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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Coal industry plays chicken to protect revenues

Coal Industry a threat to economic development

The coal industry wastes time and money researching inefficient power generation.
- and is trying to forget an established technology in use throughout the world. This technology results in fewer toxic emissions, less CO2 emissions, the ability to use cheaper coal and more efficient power generation.

The "problem" is that LESS coal is needed to produce the same amount of power.

The coal industry is now trying to stop the use of low-cost coal and cheaper, cleaner energy from coal.
This post describes one such effort: Latest Buzz... Coal leads EPA regulations - and then opposes them.

Less coal per megawatt-hour (MWH) - Cheaper energy

The National Coal Council in December 2008 published a report Advanced Coal Technologies: Greater Efficiency and Lower CO2 Emissions
Increased efficiency of power generation is the most predictable and cost effective method for CO2 emissions reduction.

In an existing coal-based plant without CCS, increased efficiency is the only practical method for mitigating CO2 emissions now, and it will be important for future plants equipped with CCS in order to reduce the energy impacts and costs of CO2 capture.

Gasification-based technologies convert coal to a synthesis gas (syngas) consisting mainly of CO and H2.The syngas is cleaned to remove contaminants before it is used as a fuel in a gas turbine. The hot exhaust gas from the gas turbine is used to produce steam in a heat recovery steam generator for a steam turbine-electric generator.

This combination of a gas turbine and steam turbine cycles is called combined cycle power generation. Integrating the coal gasification and combined cycle technologies, IGCC provides the benefits of using low-cost coal with the high efficiency of combined cycle power generation. Higher efficiency results in lower emissions per unit of electricity generated.

IGCC technology is being demonstrated in two plants in the U.S., two in Europe, and one in Japan. Industry standard designs are based on the use of eastern bituminous coal, although IGCC plants can be designed for a wide range of coals.

CO2 emissions fall as efficiency increases. THIS MEANS LESS COAL PER MWH
CO2 emissions fall as efficiency increases.

More coal per megawatt-hour (MWH) - Expensive energy

On 20 December 2010 media reports disclosed:
“According to Peter Cook, chief executive of the Co-operative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies in Canberra, the research effort is swinging back in favour of capturing carbon emissions after the coal has been burned rather than trying to radically alter the coal itself before combustion. 'We are seeing that more conventional ways of making electricity are being looked at again for post-combustion capture,' Dr Cook said.”


Askgerbil said...

China invests in world's most efficient coal to natural gas technology
GreatPoint Energy has commercialised a process to convert coal and biomass to natural gas that requires very little energy. This process removes half of the carbon from the coal or biomass as carbon dioxide that is separated from the natural gas, ready for storage or feeding to algae farms.
China Wanxiang Holdings has invested $1.25 billion in a project to convert cheap abundant coal to valuable natural gas with GreatPoint Energy's technology.
As part of the transaction, Wanxiang will become a large shareholder of GreatPoint and will join the Board of Directors of the Company. Read more...

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