|West Virginia State Legislature Calls for Coal Liquefaction|
|Sunday - June 17, 2012|
We have been unable to locate a source of information that would provide us with a complete bibliographic statement telling us precisely and fully the origins of the document we enclose herein, which is:
An official proclamation, apparently, by the combined houses of the West Virginia State Legislature, that, among other things, calls for West Virginia to achieve energy independence through all means available to her; such energy independence to include a self-sufficiency in liquid fuels based primarily on the implementation of technologies for the liquefaction of Coal.
And, we must acknowledge the West Virginia State Journal, who, in the full text of their recent article:
"Manchin and colleagues on energy independence; June 15, 2012; By Pam Kasey";
alerted us to the document's existence.
Comment follows excerpts from our initial link to the West Virginia State Legislature's online record of:
"West Virginia Energy Opportunities
As a nation, we now import 60% of our oil needs. The supply and price of oil in the future are unpredictable. Developed nations are highly dependent on oil. Short-term interruptions or price spikes can be catastrophic to local economies.
When the price of gasoline exceeds $3 per gallon, it causes serious hardship on all West Virginia families.
(We filled up yesterday. The low-test stuff was $3.45 per gallon; and, it was a "serious hardship".)
New technologies applied to our conventional energy resources will be an even more significant factor in our energy future than nontraditional resources.
Specifically, advanced coal technologies represent the most viable option for our nation to transition away from imported oil. Coal, via advanced coal technologies, can be gasified and liquefied.
While our conventional oil and gas reserves could be materially depleted in decades, our nation’s coal reserves are plentiful. West Virginia’s high BTU coal is ideally suited to advanced coal technologies such as those to be employed by integrated gasification combined cycle plants.
Coal can be a substitute for liquid transportation fuels and pipeline natural gas.
Advanced coal technologies provide the same level of environmental beneficiation as pulverized coal plants with SOx, NOx and mercury control technologies applied. Advanced coal plants would also be able to capture and sequester CO2. While CO2 sequestration technology is still in the experimental/demonstration stage and has not been proven to be financially and technically viable yet for existing plants, there is guarded
(Nuts to "CO2 sequestration technology". As, for just one example, seen in:
"United States Patent 8,138,380 - Electrolysis of Carbon Dioxide ... for Production of Methanol; 2012; Inventors: George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash, CA; Assignee: University of Southern California; Abstract: An environmentally beneficial method of producing methanol from varied sources of carbon dioxide including flue gases of fossil fuel burning power plants, industrial exhaust gases or the atmosphere itself";
there's at least one other "CO2 ... technology" that sounds like a much more attractive option; one that would, instead, get another Coal Country liquid fuel profit center started up with our byproduct CO2.)
As is the case with unconventional resources, advanced coal technologies will need to be competitive with conventional energy sources. A 20,000-barrel-a-day coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant would cost more than $2 billion to construct. It has been assumed that with a certain oil price level (e.g. $55 per barrel) it would become economically attractive to construct a CTL plant.
(As seen in:
the "oil price level" at the close of business in New York City on June 15, 2012, was $84.18 per barrel.)
(As seen in:
"Clean Alternative Fuels: Fischer-Tropsch; United States Environmental Protection Agency; Transportation and Air Quality Transportation and Regional Programs Division; EPA420-F-00-036; March 2002; A Success Story (!) For the past 50 years, Fischer-Tropsch fuels have powered all of South Africa’s vehicles, from buses to trucks to taxicabs. The fuel is primarily supplied by Sasol, a world leader in Fischer-Tropsch technologies. Sasol’s South African facility produces more than 150,000 barrels of high quality fuel from domestic low-grade coal daily. The popular fuel is cost-competitive with crude oil-based petroleum products in South Africa";
such Coal liquefaction "technologies", according to our own, dearly-beloved US EPA, have, in South Africa, been "commercially proven" for better than half a century.)
Many would argue that our current energy situation would warrant a significant federal role in ushering in a coal-based economy. National consensus has not been reached on that issue.
Our overall goal is to displace 1.3 billion gallons of oil by 2030.
The largest contributor to our goal could be CTL plants.
Rising direct and indirect cost of transportation fuels and the depletion of conventional oil reserves will lead to the introduction of new liquid fuels. Coal is uniquely positioned to be a cornerstone of a transition away from petroleum-based fuels.
West Virginia, with substantial quality coal reserves, abundant water, an established energy infrastructure and trained workforce, is in a position to capitalize economically on advanced coal technologies.
A 20,000 barrel per day plant would require roughly 4 million tons of coal a year. Coal conversion (gasification or liquification) requires adding hydrogen to coal. Water is the source of hydrogen. The consumption and cooling requirements of a coal conversion facility would be at least 6 million gallons a day. Long-term coal contracts, minimal coal shipping and railroad or barge access is important to provide a competitive product. In addition to coal-to-liquids, coal gasification could supply pipeline-quality gas or
A 20,000 barrel a day plant would annually produce roughly 300 million gallons of diesel product. West Virginia’s goal of displacing 1.3 billion gallons of oil annually by 2030 could be met with 5 coal-to-liquids plants. Providing the coal to support these plants would lead to a 15% increase in annual coal production. Coal production in 2006 was 148,483,816 tons.
Short term goals:
Medium term goals:
1. West Virginia Public Service Commission to establish a policy that facilitates the production and sale of pipeline gas or transportation fuels produced from coal.
(Again, which "carbon sequestration procedures" would preferably include something like that seen in:
USDOE Converts CO2 to Gasoline | Research & Development; about: "US Patent 4,197,421 - Synthetic Carbonaceous Fuels and Feedstocks; 1980; Assignee: The United States of America; Abstract: This invention relates to the use of a three compartment electrolytic cell in the production of synthetic carbonaceous fuels and chemical feedstocks such as gasoline, methane and methanol by electrolyzing an aqueous sodium carbonate/bicarbonate solution, obtained from scrubbing atmospheric carbon dioxide with an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution, whereby the hydrogen generated at the cathode and the carbon dioxide liberated in the center compartment are combined thermocatalytically into methanol and gasoline blends".)
A transition to domestically produced vehicular fuels can be a significant boost to West Virginia’s economy.
(That above sentence is rather something of a gross understatement, wouldn't you think?)
Coal-based transportation fuels including coal-to-liquid diesel ... represent fuels that could originate in West Virginia and use West Virginia resources.
Diesel Vehicles: Clean diesel technologies are being applied to passenger vehicles. This is an opportunity for liquids from coal to fuel both cars and trucks. By 2030, market penetration could be substantial.
The full document has a few other items worthy of consideration and study, such as the reclamation and use of Coal mine wastes.
But, it also, unfortunately, wanders at times off into speculative, and potentially dangerous, vaporous statements of aspirations concerning things like "hydrogen fueled vehicles"; i.e., 70mph Mini-Hindenbergs.
And, it falls back in places to generic Mom & apple pie stuff, like "Reduce energy use in state-owned buildings".
It also promotes plug-in electric vehicles; which is okay by us - - if the Coal-fired power plant base is being built out to support and supply the increased demand for electricity.
But, almost first, and certainly foremost, is the West Virginia State Legislature's strong support and open promotion of "Coal" as a material from which we can manufacture a "substitute for liquid transportation fuels", as well as a substitute for "pipeline natural gas".
The goals published by the West Virginia State Legislature, in 2008, in "West Virginia Energy Opportunities:
Why didn't anyone but the West Virginia State Legislature, apparently, have the courage to express the fact that such a thing might even be conceivable, much less be perfectly feasible?
Were there no WV news reporters paying attention to what the WV State Legislature was doing and saying?
What, in the four years since "A Blueprint for the Future" was published by the West Virginia State Legislature, has actually been done of a substantive nature to ensure, that, "by 2030", we will, in fact, be "displacing 1.3 billion gallons of oil annually ... with 5 coal-to-liquids plants"?