What is "Clean Coal"?

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Wry Catcher, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    Will someone explain how coal is made clean?
     
  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    Anthracite burns with a lower level of ash and smoke.

    However, it requires digging in mines, and is very difficult and dangerous to extract.

    Most utilities use Bituminous coal, which generates lots more ash and smoke.

    One railroad advertised it used anthracite exclusively, so that passengers could arrive at their destination not covered in soot
     
  3. JiggsCasey
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    JiggsCasey VIP Member

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    It can't be explained, because it doesn't really exist.

    "Clean coal" is a marketing gimmick. Because the technology does not remove the poisons from either the mining or the combustion, only (minimally) the exhaust gases. It has never been implemented commercially. ... Let me hit you all with that again, so it really sinks in:

    Never in the process of commercial power generation has any so-called "clean coal" plant produced 1 KWh of electricity.
     
  4. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    Coal plants also emit large amounts of carbon 14 (a radio active isotope) in large quantities.

    All coal is high in sulfur as well. Which is the reason industry moved away from it so fast when they had the opportunity.
     
  5. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    So who (besides the coal industry) touts 'clean' coal, and why? Jobs? at what cost?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  6. Charles_Main
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    Charles_Main AR15 Owner

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    It is various technologies being developed or already here. Some to treat the coal to burn cleaner and more efficiently, but the most promising are systems that will trap the bad emission created when you burn it, and separate them For use, disposal or storage. So that they are not released into the air at all.

    It is entirely possibly theoretically to burn coal with Near 0 Emissions. Instead collecting the bad emissions for storage or even to be put to use in some cases. One idea is to store for example the Co2 Captured under ground.

    I am not sure how far along they are with all this, If you believe some of the adds on TV, very far, but it is an idea worth perusing. We have a shit ton of Coal, and if we can find a clean way to use it that would be great. IMO.
     
  7. Charles_Main
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    Charles_Main AR15 Owner

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    Which could be removed from the smoke stack after burning with these emerging Technologies. Do try and keep up.
     
  8. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    Obama. That's who.
     
  9. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    I had no idea until a few years ago that rain can in one way or another cause coal to ignite.
     
  10. JiggsCasey
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    JiggsCasey VIP Member

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    Gonna call bullshit on that one.

    What kind? Anthricite? Or useless lignite? In what amount? At what rates of consumption? Where are you getting your half-truthed information, and why are you so willing to buy into it on a surface level?

    The president scrapped his clean coal mantra midway through his campaign. Some very smart people seem to disagree with your premise.

    Richard Heinberg: Peak Coal and Blackout (book review) | Energy Bulletin

    The best, that which is mined and therefore exhausted first, is anthracite. Next is bituminous coal of variable quality, then lignite and finally peat, which almost no one exploits to provide energy any longer. The poorer the quality of the coal, the less energy it produces per kilogram, to the point that there is no interest in transporting lignite over long distances because the energy needed to do this quickly exceeds that which would be produced by the lignite. And yet the official figures do not take these distinctions into account, or present them in an overly simplified fashion, something which creates a false impression of abundance.

    In addition, estimates of reserves are very often revealed to be of poor quality. They have very often been created decades ago and, more often than not, are later greatly revised downwards. Notably this is what happened in Germany and in Poland where formerly important reserves were reduced to almost nothing once it was decided to take a slightly closer look. ...

    The United States is the second largest global producer with more than a billion tons a year. They also have the most important reserves with 240 billion tons, in theory the equivalent of 250 years of production. These figures are misleading, however, because the quality of this coal is very uneven, and if American production continues to increase in volume it will decrease in energy value.

    52% of the high quality coal is produced in Pennsylvania, in Kentucky or in West Virginia, yet production there is either stable or in decline. The anthracite in Pennsylvania is almost exhausted and the production in West Virginia will soon begin to decrease.

    America’s reserves are mostly situated in Wyoming, in Montana and in Illinois, but they are comprised of coal either rich in sulfur (in Illinois) or of bad, or rather of very bad quality, and mining them would pose serious environmental problems. Added to that are the transport difficulties of a country whose rail network is in a poor state.

    In fact, the capacity of the United States to nourish their economy with coal depends principally on their capacity to mine the reserves in Wyoming, which, let us remember, are of poor quality. The peak in production will be reached between 2025 and 2040 – 2060 in the most optimistic of scenarios.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010

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