Thursday, 20 December 2007

David Cameron - Coal is the new Green Fuel CCS

David Cameron is promoting CCS (carbon capture and storage) during his trip to China this week:
"Right now, at least a dozen CCS pilots are ready to launch around the world and the UK is supporting the EU-China Near Zero Emission coal project. "But even though in the UK we have the depleted oil and gas fields that are ideal for testing this technology, not a single pilot is yet taking place in Britain. "We cannot afford this kind of delay."
Current uncertainty in the global supply of oil and gas has brought coal back as a viable source of energy. Coal is widely available, according to the World coal Institute there are enough reserves to last 164 years (Oil 41 years, Gas 67 years) at current production rates.

The International Energy Agency has a Clean Coal Centre, it’s managing director, John Topper, said:
"If you are in China or India where you have huge resources of coal and you have elements of the population that do not have access to electricity then your driver is to build and operate power stations as quickly and as effectively as possible."
It is hoped that the development of CCT (clean coal technology) will allow coal to be used as a environmentally friendly fuel.

CCT comes in many forms, the US FutureGen programme, is a $1bn project attempting prove the viability of near-zero emission coal-fuelled power. The project will involve the integration of an IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) electricity plant with hydrogen production, carbon dioxide capture and geological storage.

The major concern is not if the technology will work but how long it will take to implement. Michael Cupit, director of energy at Ernst & Young said:
"It all depends upon the uptake among the big companies. Once somebody takes the bull by the horns, you can usually squeeze the technology and make it commercial fairly quickly."
David is correct, we have all the infrastructure available to carry out trials on this technology. Britain should be leading the way, not following.


Theo said...

Cameron is a twit. Oh yes I am back said...

I agree Theo but I would say the cause of alternative fuel sources is a good one.

Our environmental policy must be different from a traditional liberal/green position in that instead of looking to punish us through taxation, we look for alternatives.

Also, escaping the nightmare hostage situation we endure through mid east oil is going to benefit all of us.

Daily Referendum said...

Welcome back Theo.

Daily Referendum said...


I agree, if we must pander to the climate change nutters, then we should be looking for solutions that avoid simply taxing us even more.

632C5R09OW8 said...


Just reading the post its worth
knowing oil can be from
coal a lot cheaper than is
generally know. The other methods
such as Gasaification/hydration
are too expenisive at moment,
however oil can be extracked
just as commercialy using the
Low-Temperature Carbonization
of Coal produces not just oil but
coke and syngas.

Oil fron coal using Low-
temperature Carbonization of

Check these energy blogs below because they know what Their are talking about

Why oil is so expensive:

Unconventional oil reserves:

Man in a Shed said...

Gasoline from Coal is an old process. I used to walk past the plant at ICI Billingham that used to do just that in WW1. The Germans did the same in WW2 and Sasol were good at the process due to sanctions during the apartheid era.

I have a problem with the CO2 capture in Oil fields. In essense they are not suitable for long term CO2 sorage. I have seen British Geological Survey reports that state this. CO2 is however potentially very useful for tertiary oil recovery ( helping to move the remaining oil out of a reservoir.\) When you consider that only about 34% of the oil in place used to be recovered from a reservoir you see the advantages ( its higher now thanks to techniques such as horizontal drilling ).

Playing along with half backed government schemes like CO2 capture is what helped get BP into such trouble. They have now pulled out of the scheme to generate hydrogen in northern Scotland and are putting their money were everyone else put theirs - coal sands in Canada.

Unfortunately the politics and the technology don't match up to well in this area.

(There are existing CO2 capture schemes offshore Norway and in the USA. The term prototype is used for further schemes not because of the unknowns but because the schemes are uneconomic and cannot be justified in any other manner ).

Carlos said...

Good Job!: )

Daily Referendum said...

Cheers Carlos!