Clean Coal

Comments

  1. #1 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 30, 2009

    So, I have an idea for a nickname for “clean coal” shills. We can call them…(wait for it)…(wait for it)….

    Black nosers!

  2. #2 Jorge Velez-Juarbe
    January 30, 2009

    Nice video!! They have great adds in the metro stations in DC, “clean coal” as real as mermaids, bigfoot and aliens!

  3. #3 ppnl
    January 31, 2009

    The clean coal campaign reminds me of the “Carbon dioxide is life” campaign from a few years ago. They should know that such campaigns are so easily spoofed that it will blow back on them.

    But the fact is we need to stop burning coal by the cubic mile and at the same time we need to get as many plug in hybrids on the grid as possible. Where are we going to get the energy? Be careful and don’t use the “N” word now.

  4. #4 Valis
    January 31, 2009

    Funny, I just spent my whole Friday night down a coal mine (Part of my job as a specialist in explosion prevention). This a huge industry, mind-bogglingly big. I don’t think people quite understand the enormous dependance we have on fossil fuels. I mean, there are millions of tons of coal being mined, just from this one mine. The scale is staggering. And there are dozens of these mines in a small geographical location (Secunda, South Africa). The task of converting to clean sources of energy demands a certain amount of manpower. I realy don’t think we have that amount of skills and labour available. This is problematic, to say the least. I’ve always been sublimely unaware of this, naively believing we could easily solve the problem if only we had the will and political support to do it. This experience has given me a rude awakening, things are not that simple. It is going to take a supreme, collective effort to change this. Do we, as human beings, have that will?

  5. #5 Markk
    January 31, 2009

    Yeah, You can ridicule clean coal all you want but if you are going to seriously deal with AGW you will NEED “clean coal” if you are realistic at all. Coal Electric plants ain’t going away. Tell me the timeline for shutting down even one middle aged coal plant in the U.S. ? What about the zillions in China and the more to come in Russia? But if we could get them 5 or 10 or 15% better combined with alternatives we might limit their output and get them to be like nuclear is now – important but not growing. Coal is not the long term future but if you try to solve AGW without dealing with it directly, get ready to move people from the coasts…

  6. #6 Valis
    January 31, 2009

    Tell me the timeline for shutting down even one middle aged coal plant in the U.S. ?

    Exactly. There is so much inertia in the power industry, it’s going to be very difficult to change people’s perception. Also, there’s so much money in the coal industry, it’s almost impossible to change direction.

  7. #7 ppnl
    February 1, 2009

    Yes shutting down coal plants would be hard. Very very hard. It would be difficult to exaggerate how hard.

    Making them “clean” would be several orders of magnitude harder in the unlikely event that it can be done at all. The purpose of the clean coal lobby isn’t to promote clean coal. The purpose is to prevent or delay painful change. It is like a cancer patient delaying a difficult surgery for cancer to research laetrile.

  8. #8 Anonymous
    February 1, 2009

    This is immature. “Clean coal” means carbon sequestration, and it is physically viable, if not yet commercial. The spoof is itself inaccurate and deceptive; why lower the level of discussion?

    I’ll quote James Hansen, just because:

    4 generation nuclear power (4 GNP) and coal-fired power plants with carbon capture
    and sequestration (CCS) at present are the best candidates to provide large baseload nearly
    carbon-free power (in case renewable energies cannot do the entire job). Predictable criticism
    of 4th GNP (and CCS) is: “it cannot be ready before 2030.” However, the time needed could
    be much abbreviated with a Presidential initiative and Congressional support. Moreover,
    improved (3rd generation) light water reactors are available for near-term needs.
    [...]

    CCS also deserves R&D support. There is no such thing as clean coal at this time, and it
    is doubtful that we will ever be able to fully eliminate emissions of mercury, other heavy
    metals, and radioactive material in the mining and burning of coal. However, because of the
    enormous number of dirty coal-fired power plants in existence, the abundance of the fuel, and
    the fact that CCS technology could be used at biofuel-fired power plants to draw down
    atmospheric carbon dioxide, the technology deserves strong R&D support.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20081229_DearMichelleAndBarack.pdf

  9. #9 ppnl
    February 2, 2009

    Carbon sequestration is real. But the geological conditions that allow it are not every where available. It is massively expensive in capitol costs and will consume about a third of the power generated from burning the coal. An it is destined to be obsolete within a handfull of decades anyway. And I simply doubt it could be done on the scale that we burn coal in the next hundred years.

    Much better to phase out coal entirely with nuclear energy. The money we spent in Iraq would have been enough to develop the new generation of IFR plants and build 150 plants. This could be done in 30 years very easily. No new uranium need be mined for them since they would use the waste from the the current generation of PWR plants burning up 99.5 percent of the waste. The remainder will be less radioactive than the original uranium ore in less than 300 years. And since there is never any separation of the isotopes the fuel is never in a form useful for produceing a bomb.

    Clean coal? Pointless and stupid if it can be done at all.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    February 2, 2009

    A clarificiation: In my view, this ‘ad’ is not about the technology of clean coal. Maybe that works, may be it does not. Rather, it is about the rhetoric of the power industry (industries). And about how we can trust them as far a we could throw a power plant.

  11. #11 Coal Portal
    September 5, 2011

    The call to reduce the use of thermal coal (steam coal) is valid for western countries but unfortunately, coal reports show developing economies are more likely to increase their use of thermal coal and metallurgical coal in coming years because of its affordability and to meet increasing demands for electricity and steel. Cherry of http://www.coalportal.com

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