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Mr Medved

Dirty Coal, Clean Future

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Dirty Coal, Clean Future

To environmentalists, “clean coal” is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world’s energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal—dirty, sooty, toxic coal—in more-sustainable ways. The good news is that new technologies are making this possible. China is now the leader in this area, the Google and Intel of the energy world. If we are serious about global warming, America needs to work with China to build a greener future on a foundation of coal. Otherwise, the clean-energy revolution will leave us behind, with grave costs for the world’s climate and our economy.

By James Fallows

http://www.theatlant...-future/8307/1/

Through the past four years I’ve often suggested that China’s vaunted achievements are less impressive, or at least more complicated, seen up close. Yes, Chinese factories make nearly all of the world’s consumer electronic equipment. But the brand names, designs, and most of the profits usually belong to companies and people outside China. Yes, China’s accumulated trade surpluses have made it the creditor for America and much of the world. But the huge share of its own wealth that China has sunk into foreign economies ties its fate to theirs. Yes, more and more Chinese people are very rich. But hundreds of millions of Chinese people are still very poor. Yes, Chinese factories lead the world in output of windmills and solar-power panels. But China’s environmental situation is still so dire as to pose the main threat not just to the country’s public health and political stability but also to its own economic expansion.

This report will have a different tone. I have been learning about an area of Chinese achievement that is objectively good for the world as a whole, including the United States. Surprising enough! And China’s achievement dramatically highlights a structural advantage of its approach and a weakness of America’s. It involves the shared global effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, of which China and the United States are respectively the No. 1 and No. 2 producers, together creating more than 40 percent of the world’s total output. That shared effort is real, and important. The significant Chinese developments involve more than the “clean tech” boom that Americans have already heard so much about. Instead a different, less publicized, and much less appealing-sounding effort may matter even more in determining whether the United States and China can cooperate to reduce emissions. This involves not clean tech but the dirtiest of today’s main energy sources—coal.

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I wasn't that impressed by this guy. The article was extremely long winded and spruikerish. If I get what he's saying it's that experimental carbon sequestration can be done in china as they have a lot of capital with US supplying the expertise. This is fine and I would applaud the effort if I thought it had a chance of being successful. Unfortunately, the cracks are already appearing in the carbon sequestration/coal seam gas extraction as they acidify aquifers. The acidity then leaches more dangerous minerals into the aquifer. This has already occurred in Qld according to the 4 corners report. The gas rush It's a pity because I had high hopes for the CSG technology. Not the sequestration, it's just a way for big coal to stall off doing anything much but pretend they are doing something.

Potential Impacts of Leakage from Deep CO2 Geosequestration on Overlying Freshwater Aquifers

Carbon Capture and Storage may use deep saline aquifers for CO2 sequestration, but small CO2 leakage could pose a risk to overlying fresh groundwater. We performed laboratory incubations of CO2 infiltration under oxidizing conditions for >300 days on samples from four freshwater aquifers to 1) understand how CO2 leakage affects freshwater quality; 2) develop selection criteria for deep sequestration sites based on inorganic metal contamination caused by CO2 leaks to shallow aquifers; and 3) identify geochemical signatures for early detection criteria. After exposure to CO2, water pH declines of 1−2 units were apparent in all aquifer samples. CO2 caused concentrations of the alkali and alkaline earths and manganese, cobalt, nickel, and iron to increase by more than 2 orders of magnitude. Potentially dangerous uranium and barium increased throughout the entire experiment in some samples. Solid-phase metal mobility, carbonate buffering capacity, and redox state in the shallow overlying aquifers influence the impact of CO2 leakage and should be considered when selecting deep geosequestration sites. Manganese, iron, calcium, and pH could be used as geochemical markers of a CO2 leak, as their concentrations increase within 2 weeks of exposure to CO2.

The comments on the article were interesting though. The first comment by the wind guy and the comments about liquid fluorine thorium reactors. (LFTR) I will have to look into these but if what they claim is true (No meltdown possible, no fissile material produced and the byproducts having a half life of 300 years) is does sound interesting.

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Electricity is created by turning turbines or photoelectric technology.

You can use hydro, wave, wind to do the former or create the steam via heat. I find it hard to believe that you can create that much heat energy without a by product.

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Big banks 'no' to coal plant

AUSTRALIA'S four major banks have rejected funding a coal-fuelled power plant proposed for Victoria, raising doubts about its viability despite its controversial approval by the Environment Protection Authority.

The EPA has cleared the way for Melbourne coal technology company HRL to build what would be Victoria's first new coal plant in nearly 20 years.

Under yesterday's ruling, HRL can build a plant at Morwell using new gasification technology, which is claimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from brown coal power by about a third, to roughly the level of modern black coal stations.

This combined with Martin Fergusons comments about nuclear power this week are interesting. Ferguson backs nuclear power, post-Fukushima

Gotta get the electricity from somewhere. This could be the tipping point?

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