More detailed info, Mike, on the Japanese technology for reducing unwanted by-products during the conversion of low-quality coal into liquid feed for fuel and chemical manufacture.
As with the Great Plains lignite they intend transmuting into liquid/gaseous fuel out the Montana/Dakota way, the far-Eastern lignite (most probably from/in Malaysia) the Japanese are working with probably compares favorably with our WV mine waste.
Employing even our run-of-mine Hillbilly bituminous to make liquid chemicals/fuel using the same process should be far more efficient and productive.
Why aren't we doing it?

Consortium Formed to Buy Diesel Fuel Made from Waste Coal at Schuylkill Plant

The obligatory excerpts:

"Waste coal contributes to the problem of acid mine drainage, which is the leading water pollution problem in the commonwealth, and represents a public health hazard. Fires that ignite waste coal contribute to poorer air quality. Rural communities and small coal mining towns are plagued by scarred lands.

Aside from being cheaper, the plant’s diesel will be cleaner.(!!! - told ya so! - JtM) The fuel will burn with no sulfur emissions --- a contributor to acid rain and global climate change --- and burn with a high level of energy efficiency, making it more economical for drivers. The plant will use state-of-the-art control technology in its manufacturing process to control air emissions.

In addition, the waste heat from making the liquid fuels will be used to generate 41 megawatts of low-cost electric power that will be fed into the grid, a concept known as polygeneration. The waste heat is enough to power more than 40,000 homes."

Using waste heat from the CTL plant to generate electricity - recycling and economizing. How novel.


"Development work on this plant began in 1998 with a trade mission to South Africa."

Hmmm. Have you called SASOL, yet, dag nab it?!?

Get the truth of this "out there", Mike. Your fellow Mountaineers have a genuine right to know.



An excerpt follows.
We alerted you earlier to the potential for underground coal gasification, and the use of it's gaseous products for the manufacture of chemicals and liquid fuels. We also reminded you of early, 60's-70's, experimentation with it in WV's northern panhandle.
It makes much more sense, for a number of economic and environmental reasons, to, where coal is actually "mine-able", dig it out of the ground and process it into chemicals and liquid fuels at central manufacturing facilities.
The process of in-situ gasification is more complicated, and more expensive (for a number of reasons). However, where coal exists, but can't be mined - because of depth, seam thickness, geologic conditions, etc., - in-situ gasification might be a viable alternative.
It could help us achieve Thoreau's utopian, Walden Pond, objective of living well and comfortably through the full, efficient and economic, non-wasteful, use of all the resources the Good Lord saw fit to bless us with.
WV is blessed with many thin and deep coal seam resources.

PS: We believe we have noted for you BP's participation in several foreign coal-to-oil undertakings. Would you like us to attempt tracking down some appropriate contact info, so that you can follow up for more details?

June 28, 2007 - BP and Ergo Exergy sign Technical Alliance agreement on Underground Coal Gasification (press release)

BP International and Ergo Exergy Technologies, Inc. today announced that they have signed a technical alliance agreement to work cooperatively on underground coal gasification (UCG) technology – the in-situ conversion of coal deposits into fuels and other products.

UCG offers the potential to produce fuels and hydrocarbon feedstock from coal deposits which may otherwise be unrecoverable. By introducing a carefully controlled supply of air or oxygen through wells into a coal seam, the coal can be reacted in situ to produce mixtures of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and other gases. These can be recovered to the surface through wells and used as fuel for power generation or as feedstock for the production of chemicals and other hydrocarbon products.


We've alerted you to this technology previously. And, we think even the same quote, from another news agency, was employed.
Our opinion is, though, that it bears repeating until somebody listens.
An excerpt: 
"The device uses a two-stage thermochemical reaction to break down carbon dioxide to produce carbon monoxide, says Nathan Siegel, a senior member of technical staff at Sandia's Solar Technologies Department and one of the researchers developing the technology. "Carbon dioxide is a combustion product, so what we're doing is reversing combustion," he says. The carbon monoxide can then readily be employed to produce a range of different fuels, including hydrogen, methanol, and gasoline, using conventional technologies."
"At the moment, we are looking at getting carbon dioxide from industrial sources," says Siegel. The real potential, however, is to capture carbon-dioxide emissions and reuse them as fuel. "We're also looking at ways to pull carbon dioxide out of the air," he says. This would allow the reactor to be mounted anywhere, sucking up the atmospheric greenhouse gas and turning it into fuel."
Coal can do that. We can do this.
Vladimir I. Sharypova, Boris N. Kuznetsova, Natalie G. Beregovtsovaa, Sergei V. Baryshnikova and Vladimir N. Sidel'nikov*

a Institute of Chemistry of Natural Organic Materials, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Akademgorodok, Krasnoyarsk 660036, Russia


Steam cracking in the presence of haematite catalyst was used for the upgrading of coal hydrogenation liquids with b.p. < 350°C. The degree of conversion to light hydrocarbon fractions was influenced by the process temperature and reached 50 wt% at 470°C. The study of transformation of individual compounds (tetralin, 1-naphthol, 1,2-dimethylnaphthalene) under the conditions of the upgrading process indicated that light distillate fractions are produced from heavy coal liquids mainly through dealkylation and hydrogenation of aromatic rings, with subsequent cracking of hydrogenated compounds."

Please refer to the authors' list, especially their institutional affiliations.

And, note this: they are not talking about how to get liquids from coal. For them, it's a given - it's done and is being done.

They are studying how to further process coal liquids into simpler, more useful substances.

It's the Rooskies, Mike!!! Dag nab it! - Italians, Chinese, Indians (both the Native American and Sub-continental varieties), South Africans and, now, the Rooskies! And, they're doing it in Siberia! And we Mountaineers can't get git 'er done? In the heart of the USA?

West Virginians have a right to know.


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