Every so often one of the national magazines devotes a whole issue to a subject that fascinates us at Zycon. If you have read our last few blogs, you know that we are fascinated by energy. Scientific American, in its September 2006 issue, has come out with an issue devoted exclusively to that subject. They have summarized the current state of affairs of energy technology and have included some predictions on where that technology is headed. Though this issue has stories about solar, wind, hydrogen and other exotic power systems, the article that was of most interest to this reader was the article about cleaning up coal.
Coal is an abundant, necessary fuel. It will be in use to generate power for the foreseeable future. It is inexpensive and is in plentiful supply all over the world. It will be used to generate electricity either intelligently and in an environmentally safe way, or stupidly and in a way that destroys the environment. The magazine article "What To Do About Coal," analyzes the most recent plans for cleaning coal before it is burned. The method known as Syngas, removes carbon dioxide (CO2), the major cause of Global Warming.
The removal of CO2 creates a whole new problem. What to do with the excess CO2? The article addresses this issue too. What is surprising about the article is that no new technology is required. The technology exists and needs only to be appropriately applied. As in many of the choices before the world today, it is not a need for technology that holds us back, but the will to proceed, that stops us in our tracks.
For more information, you may check out the September issue of Scientific American or go to: "How to Clean Coal" (www.nrdc.org/onearth/05fal/coal1.asp), or "Report on Carbon Capture and Storage" (arch.rivm.nl/env/int/ipcc/pages_media/SRCCS-final/IPCCSpecialReportonCarbondioxideCaptureandStorage.htm).