From our very own, US, Energy Information Agency.
 
An excerpt:
 
"Coal-to-Liquids. A CTL plant transforms coal into liquid fuels. CTL is economically competitive at an oil price in the low to mid-$40 per barrel range and a coal cost in the range of $1 to $2 per million Btu, depending on coal quality and location."
 
Check any commodity price quote service - CNN has one. We're there. W
 
PS: Note the qualifying statement in the excerpted passage: "depending on coal quality and location". How much closer to the major Eastern Seaboard markets could our very-high quality WV bituminous be? A lot closer than the low-quality Dakota and Montana lignite that's on it's way to filling pipelines out west, it would seem obvious.

The excerpt:
 
"A "clean air" revolution may be underway to reduce atmospheric CO2 and turn it into useful methanol. Researchers Robyn Obert and Bakul C. Dave at Sourthern Illinois University encapsulated three enzymes into Silica Sol-Gel Matrices and used the enzymes' catalytic abilities to convert CO2 to methanol (Obert & Dave, 1999)."
 
We've previously alerted you to the coal utilization research underway at SIU. Like WVU, PSU and the Universities of Dayton and North Dakota, who all have coal-to-liquid studies underway, SIU's faculty might be able to shed more light on how coal, and the useful by-products of it's employment, can solve our energy "crisis".
 
Comment follows:
 
"Abstract;The hydrogenation of CO and CO2 was carried out over palladium catalysts supported on various metal oxides. A significant support effect of Ga2O3 on the methanol synthesis activity from CO2 hydrogenation was observed. On the other hand, a Pd/ZrO2 catalyst showed high methanol synthesis activity from CO hydrogenation. Furthermore, the hydrogenation reaction over Pd/Ga2O3 and Pd/ZrO2 catalysts was investigated by in situ infrared spectroscopy in order to understand the active sites and the reaction mechanism. On the Pd/Ga2O3 catalyst, surface formate and methoxy species were observed during CO and CO2 hydrogenation. In contrast, the reaction pathway was clearly different between CO and CO2 hydrogenation over the Pd/ZrO2 catalyst. That is, surface formaldehyde and methoxy species were observed as intermediates during CO hydrogenation, while surface formate and methoxy species were detected during CO2 hydrogenation. It was thus found that the reaction mechanisms of methanol synthesis from CO and CO2 hydrogenation were strongly dependent on the types of supports over the Pd catalysts. (author abst.)"
 

We've informed you of Japan's research into CTL technologies, and of their war-time use of it to make liquid fuel at Ube in the early 1940's.
 
One of the processes for converting coal to liquid is referred to, somewhat generically, as hydrogenation. In this study, we see that a couple of coal combustion, or coal-to-liquid conversion, by-products can also be captured and hydrogenated, to make more liquid fuel.
 
 
First, an excerpt:
 
"This innovative process captures a portion of the carbon dioxide from the stack gas of the Coleson Cove Power Generating Station, and then produces high purity methanol product.  Carbon dioxide emission is abated and a valuable fuel is produced in the process."
 
We've compiled a body of similar information, and will be transmitting it. This one, though, is significant in that it reports on an actual reduction to practice of CO2 capture from coal/carbon utilization processes, and it's subsequent transformation into more liquid fuel.
 
The sum is: We can utilize our coal to supply our energy needs, and then use the byproducts of the utilization processes to make more liquid fuel. The use of coal doesn't create pollutants, it generates valuable raw materials as by-products.
 
 
The expected excerpt:
 
"Some fancy footwork with enzymes and a special kind of glass could offer a way to convert carbon dioxide emissions from power plants into methanol, says SIUC materials chemist Bakul Dave. He and a former student of his have demonstrated the feasibility of the idea on a laboratory scale."
 
This is laboratory scale, and we've already informed you of one commercial reduction to practice.
 
But, SIUC appears to be very active in coal utilization research, and we wanted to highlight more of their efforts and suggest, again, that solutions - profitable solutions - to the "problem" of coal-derived CO2 are both here, and on the way.


West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw