In Virginia,  researchers at the University of Virginia have commenced three projects to improve yields from algae-to-fuel production. The first project will test for optimal levels of solid waste and carbon dioxide fed to the algae, with a target of improving yields by 40 percent. A second project will compare the economic and environmental benefits of algae biodiesel to soy. A third project will optimize oil extraction by testing different algae processing techniques, including grinding up of solid waste before feeding it to algae. The projects are funded by a U.Va. Collaborative Sustainable Energy Seed Grant.
 

 
They are studying how to use the by-products of industrial processes, CO2 especially - as would be generated from CoalTL - to make algal-based liquid fuel. Again, if the appropriate CTL process is selected, biomass can be added to the feed. You could have a circuit wherein by-products are processed to generate co-raw materials.
 

 

 
An excerpt:
 
"Linc Energy has formed a Joint Venture (JV) with BioCleanCoal to develop a bioreactor which will convert CO2 into oxygen and solid biomass through a photosynthesis process. The aim is to permanently and safely remove CO2 from Linc Energy’s coal-to-liquids processes thereby preventing it from entering the atmosphere."
 
We earlier informed you of Australia's coal-to-liquids efforts/enterprises, both contemporary and, like Germany, during WWII. We identified Linc Energy as a key player there.
 
We have expounded at some small extent on the potential for using bio reactors, housing algal cultures, to clean up the emissions from both coal-to-liquid conversion and coal-fired power generation plants, and to provide additional, biomass, feedstock for inclusion in coal feeds going into CTL plants operating with appropriate technology.
 
If you follow the enclosed link, this lead, further, you will find that the 'Roos are, as someone usually is, way ahead of us - and much further ahead of our own, US/WV, energy researchers and companies.
 

 
Herein is discussed the use of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) coal-to-liquid conversion technology, at a pilot plant in Vermont, for Pete's sake, to make liquid fuels - as we've suggested could be done - from a variety of botanical, renewable, feeds.
 
The plant was doing a bit more than FT research, but it is the FT, applied to botanical renewable's, that interests us.
 
Basically, they are, or were, the plant was "inexplicably" decommissioned in 2002, demonstrating how to make gasoline from sawdust.
 
Once we build our coal conversion plants, we can continue to use them, with a variety of feeds, to make liquid fuels, and save our coal for far more valuable liquid conversion products, such as methyl methacrylate (you really should call Eastman in Tennessee to learn a little more about what they're doing/intend to do with their Kingsport CoalTL facility).
 
A modest excerpt:
 
"• Direct use as a fuel gas that can be interchanged with natural gas or distillate oil
• Co-fired with biomass or fossil fuels for heating or power applications,
• Use as a fuel for advanced power generation cycles including turbines or fuel cells, and
• Use as a feed gas for synthesis applications such as production of Fisher Tropsch liquids, alcohols, and hydrogen."
 
And, oh, yeah: Vermont. Why not WV?

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

An excerpt from this St. Louis Post-Dispatch story:
 
"Secure Energy Inc., a St. Louis-based company developing a $550 million plant in Decatur, Ill., to convert coal to natural gas, has entered a long-term sales agreement with a unit of oil giant BP PLC."
 
Should you wish to contact Mr. Tomich, journalist-to-journalist, to learn a little more about it:
 
" jtomich@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8320 ".
 
Note the claim they will be producing "natural" gas from this facility. It will actually be syngas. Once you have syngas, a proper retort (you received the Karrick CTL patents list, didn't you?), and some nickel catalyst, you have, or can have, in essence, gasoline - a lot like the stuff WV's US Senator Jennings Randolph flew from Morgantown to DC with in the early 40's.
 


 
We'll give this some more thought. But it's premise - comparing nuclear explosions with volcanoes - is, in part, erroneous. We're enclosing the link, above, which might prove interesting.
 
Volcanic ejecta can stay in the atmosphere for decades. Depending on the nature of the eruption, particulates can be, literally, "injected" far higher into the upper atmosphere than smoke simply "rising up" from fires. The upper part of the initial "plume" from a nuclear blast might reach into the stratosphere, but the bulk of it would stay lower and be more susceptible to meteorological cleansing processes. And, the sheer mass of volcanic dust from an eruption would be far greater than that of any imaginable smoke generated from even multiple nuclear weapons blasts or the surface fires they might engender. The smoke from debris fires would definitely not go as high, or stay as long. And, there just wouldn't be as "much" of it.
 
In other words, when it comes to volcanic pollution, compared to any other source excepting an asteroid impact, there's more of it, it goes higher and it stays longer.
 
Oddly, I (Joe) have some direct research knowledge on that topic which - perhaps even more oddly - I am not allowed to discuss in much detail, nor to reveal the sources. However, I can tell you that some study has been given to what might happen if very large nuclear weapons were intended and designed to explode after being driven deep beneath the surface - much like a "bunker buster" bomb on steroids.
 
Underground test explosions are usually smaller than true weapon-sized blasts, and the subsurface chambers for them are both built to contain them, and are far deeper than the scenario I helped study/conceptualize. But, even test bombs create surface craters.
 
In any case, when truly large nuclear explosions were modeled to occur at moderate depths, the amount of atmospheric ejecta - and subsequently predicted climatic effects - were greater, much greater, than equivalent atomic blasts on the surface.
 
Those conjectured subsurface nuclear explosions mimicked - on a smaller scale, mind you - volcanic eruptions. If there were enough of them, and we did look at that, they would rival volcanic effects.
 
I can't go into much more detail without violating oaths and such. I know that might sound a little far-fetched, but I might be able to track down a web-based trace of what I was involved in. If so, I'll send it along in another email, and let your imagination fill in the details.
 
And, an excerpt from the linked article:
 
"Peter Gleckler of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and colleagues compared climate models that included volcanoes with those that did not. To their surprise they found that volcanoes seem to have a cooling effect on the oceans that lasts for up to a century after an eruption."
 
In other words, the climatic effects of a major volcanic eruption can be far greater and last far, far longer than any conceivable surface fires - even "mass" fires caused by nuclear weapons.
 
That help?
 


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