[ExI] Cheap fuel from coal and solar

Kelly Anderson postmowoods at gmail.com
Thu Oct 26 20:47:31 UTC 2023

On Fri, Oct 20, 2023 at 1:02 PM spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Cheap fuel from coal and solar
> On Thu, Oct 19, 2023 at 9:42 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf
> > Of BillK via extropy-chat ...
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> >
> > >... China is the most likely to try to buy a hunk of Africa and enforce a border with military force.
> >...The future is impossible to predict, but I don't think you can defend PV...
> Ja, Keith the South Africans used the energy in coal to run the process of conversion to liquid fuel.  As I understand it, that is highly inefficient in that it produced a loooootta lotta CO2 and requires a relatively higher grade of coal to make it go right.

My brother works for Sasol, the company that does this, and his claim
was that the coal gasification plant was the single largest source of
human CO2 on the planet. Not sure about all the combined gas fires in
Siberia, but that's not a single point I suppose. The bigger lesson of
this plant, however, is that it was built in response to the
anti-apartheid sanctions that were imposed on South Africa to get rid
of their racism. This is a great lesson in unintended consequences of
meddling in other people's affairs.

As for the rest of the conversation, I haven't had time to go through
it in detail, but I did think about the Sahara thing a bit last year
after watching a Youtube video on why you can't run electric wires
from the Sahara to Europe economically, or fast enough to be useful.
And I thought, if you could convert the sunshine into some kind of
liquid fuel, we have great pipeline capabilities, and it appeared to
me that piping some kind of constructed hydrocarbon through a pipe is
way more efficient than trying to push electricity through a wire.
Does that gut feeling match with reality?


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