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Friday, 9 January 2009

Thinking Outside The Box - Fuel from Coal-Eating Microbes - System 4_Bis


Burning coal for heat and energy is too old to dwell on. It was the logical step during much of the last century to carry this to today's high temperature materials assisted power generation. To continue pollution represented by the most abundant green house gas -CO2 must be mastered hence the necessary additional steps of CO2 capture and sequestration. Various processes exist, unfortunately only at fairly large pilot size but well under predicted sustainable climate predictions-requirements.

OUTSIDE THE BOX- System 4 Bis:
Relatively new biochemical process results suggest a new low-temperature_lower energy loss process route whereby methane gas fuel is generated from coal by coal eating microbes.

The incentives to develop this new route are:

- Low Temperatures, less energy intensive.
- Half as much carbon dioxide is emitted as does burning coal.
- reduce or help eliminate the anticipated need to import natural gas in the future. (Russia - Ukraine etc)
- Substantial interest and historical evidence for in coal bed methanisation:
1. Luca Technologies, a start-up based in Golden, CO, has raised $76 million to scale up a process that uses coal-digesting microorganisms to convert coal into methane.
2. Andrew Scott, former professor of economic geology, Univ of Texas,Austin is the founder Altuda Energy Corporation, based in San Antonio, TX A. Scott

Having said this, the framework may still be argued to hold if accent is given to Power Industry rather than Coal Fired Power. Clearly, however these concepts are radially different. The microbiological route appears to hold much promises and at the very least hopefully will stimulate the over mature Coal Fired Power players to accelerated their work to achieve all the objective the silent majority aspires to - much cleaner energy and eventually renewable energy. In the meantime the cross disciplinary- Metallurgical and Materials Industries will evidently still play an important role in anticipating evolving requirements.

Full Paper with many hypertext links

Fuel from Coal-Eating Microbes

Acknowledgements to Ray Kurzweil editor of one of my early Internet newsletter subscriptions whose AI The Brain Technology presentation fascinated me.

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High Purity Cr sources for Superalloys

Energy for th Future:Phil.Trans.A-Vol. 365, N° 1853 / April 15, 2007, curtesy The Royal Soc. London

Engineered foams and porous materials: Phil Trans A. Vol 364, N° 1838 / 06 curtesy_The R Soc. Lond