Coal Liquefaction?

With the escalating price of crude oil spiraling upward and the possibility of 3 dollar a gallon gas prices does anyone know at what point the liquefaction of Coal becomes competitive? I think processing the liquid
product would be similar to processing petroleum. The energy level would vary depending on the grade of coal used.
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Coal is the energy source of the 19th century, Oil for the 20'th century, we need to get a fusion reactor so we can move into the hydrogen century. That would also help keep our economy ahead of the other economies in the world.
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liquification has been kicked around for years. Fusion is probably the best way to go, if we could just get a handle on the necessary technology. Hydrogen seems like a good choice but if you look deeper, it's not quite as good as some people would have you believe (meanwhile, Carter also killed the breeder reactors).
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First we need to catch up with what the other counties of the world HAS been doing for YEARS. That is build the same type of low cost, safe, clean, nuclear power plants. Japan and France produce nearly all of their electricity with reactors, while we only produce 20%. The irony is the environuts are holding us back, we produce around 55% of our electricity with high polluting bituminous coal in plant that can not be upgraded because of long outdate thirty year old environmental laws. When the President propose allow then to upgrade the plants using modern technology to be more environmentally friendly and more effect the environuts go well,.....nuts.
mike hunt
Some ga wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote in

nuclear power plants. This is far easier to do that developing replacement fuels for cars.
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I have stock in Air Products, the current major supplier of hydrogen in the US. Current cost to build the vehicle power plant is near ten thousand dollars, cost to fill the tank near a 500 dollars, fill time twenty minutes and don't go out of town for more than half a tank. Current most economical source for the hydrogen, natural gas. Most likely and most cost effect source of the hydrogen for motor vehicles in the foreseeable future, gasoline. ;)
mike hunt.
tango wrote:

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On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 18:31:55 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

There was a few scientists who managed to make glass beads the size of grains of sand which could safely store and release liquid Hydrogen and be filled and emptied from a car in under 5 minutes. This web page gives a brief overview http://www.fuelcellsworks.com/Supppage1764.html
Hydrogen could be produced this way: http://www.pureenergysystems.com/news/2004/09/14/6900043_Solar_Hydrogen / Though I doubt you'd get the required volumes this way
But there's also this approach to generating electricity that has a byproduct of positively charged hydrogen ions: http://www.classscoop.sunherald.com.au/view_page.asp?intpageidr&strsection=&intsectionid=2
With an ample power supply (Fusion reactors) you could create at a source a plentiful supply of secure hydrogen using simple old technology for splitting hydrogen & oxygen.
Hence my notion of doing a manhattan project type idea for electricity production. The US was able to develop a functioning Atom Bomb in a short period of time with war rations. With modern super computers it shouldn't take too much time to get a plentiful supply of energy on tap. Plus then you'd leapfrog the rest of the world and regain the competitive advantage.
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Perhaps if the price of fuel in the US was raised to $8 a gallon we could afford to do just that ;)
mike hunt
Some ga wrote:

http://www.classscoop.sunherald.com.au/view_page.asp?intpageidr&strsection=&intsectionid=2
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On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 11:50:06 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

You're probably right. It's better to wait and let the Chinese, Japanese and Europeans develop it first. Besides they need to raise their standards of living more than the US does.
Save the Tax Dollars for Ethanol production, Peanut and Cotton subsidies.
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"Some ga" wrote: > On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 11:50:06 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com > wrote: > > >Perhaps if the price of fuel in the US was raised to $8 a > gallon > >we could afford to do just that ;) > > > > > >mike hunt > > You're probably right. It's better to wait and let the > Chinese, > Japanese and Europeans develop it first. Besides they need to > raise > their standards of living more than the US does. > > Save the Tax Dollars for Ethanol production, Peanut and Cotton > subsidies.
Crude oil has to be above $32/bbl before coal liquification starts to be economically viable in the production of motor fuels (gasoline and diesel fuel). It would take about 2 or 3 years to build a commercial scale plant (assuming you could get the necessary permits and that is a definetly questionable, the US has not built a new refinery in the last 35 years); then it would take another 6 or 8 years to pay off the investment and begin to make a profit. The required investment would be several billion $. True, the spot price of crude oil is now about $57/bbl, but in the past any time we have moved toward converting coal into crude oil, OPEC has dropped the price of crude to effectively pull the rug out from under that effort. So the price of crude oil not only has to be above $32/bbl but anyone considering crude oil from coal has to have a reasonable certainty that it will stay above $32/bbl for the next 10 years.
We may be at that point now. China is building such a facility now, slated to be on-line in 2007. If successful, 3 or 4 more are planned to follow. Their economics are viewed differently with government subsidies and lower cost of labor. Perhaps their breakeven point is closer to $25/bbl. With current supply and demand issues, OPEC may not have the leverage to flood the market with crude oil, causing prices to drop, and thus disrupting these efforts.
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I have news for you, an anthracite 'coal to oil' plant is being built as we speak. It is near Pottsville Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill County seat. The plant will covert smaller size coal waist, leftover from when only larger sizes were used, into low sulfur diesel fuel. The company has obtained all the required permits as well as tax credits from the state and federal government. Its product will be competitive at around $1.75 a gallon ;)
mike hunt
Larx wrote:

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"mikehunt2" wrote: > I have news for you, an anthracite 'coal to oil' plant is > being > built as we speak. It is near Pottsville Pennsylvania, the > Schuylkill County seat. The plant will covert smaller size > coal > waist, leftover from when only larger sizes were used, into > low > sulfur diesel fuel. The company has obtained all the required > permits as well as tax credits from the state and federal > government. Its product will be competitive at around $1.75 a > gallon ;) > > > mike hunt > > > > > Larx wrote: > > > > > > > Crude oil has to be above $32/bbl before coal liquification > starts to > > be economically viable in the production of motor fuels > (gasoline and > > diesel fuel). It would take about 2 or 3 years to build a > commercial > > scale plant (assuming you could get the necessary permits > and that is > > a definetly questionable, the US has not built a new > refinery in the > > last 35 years); then it would take another 6 or 8 years to > pay off the > > investment and begin to make a profit. The required > investment would > > be several billion $. True, the spot price of crude oil is > now about > > $57/bbl, but in the past any time we have moved toward > converting coal > > into crude oil, OPEC has dropped the price of crude to > effectively > > pull the rug out from under that effort. So the price of > crude oil not > > only has to be above $32/bbl but anyone considering crude > oil from > > coal has to have a reasonable certainty that it will stay > above > > $32/bbl for the next 10 years. > > > > We may be at that point now. China is building such a > facility now, > > slated to be on-line in 2007. If successful, 3 or 4 more are > planned > > to follow. Their economics are viewed differently with > government > > subsidies and lower cost of labor. Perhaps their breakeven > point is > > closer to $25/bbl. With current supply and demand issues, > OPEC may not > > have the leverage to flood the market with crude oil, > causing prices > > to drop, and thus disrupting these efforts. > > > > -- > > Posted using the http://www.autoforumz.com interface, at author's request > > Articles individually checked for conformance to usenet > standards > > Topic URL: http://www.autoforumz.com/GM-Coal-Liquefaction-ftopict108486.html > > Visit Topic URL to contact author (reg. req'd). Report abuse: http://www.autoforumz.com/eform.php?pQ8278
I am aware of the Coal Liquifaction facility being built in PA. These things are always in a state of flux, but as I understand the plans, currently it has an advertised cost of $312 million to produce 5,000 barrels per day of synthetic crude oil which will be sold to Chevron/Texaco who will add it to the crude oil being fed into one of their world scale refineries. While 5,000 bpd might sound like a lot, it is only 1 to 2% of a world scale petroleum refinery operation. Things of this sort are typically labeled as pilot plants but apparently for political reasons, this label has been avoided on the PA facility. There are numerous small scale or pilot plant efforts in the US working on alternative energy sources. Some others are looking at recovering oil from tar sands, crop waste, etc. These are not new concepts, Exxon built a coal liquefaction plant in Baytown, TX while I was there about 30 years ago. It was not cost competetive and required government subsidies until it was shutdown after a few years of operation. There have been several other efforts of this sort by various companies over the years.
This particular pilot scale plant in PA will receive $47 million per year in tax incentives to support 600 on-going jobs. Thats a little over $78,000 each, assuming each operator is paid an average of $40,000/yr, fringe benefits would bring this up to $50,000. So all the labor involved in this effort is paid for by state taxpayers, effectively the facility will have free labor plus another $17 million per year left over to cover other expenses. $100 million of the construction cost is said to be provided by the US DOE and they will kick in another $20 to $30 million over the next 3 to 4 years.
Doesnt sound like this operation is cost competetive in a free market and requires huge government subsidies. If, through government subsidies, we learn how to operate this technology in a cost competetive manner, then it will have been worth it. Otherwise, its just another boondoggle at taxpayer expense.
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Just like ethanol production, coal to oil is designed to keep the environuts happy not to be cost effective. The answer to the energy problem in the US, and everyone in government knows it, is to drill into more of the billions of barrels of known oil reserves in and around our own country until we can catch up with the rest of the world with clean, safe, efficient nuclear power. The mere thought of THAT of course drives the environut.......well nuts. That, as you probably know, is why we are not doing what we should be doing to help lessen the worlds crowing dependence on oil and our own dependence on foreign oil. ;)
mike hunt
Larx wrote:

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wrote:

not in the near future but a government program similar to the US Space program of going to the moon, to develop true alternative fuel technology, power plants and a distribution system. Unfortunately all we will ever get is large handouts to the Oil and Auto industries who share the blame for the wasteful utilization of resources, which many in these automotive groups, brag about as a guranteed right and are so dense as to think they are right. Obviously you don't understand that liquified coal isn't the same thing your grandpappy burned in his potbellied stove. Did you buy stock in the Cold Fusion Technology a few years back??
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There is a "coal to oil" plant being built as we speak in Schuylkill County, near Pottsville in Pennsylvania, that will convert clean anthracite coal waist into low sulfur diesel fuel and leave carbon for the plastics industry, that can compete at less than $2.00 a gallon ;)
mike hunt
tango wrote:

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