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Palin's reference to "clean coal"

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posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:12 PM
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Actually, no it's not.

It's about "clean coal" as an ALTERNATIVE energy source. That's the key point of the OP.

Apparently it's tremendously hard to grasp what the problem with that is.




posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:25 PM
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Fact: we need energy for transportation, heating/cooling, and industry to make all those toys you enjoy.

Fact: we cannot create energy. We can only change its form to something we can use.

Fact: most of the world's energy comes form the burning of carbon (chemical). The remainder comes from removing energy from other natural sources (water flow, air flow, etc) which lessens the amount of energy in the system and therefore is finite.

Fact: chemical energy is by far the most economical/easiest energy to use/store with our present technology.

Fact: most chemical energy is from the burning of carbon compounds.

Fact: carbon cannot be burned without producing either CO2 or CO (which can be deadly).

So, if your aim is to prevent any release of CO2, you are being hypocritical by even turning on a computer, lights, driving a car (or riding public transportation), or buying goods that are not produced within walking distance of your home.

Now, if your aim is to prevent pollution, which is primarily composed of airborne ash, sulfur compounds and nitrides, then we have a discussion. Coal has been historically relatively rich in sulfur and therefore polluting. But recent improvements have removed the vast,, vast majority of these pollutants, and that is exactly what is meant by 'clean coal'. The coal itself is pure carbon, which cannot produce anything other than CO2 or CO, and proper combustion means the amount of CO is very minimal (and short-lived, as CO will change into CO2 in the presence of oxygen). No sulfates, sulfides, nitrates, nitrides, or ash are produced.

From your posts above, it sounds to me like you are not arguing against pollution, but against fossil fuels. There is a difference.

TheRedneck
Edit to add: I just saw Gools post, and while I will stand behind every statement in this post, I will apologize if it seems harsh in the wording. I will endeavor to keep all future posts as civil as possible.


[edit on 6-9-2008 by TheRedneck]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:31 PM
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Valhall, before you continue on your tirade about clean coal, maybe you should take a look at this article about how it works, particulary in Europe where the technology is being pioneered.

news.bbc.co.uk...

It's worth a read. It might not be a permanent solution, but it would certainly help not only environmentaly, but economically as well.

The UK alone has at least 300 years worth of coal reserves, but decline in demand due to cheap oil (mainly from the North Sea) led to our mines closing as they were not economical. But decline in North Sea output has led to increased imports, leading to higher prices.

Now, we can re-open the mines, use the coal in a relatively green way and ease our electricity production off Oil and Gas where the high prices are fuelling the massive inflation we are seeing.

As you can see from this chart that our Electricity production in the UK is heavily reliant on gas, much of which comes from either our own rigs in the North Sea (currently seeing declining output) or Norway (who have lots of new rigs coming online).



If we could get back to coal as the main source of energy, which we can be self reliant on, then we can be energy independant again like we used to be. This would insulate our economy from the rising oil and gas prices quite a bit and more than likely, lead to a significant ddrop in world prices due to a decreas in consumption by the UK and the rest of the EU.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:35 PM
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Actually no. I would be a fool to argue against fossil fuels. I'm not arguing against ANY fuel to be quite honest.

"Clean coal" should be a MANDATE, NOT an ALTERNATIVE. Just as unleaded fuel was a mandate and significantly impacted the adverse emissions of automobiles. To refer to it as an alternative energy is to show a fairly scary lack of knowledge on what is truly ALTERNATIVE, cleaner forms of energy and what should be mandated by our government.

My paycheck comes from the fossil fuel energy...I'm not an idiot. I like eating. But I also understand that the paramount problem facing us is that we have not embraced conservation. That doesn't mean I'm a hypocrite because I use a computer or decide to have a water heater in my house, it means I should be looking for all areas that I can conduct the activities of my life in a manner that least impacts the environment adversely.

Using coal - clean or otherwise - is not going to be the answer. Promoting the true alternative clean energy sources and promoting conservation and keeping an open-mind that I will continue to find ways to conserve in my own life...is.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
Fact: most of the world's energy comes form the burning of carbon (chemical). The remainder comes from removing energy from other natural sources (water flow, air flow, etc) which lessens the amount of energy in the system and therefore is finite.


Just to clarify, you don't burn carbon. You burn carbon compounds, but not the element itself. Carbon compounds are good to burn as the chemical reactions involved release a large amount of energy due to the high number of covalent bonds found in carbon compunds, which are broken as a result of the burning (oxidisation)

Also, Water/Wind etc is infinite energy. Using it to generate electricity doesn't "lessen the amount of energy in the system" because it is constantly being replenished. I won't patronise you as to the mechanics of it, I am sure you can work it out for yourself and probably already know the answer, you just didn't think about it properly.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by Valhall
 


Valhal, thank you for this post. Coal plants, even processing "clean" coal have been the greatest contributors of mercury in our food and water. I for one don't want to live in London circa 1880.

ColoradoJens



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 08:53 PM
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reply to post by Valhall

"Clean coal" should be a MANDATE, NOT an ALTERNATIVE.

OK, I did indeed misunderstand your position. I will agree that clean coal is much preferable to traditional coal use. I am a bit confused however, as I thought traditional coal was being phased out anyway?

reply to post by stumason

Just to clarify, you don't burn carbon. You burn carbon compounds, but not the element itself.

True enough that most fossil fuels are carbon compounds (hydrocarbons). Coal, however, is primarily carbon itself. Carbon can covalently bond with itself to form coal, graphite, or diamond.

From your post, I assume you already knew that though.



Also, Water/Wind etc is infinite energy. Using it to generate electricity doesn't "lessen the amount of energy in the system" because it is constantly being replenished.

Alas, I must disagree with you here. While it is true that wind/water energy is under constant replenishment, that replenishment is limited in the rate at which it can be replenished. For instance, a river will continually supply water from upstream rainfall, but the amount of water as a function of time is limited by the speed at which that rain falls.

Perhaps you misunderstood my meaning.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
True enough that most fossil fuels are carbon compounds (hydrocarbons). Coal, however, is primarily carbon itself. Carbon can covalently bond with itself to form coal, graphite, or diamond.

From your post, I assume you already knew that though.



Indeed, 'tis still a compound though as it does contain Hydrogen as well.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Alas, I must disagree with you here. While it is true that wind/water energy is under constant replenishment, that replenishment is limited in the rate at which it can be replenished. For instance, a river will continually supply water from upstream rainfall, but the amount of water as a function of time is limited by the speed at which that rain falls.

Perhaps you misunderstood my meaning.

TheRedneck


Very probably. I think I understand what you mean in reference to, say, Hydro power in that you can only extract a finite amount of energy in a given amount of time. If you open the sluices to let through more water than is being built up behind the dam, then yes you would eventually run out!

What I was hinting at though is the whole cycle of wind/rain etc is essentially driven by the sun, so as long as it keeps on burning up there, we'll still have stuff going on down here. If your daft enough to let you resevoir run empty, thats more of a management issue than one of a problem with the technology!



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by stumason
Coal (discounting impurities), graphite, or diamond do not contain hydrogen. They are pure carbon. The carbon-hydrogen bonds are prevalent in oil-based fuels (hydrocarbons), alcohols, and to a lesser extent in other organic carbon compounds.

I see we are in total agreement on the replenishment issue, though, as I had assumed we would be. There is a limit, but that limit is time-dependent, not absolute.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by stumason
Coal (discounting impurities), graphite, or diamond do not contain hydrogen. They are pure carbon. The carbon-hydrogen bonds are prevalent in oil-based fuels (hydrocarbons), alcohols, and to a lesser extent in other organic carbon compounds.



That would be incorrect. Coal is a hydrocarbon.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by Valhall

"Clean coal" should be a MANDATE, NOT an ALTERNATIVE.

OK, I did indeed misunderstand your position. I will agree that clean coal is much preferable to traditional coal use. I am a bit confused however, as I thought traditional coal was being phased out anyway?


One would hope! I think you are beginning to see my whole point. Palin's statement of clean coal being an alternative energy is equivalent to rewinding over 20 years ago and some one saying "unleaded gasoline" is an alternative energy. No, it wasn't then and neither is clean coal. It is the next responsible and HOPEFULLY mandated step forward in common sense and technology.

But listing coal (of any kind - or for that matter any of the fossil fuels) as an alternative energy is an unacceptable nonunderstanding of the situation by a potential leader.

But then...Palin prayed that God's will would be done by laying a pipeline. So, I'm starting to understand her - don't like what I understand, but I'm starting to understand her simple, fund-driven mind.

[edit on 9-6-2008 by Valhall]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Seems to differ from what I know about coal.

Here is an example of the typical bonding found in coal:



Plenty of hydrogen. as you can see. Although typical composition is between 4-6% Hydrogen, depending on the type of coal your talking about.

If it was pure carbon, your right it would be graphite or another crystaline structure of carbon, but coal is at most only 90% carbon and thats the best grade you get.

If coal was pure carbon, then the pressures and temp that caused the coal to form in the first place would likely form seams of diamonds, graphite or other carbon crystals. Its the "impurities" you mention that make the coal, coal.

Burning pure carbon (such as graphite) is rather tricky, in fact very difficult indeed. The thing carbon loves to bond with most is carbon and it takes alot to convince it to do otherwise.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by Valhalland post by stumason
It is said that a good dose of humility makes a fine medicine. If true, I should be healthy for a while.

In the face of multiple contests, I decided to research coal quickly in order to refute. I discovered I was indeed incorrect to an extent. While coal is not a hydrocarbon in the sense that gasoline or diesel oil is (theoretically only hydrocarbon bonds), it does contain more impurities than I realized. A great many of these are in the form of hydroxides inherent to the structure, which obviously contain hydrogen.

So while high-quality coal is mostly carbon, I do stand corrected. Good show!


TheRedneck

Edited to include stumason's post as well


[edit on 6-9-2008 by TheRedneck]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:30 PM
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The USA produces about 1,100 MILLION Tonnes of coal annually.

That frees up a hell of a lot of carbon.


Like oil soon demand will exceed supplies and we will have another energy crisis with a potential for economic collapse.

As long as big oil and coal use their buying power to lobby and influence Washington little will change.

It looks like Palin has been bought and paid for already.

It is like a form of insanity, they know it is wrong to keep doing this, yet they do it anyway, then what you to believe it is the best way.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by The_Alarmist2012
 


Global coal reserves dwarf that of known oil reserves. Like I said, the UK has 300+ years of supply alone (assuming supply is kept in house) and we're no where near the biggest producers. The US has vast reserves, as does China and Russia. Plenty to go around.

I just read an article saying that global reserves of coal could last near on 200 years at present consumption (which includes industrial coal use as well as power generation), whereas Gas and Oil struggle to make it past 70.

I'd hope 200 years is enough time to figure out Fusion, or ZP energy or something....

[edit on 6/9/08 by stumason]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by Valhall

"Clean coal" should be a MANDATE, NOT an ALTERNATIVE.

OK, I did indeed misunderstand your position.


Actually, I did as well.

Earlier, that's not what I thought you were saying at all.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Tis a pleasure doing business with you. It's nice to have a pleasant discussion even where we disagreed



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by Valhall

But listing coal (of any kind - or for that matter any of the fossil fuels) as an alternative energy is an unacceptable nonunderstanding of the situation by a potential leader.

Perhaps it's some sort of naive desire for humanity to present some saving grace before I die, but I see her statement more as emphasizing that clean coal is an alternative to oil. At least that is what I would hope she meant.

When I think of alternative fuels, I think of things like wind (limited, but we are not at that limit yet IMO), hydroelectric (which we are approaching the limits of), solar (still in its technological infancy), wave energy (new and promising IMO), or nuclear. Apparently you do as well. I simply hope Palin's statement was meant to be more along the lines of "We should use clean coal technology because it is the best source we have at present", rather than "Clean coal is the best we can ever achieve". We both know the former is a temporary reprieve to allow for newer technologies, while the latter is nothing more than an attempt to dismiss research outside fossil fuels.

I would also hope that the 'God's will' comment about the pipeline was simply rhetorical. I do not see any Supreme Being interested in whether or not we build a new pipeline.


TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck

I would also hope that the 'God's will' comment about the pipeline was simply rhetorical. I do not see any Supreme Being interested in whether or not we build a new pipeline.


TheRedneck


Redneck,

Concerning your other comments in the last post - yes, we are very much in agreement.

Concerning the statement above - I'm afraid it was not rhetorical. She urged others to pray that God's will would be done and the pipeline be laid. I found it disturbing. I heard the excerpt from her speech on NPR.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by Valhall

Concerning the statement above - I'm afraid it was not rhetorical.

There you go, destroying any hope of humanity for me.


At the risk of being a bit off-topic for this post, I have to say that neither side has impressed me a great deal in this election cycle. When one has a home, and one continually fails to make needed repairs on said home for a number of years, that home will become un-repairable. The only solution is to bulldoze it and build anew.

I hate bulldozer work...

TheRedneck
(going back on-topic now, mods forgive me)



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