Thursday, May 17, 2007

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

I assume you saw this story: "Federal Loans for Coal Plants Clash With Carbon Cuts"

And you've seen this quote from Jim Hansen "It will become clear over the next ten years that coal-fired power plants that do not capture and sequester CO2 are going to have to be bulldozed"

And you know the chemistry (from the EIA), "...The carbon dioxide emission factors in this article are expressed in terms of the energy content of coal as pounds of carbon dioxide per million Btu. Carbon dioxide (CO2) forms during coal combustion when one atom of carbon (C) unites with two atoms of oxygen (O) from the air. Because the atomic weight of carbon is 12 and that of oxygen is 16, the atomic weight of carbon dioxide is 44. Based on that ratio, and assuming complete combustion, 1 pound of carbon combines with 2.667 pounds of oxygen to produce 3.667 pounds of carbon dioxide. For example, coal with a carbon content of 78 percent and a heating value of 14,000 Btu per pound emits about 204.3 pounds of carbon dioxide per million Btu when completely burned.
Complete combustion of 1 short ton (2,000 pounds) of this coal will generate about 5,720 pounds (2.86 short tons) of carbon dioxide.

And you've read the whole 192 pages of MIT's "The Future of Coal"

And when you think of ethanol it's on the rocks.

What to do? Next week the long promised overview of the state of the science. In the meantime, more ethanol.