[ExI] Fwd: Cheap fuel from coal and solar

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Oct 18 17:54:59 UTC 2023

>...We are going to need fuel for a considerable time...

Sure will.  Cars can go on batteries, but much of modern life is poorly suited, such as passenger flight and agriculture.

>...From the dawn of the industrial revolution,

H2O + C → H2 + CO (ΔH = +131 kJ/mol)

>...The reaction is endothermic, so the fuel must be continually re-heated to maintain the reaction. (Wikipedia)

Keith if you consider only the coal and production of solar cell cost, the conversion of coal to oil pencils out.  A coupla years ago, I ran the numbers and they look similar to yours, however... it needs a loooootta lotta real estate to get those energy numbers.

I commented at the time in the ExI forum that if an industrial power would buy a huge hunk of sparsely populated West Africa, a few thousand square km, buy it from three different potentates who claim it (if anyone is paying actual money) then create an actual enforceable border around it, West Africa could support such an operation.

Every time I suggested the project, it was pointed out to me that industrial powers may not "buy" a hunk of sparsely populated Africa, for this would be considered colonialism, which offends modern sensibilities, at least until the price of oil goes above a hundred clams a barrel.  Then our delicate sensibilities get far less delicate.

Stand by sir, I confidently predict that at some point, there will be an enormous PV manufacturing plant, and a coal to oil conversion facility.

Fun exercise: go on Google Earth, zoom in, check it out.  Imagine China or Germany or France or the commies buying a piece of that and setting up a defensible border around it, then getting to work out there.


-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Keith Henson via extropy-chat
Sent: Wednesday, 18 October, 2023 10:41 AM
To: Inventor's Lunch <inventors-lunch at googlegroups.com>; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>; extropolis at googlegroups.com
Cc: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
Subject: [ExI] Fwd: Cheap fuel from coal and solar

--------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Oct 16, 2023 at 2:17 PM
Subject: Cheap fuel from coal and sola

Carbon is 12 gm/mol. 83 mol/kg and a kg would soak up 10900 kJ. A metric ton of carbon evaporated in steam would need 10900000 kJ or
3.03 MW hours.

This would produce 1/6th of a ton of hydrogen with a combustion energy content of 50 MWh/ton, about 8.3 MWh. CO combustion is 10.1 MJ/kg. We have 2800 kg or about 7.85 MWh. So we make about 16 MWh of gas from a ton of coal and 3 MWh of renewable electric power. Most of the energy in the gas is from the coal.

A few years ago a 900 MW solar PV project in the Mideast signed a power purchase for 1.35 cents per kWh so I think $20/MWh works for a rough economic analysis.

Following a ton of coal, the syngas from a ton would cost ~$20 for the coal (plus shipping) and $60 or less for the intermittent power.  Call it ~$80/ton.

Half a ton of carbon would be pulled out in the water gas shift reaction to get the hydrogen ratio up to where you need it for F/T input.  500 kg of carbon and 1/6 of that in hydrogen should show up in the product.  The F/T energy loss is about 25%, not sure about the material loss or where it might go.  .583 ton x 7.3 bbl/ton is 4.26 bbl. or $18.80 /bbl.

That's down near or below the production cost for oil.  Of course, the F/T capital cost has to be added to this plus the completely unknown cost of the arc gasifiers.  The Orxy plant cost is ~$8/bbl (ten-year
write-off) but that was in 2007 dollars.  What comes out of an Oryx plant is a refined product rather than crude oil making it more valuable than crude

Most big energy projects when you analyze them are just silly.  This is not something you can reject out of hand.

This does not help with the build-up of carbon in the atmosphere, but we will have to do air capture anyway.

Please check the math.  Age is making this harder and harder.


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