[ExI] Cheap fuel from coal and solar

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Thu Oct 19 20:11:10 UTC 2023

On Thu, Oct 19, 2023 at 10:25 AM <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:
> Keith, as I recall from having done the end-to-end calcs on this with Robert Bradbury about 20 yrs ago, this will pencil out much better if low-grade bituminous coal is the feedstock rather than air extraction or the high priced limited supply of anthracite coal.

I think that a submerged arc will not make any difference in the type of coal.

Starting with CO2 out of the air takes too much expensive hydrogen.

> If external energy is in plentiful supply, the lowest grade highest sulfur coal still pencils out, and even peat as a feeder, iiiiiifffff... the peat is right there, to reduce the transport cost.  Peat is cheap but it still hasta be close by.
> There is bituminous coal available in or near the Sahara, but I don't know about peat.

Peat takes wet an the Sahara is not that.

> My predictions stands: we will continue to need liquid fuels, eventually the Fischer-Tropsch process will be used, the energy will come from solar, good chance the facility will be close to the Atlantic coast in Africa (in order to have access to sufficient quantities of cooling water (and to transport coal in and to haul liquid hydrocarbons out.))

Maybe.  There is no oil infrastructure on the west coast of Africa and
a lot of it is in the Mideast.
> My prediction comes with a caveat: for a big segment of our population takes constant power for granted, without ever worrying where it will come from.  They will view any notion of converting coal to liquid fuel as heresy.

That's a different, though related problem.

> However... I do hope everyone will ponder this next comment: we moderns are completely dependent on reliable power.  If we have major power failures or even major communications system failures, society will collapse and people will die bigtime.

I think if you look back into history, the biggest diebacks have been
due to volcanoes.  Indirectly due to crop failures.  The big heat wave
of this last summer may be due to the Hunga eruption.


> spike

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