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  #1  
Old 12-18-2006, 03:29 PM
aurgathor aurgathor is offline
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Liquid coal

Not really new, but it could be one of the alternatives -- when, and if, oil prices start climbing again.
http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...AL-FUEL-DC.XML
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:55 PM
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You're absolutely correct. Should it be proven to be cost-efficient AND environmentally friendly (or as environmentally friendly as a fossil fuel could be expected to be), it WOULD solve our energy problem (reliance on foreign sources)....and would make us a net exporter. That would be exciting times.

AND we have the closest thing to an "inexhaustible" supply of coal anywhere in the world.

This has been discussed in other energy threads...and as you can imagine, the discussions were fairly lively.

Steve
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:55 AM
jimandmandy jimandmandy is offline
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What do you do with all the CO2 that is a byproduct? GTL, which uses the same process, but with natural gas as feedstock is actually "clean". Science be damned, coal states want taxpayer funded projects, just like the midwest farm states want ethanol subsidies, its all the same game.

If it is so cheap to do, why ask for tax credits or other taxpayer assistance?
Since the 1970's, the US government has spent on the order of half a trillion dollars on "alternative energy" projects and research. What has all that money produced, a few windmills?

Jim
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimandmandy
What has all that money produced, a few windmills?

Jim

Nope. A lot of rich researchers suckling from the gov't teat.


Meh, whatever. I see more promise in this than I do bottling cow farts.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimandmandy
What do you do with all the CO2 that is a byproduct? GTL, which uses the same process, but with natural gas as feedstock is actually "clean". Science be damned, coal states want taxpayer funded projects, just like the midwest farm states want ethanol subsidies, its all the same game.

If it is so cheap to do, why ask for tax credits or other taxpayer assistance?
Since the 1970's, the US government has spent on the order of half a trillion dollars on "alternative energy" projects and research. What has all that money produced, a few windmills?

Jim
So I guess that means you're not a fan of this energy alternative?........
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:39 PM
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Is it just diesel fuel that is able to be produced with this process? Or could they produce any oil derived fuel, such as gasoline? If they could make straight 100 octane gasoline, for $40 a barrel, that would be nice!
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:27 PM
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Let's say, Rusty, that the coal-process only produces diesel fuel (and prob. kerosene, etc.)......And let's say that the oil shale reserves do the same thing....but that the sources would supply ALL of our energy needs (not even including nuclear) for 200 years....even while exporting some of the liquid gold.....Would it be so bad....or so difficult, to...over a period of years....make nothing but diesel engines for passenger cars and trucks, etc.?.....particularly with the advances in clean diesel, etc.?......

Is it doable?....Of course, the gas fanatics would probably hate it, but the country would be better off......
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:29 AM
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Distillates (diesel, kerosene, jet) and waxes are the main output of this process. They are hydrocarbon molecules with more carbon atoms than gasoline. Gasoline could still be hydrocracked from this feedstock, just like in a conventional refinery. It just takes more energy in to convert it to gasoline, which raises the cost.

Jim
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:43 PM
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burning coal is one of the worse poluters of our air there is,,LOOK at whats happining in china from it,,,,,,,,
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:50 PM
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But we're not talking about burning coal (and different grades of coal pollute at different levels).....We're talking about turning coal into something different and burning that.....and is THAT final product (used in diesel cars, etc.) an undue pollutant.........If not, then hey.................
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
and would make us a net exporter
I kinda doubt that -- we'd need much more miners and mines, plus many plants. However, it would definitely lessen dependency on foreign oil (in the foreseeable future) and ensure more predictable pricing on diesel and gasoline.

Quote:
coal states want taxpayer funded projects, just like the midwest farm states want ethanol subsidies
Of course!! Who wouldn't?
In any case, if ethanol were to become a major fuel (which is highly unlikely in the US) tax subsidies would go away.

Quote:
Since the 1970's, the US government has spent on the order of half a trillion dollars on "alternative energy" projects and research. What has all that money produced, a few windmills?
Green energy (one that doesn't involve greenhouse gases) will be a lot more important in 10 - 20 years, and there will likely be caps on CO2 emission, and that's when other sources will become very handy. You may see that as a wasted money, but IMHO it's not. Especially in comparison to the cost of nation building exercises in Asia....
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurgathor
I kinda doubt that -- we'd need much more miners and mines, plus many plants. However, it would definitely lessen dependency on foreign oil (in the foreseeable future) and ensure more predictable pricing on diesel and gasoline.
And more miners wouldn't be hired or plants built if there was a profit in it? :shrug:
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:39 PM
jimandmandy jimandmandy is offline
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The biggest problem with this particular alternative energy source is that it produces a huge amount of CO2.

Jim
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:56 PM
aurgathor aurgathor is offline
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And more miners wouldn't be hired or plants built if there was a profit in it? :shrug:
You assume there's a profit in it, but that depends, in big part, on the oil prices. This process should be profitable at some point, but even then, you can't just double coal production overnight.

I think what the feds want is to have several technologies ready when oil prices go up, that's why the tax subsidies on ethanol, for instance.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:59 PM
aurgathor aurgathor is offline
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The biggest problem with this particular alternative energy source is that it produces a huge amount of CO2.
Every fossil fuel produces lots of CO2, there is no escape from that.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:59 PM
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