At the AlwaysOn GoingGreen Conference in Sausalito, Calif., executives talk about various technologies being implemented to make coal cleaner, reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. The panel, moderated by Technology Partners VC Ira Ehrenpreis, includes Tim Vail, CEO of Accelergy; Chris Poirier, CEO of CoalTek; and David Huard, partner of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.
Is clean coal oxymoronic?
Posting in Technology
At the AlwaysOn GoingGreen Conference in Sausalito, Calif., executives talk about various technologies being implemented to make coal cleaner, reduci...
Sep 21, 2009
Yes, the term "clean coal" is oxymoronic. There is no known feasible way to produce and use coal in an environmentally friendly and cost effective fashion. Think about the disposal of the toxic substances which are removed from coal, as well as the cost to gasify coal. Coal is also a non-renewable resource. Wind, solar, and of course the energy storage systems (especially batteries and supercapacitors) used with them are the most worthy of our time and money, because when they become cost effective, things will take a sharp turn for the better.
Simply: There are and have been existing ways to burn coal "cleaner". Utilities have fought for years not to use them. Illinois is a great example: unbelievably expensive nuclear electricity and plenty of coal that is burned "the old fashioned way". That's how we do it.
Lying about coal pollution, which is the problem for people in the form of diseases and planetary health is not going to solve the problem. Closed loop photobioreactors can take all that pollution and turn it into algae oil, biofuels, feed, natural fertilizers, and deliver excess oxygen and dry biomass to fuel their burners. The water used to cool them down is at a nice temperature to grow biomass after this use. Heavy metals, like mercury can be recycled or at least kept out of the environment. The synergy between coal plants and biomass photobioreactor plants is obvious, but why use coal at all when the sun can produce energy for efficient lamps to grow controlled toxin free biomass? The reason they are worried is obsolescence by these new technologies, enablers for a clean and safe future, starting with cleaning up their mess and taking advantage of their concentrated sources of CO2 as well as negotiating over the value of energy tax credits.
Sun shine on America contains more energy than all the coal in America... it's renewable and produces no toxic waste.. The carbon neutral argument is an idiots red herring since carbon neutral implies no release of squesterd carbon, particulalry since there is no mechanism to return the amount of carbon released back to a sequesterd state in the same time frame it is released. 1=1 not 1=0 The whales are still here because a superior technology came along in time to save them and there were enough intelligent businessmen to take advantage of it. There was plenty of hand wringing by the whalers of course just as the coal and pertroleum producers who replaced them are trying to justify the continuation of their now obsolete industries. I hope we have as much sense as our forefathers. I'm not taking bets though, as it seems most people's intellect is dependent on the slickness of presentation and repetion instead of content. caveat emptor
A few quick points for eco-twits ?\ -Coal is the single greatest source of economical energy found domestically; the most worthwhile use of research funding is to develop ways to extract usable and transportable fuels for internal combustion and gas turbine engines from coal and to use Its transmissible gaseous forms for home heating and polymer feed stocks. - the carbon contained in coal is directly from the growth of ancient plants; therefore by eco-definition coal is carbon neutral at the plenetary level, - actual climatologists continue to report that the global atmospheric temperature ceased to rise a decade ago and is currently becoming marginally cooler; only beneficiaries receiving donations, grants, and membership dues and a large group of later day Luddites and anti-capitalist fellow travelers disseminating junk science as though it were Holy Writ including leftist acedemics and eco-idealogues are the only ones attempting to continue the myth of androgenic global warming
Ditto Bellafresca. Why waste resources...money, energy, intellect, but more importantly time on the technology to make coal "green" when we have natural gas as a resource? The same applies to nuclear energy. Both technologies are also rans in my book.
Think about it...is dirt dirty, is water wet, can anyone see the emperors new clothes? This has become the newest spin on merchandising, repackaging, and selling us what they all know to be, absolutely know to be, a new set of duds for the king. This dedication hasn't been seen since 'cigarettes and why they are good for you' campaigns in the 20th century. Will there be a child who will finally break the spell and shout out...but the emperor has no clothes.....he is naked? Or will we remain mute watching our tenuous balance with a sustainable environment be destroyed just so we can all agree on clothing we really do know is not there?