Sunday, May 02, 2004

Switch to hydrogen presents challenges: Coal-mining states could reap benefits

That was the headline in the courier journal of Louisville!

A hydrogen economy "could fundamentally transform the U.S. energy system," said Robert Hirsch, senior energy program adviser at Scientific Applications International Corp., speaking at an industry conference on coal and hydrogen in Clearwater, Fla., recently.

... Hydrogen-from-coal techniques are being developed, including one under study by the University of Kentucky-led Consortium for Fossil Fuel Science. The consortium project uses a catalytic process to convert either coal-bed methane or gasified coal into hydrogen and microscopic carbon tubes.

A key goal of the hydrogen initiative is to reduce the release of greenhouse gases, which some scientists say cause global warming. That's a particular issue for coal, which is about three parts carbon for one part hydrogen. Other technologies envision separating carbon dioxide from gasified coal, and then keeping it locked away underground.

Remember that Hydrogen from Coal is a BAD IDEA, unless accompanied by carbon sequestration. At the current state of the art and rate of improvement, carbon capture and storage is 10-20 years away from being able to be deployed sucessfully on a large scale.


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