claiming it is coal to oil. They don’t make oil. They make fuels likes kerosene, diesel, etc.
COAL IS SOALR ENERGY!
You heard it here first:
What would be great is to locate a coal processing plant like this right next door to large greenhouse facility.
Pump that CO2 into the greenhouses - it’s plant food after all...
The author misses the point that carbon dioxide is just an excuse. What they left truly hates is not CO2, but generated energy. And industrialization. And machines, modernity, concrete and refined metal.
What they truly want is the simplicity of primitivism, at least for everyone but themselves. They would be content to have all the benefits of a noble class, ruling over the rest of us as agrarian peasants.
Look at Al Gore, living in a ghastly mansion that consumes enormous amounts of energy, flying about in private jets, driving SUV limousines. etc., ad nauseum. Yet he is filled with sanctimony about how everyone else needs to do with less, be hotter in summer and colder in winter; drive slow and unsafe economy cars with weak engines; not fly at all, etc.
He is a terrible hypocrite, if not to his “nouveau elite” sensibilities; but he is not unique from his peers, other than “winning life’s lottery”, a fortune that he despises in others.
But while Al Gore is cynical beyond belief, the fanatical second tier of his followers are true believers in their faith of agrarian primitivism. People like Earth First! and PETA, who are motivated public pests, funded by elitist pigs like Al and “Ter-ay-sa” Heinz, wife of that lurching fop, the treacherous and cowardly John Kerry.
If scientists succeed in eliminating CO2 emissions, the plants aren’t going to like it.
I hate the idea that anyone is accepting the premise that CO2 is a pollutant and something to be avoided “emitting”.
The earth’s systems buffer and account for fluxuations in atmospheric CO2 quite handily without our interference.
They hate energy, cheap energy, for what reason?
Because it allows the “commoners” to enjoy lifestyles that only the elite “should” enjoy.
It shows you how clueless the left is
Diesel is not made from Coal
The sheeperals just want to feel good about themselves for “saving the erf”.
They don’t really care whether there is an actual threat,
or whether their supported policies actually will do anything to alleviate that threat.
Do you have a "per barrel" estimate of the cost of this process?
None of the above bullcrap add-ons come free. They must make coal burning for electric 2-4 times as expensive. Thus making it non-competitive with natural gas etc. But what do the above researchers care? They got paid for meaningless global warming related research that cannot be deployed on an economic basis in the real world
The good professor should next direct his efforts to extracting energy from human and animal solid waste products.
Then we will get to see what happens when Fan hits the ...
While you are right about natural gas for power plants, I think what he's trying to do is to make fuel oil and diesel, which might be more economic. A liquid fuel has considerably more energy density than natural gas in transportation uses.
Would have been nice if the story had given even an inkling as to how they extract the energy without burning it.
The environ-Wackos will find something wrong if it!!!
Correct. Even if they can get the emissions down to zero the wackos would then be crying about the mining processes.
Clean Diesel from Coal
Synthetic diesel fuel from coal
Gasoline alternative: Synthetic diesel heralds a new era for coal
It is not a new process. Germany did it to supplement fuel supplies back during WW2.
Diesel Production from Fischer−Tropsch: The Past, the Present, and New Concepts
The left claims to care about the environment, but whenever they get together in large numbers, there is trash laying everywhere.
Deferment of responsibility, ie, the opposite of personal responsibility, is core to their ideology.
Assessing a Coal-to-Liquids Fuel Industry in the United States
... the technology for converting coal to liquid fuel already exists, and production costs from initial facilities appear competitive at world oil prices in the range of $55 to $70 per barrel.
Chemical looping is an advanced technology that offers several advantages over traditional combustion. In a chemical-looping system, a metal oxide, such as an iron oxide, provides the oxygen for combustion. The metal oxide releases its oxygen in a fuel reactor with a reducing atmosphere, and the oxygen reacts with the fuel. The reduced metal cycles back to an oxidation chamber where the metal oxide is regenerated by contact with air. The metal oxide is then reintroduced into the fuel reactor, thus completing the loop. Since CO2 separation occurs simultaneously with coal conversion, chemical looping offers a low-cost scheme for carbon capture. The process can produce power, synthesis gas, or hydrogen in addition to high-purity CO2.
Likely a far more practical solution to our energy needs than worthless windmills, solar panels and the ethanol boondoggle. However the Obama administration will continue to champion losers based on environmental junk science and crony capitalism.
You can count on it
Here is the study that 5 million taxpayer dollars was spent on....in a welfare money for scientists scam. Hey they gotta eat too! Who here is so cruel to deny a university carbon capture scientist a living and his grad assistants too? They gotta eat, those beans and eggs dinners get old fast. I see no mention of coal>>>liquids which would make some sense for transportation. All I see is Rube Goldberg BS to capture and compress CO2 and send it somewhere (did not read all the way down) So, as I suspected (before even reading this study) all they are doing is reinventing the wheel but a much much more expensive wheel. All stemming from CO2 paranoia, the great global warming scam and racket. Read James Delingpole for more about shameless green rip off artists with their foreign owned windmill companies despoiling the English countryside these scammers are in the UK. And getting subsidies up the wazoo. Plenty of money to be made on global warming
Thermal coal is roughly $100/metric ton. This process adds $40/ton when installed in a new coal to electric plant. To retrofit an older plant is either impossible or absurdly high (my guess)
The $40 figure is probably a lie so double this $80. So you are doubling the cost of the coal you burn to make electric. Just trash and decommission the old coal burning plants and built these white elephants. The numbers might work out under Obama style socialism with some green subsidies
Dammit Dennis, I've written two books detailing green ripoffs. I've published lengthy and oft cited materials here on FR about green racketeering in the energy business. I stand on the position that most of this green corruption is financed by the tax-exempt "charitable" foundations belonging to major stockholders in the oil and gas business. All I was pointing out to you is that natural gas makes for a lousy transportation fuel and that this is where the work mentioned in this article is targeted, not stationary electrical power generation. My comment had NOTHING to do with the relative merit of what these academics had produced. As I am concerned, it wasn't even worth reading about.
Please remember whom you are addressing before popping off.
You know the subject matter better than I do. I hust get pissed when read about carbon sequestrations scams and research. What they do is take a smokestack and stick it into the ground and other mad-cap schemes... All gov’t funded of course. None of these do-gooders works for free
Carbon sequestration, endangered specious, non-point pollution, pro-depravity, "education"... name a branch of "science" other than for industrial development that has not become an outrage. Eisenhower's farewell address rings more true with each passing political term.
Yet the basic problem is that even the best "scientists" are in fact badly educated. Here is what I think needs to be done about that.
Bingo. What really kicked off the environmental movement among the elite was the fact that the 'commoners' -- the rising middle class in the West, started showing up at places that were once their own private pleasure spots. It melded perfectly with Marxism in that the real enemy was not the aristocrats, but the Bourgeoisie -- i.e. the middle class.
The leftist environmental craze is nothing more than the self anointed elite "intellectuals" trying to maintain their elite status and privileges by attempting to destroy the middle class who they have always hated.
What good is it for the guy who is the world renowned expert in linguistics if he has to rub elbows with some peon who made millions by inventing a better mouse trap?