Space Industry and Business News  





. Debate Heats Up In US Over Coal Fuel For Cars

Corey Henry, spokesman for the Coal-to-Liquids Coalition, said that the overall process of making motor fuel from coal could result in lower greenhouse gas emissions if combined with technology to capture and store carbon gases.
by Rob Lever
Washington (AFP) June 17, 2007
A fiery debate has been rekindled in Washington as US lawmakers mull proposed incentives to produce diesel fuel from coal. Backers of coal-based liquid fuels say they can help reduce US dependence on imported oil. Critics contend the use of coal in any form would lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful environmental effects.

Synthetic motor fuel from coal has been around for decades, but interest has been growing as a result of the surge in petroleum prices. Some point to the experience in South Africa, which produces much of its transportation fuel from coal.

In the US Senate, a proposal to provide up to 10 billion dollars in loans for coal-to-liquid projects is gathering steam and may be attached to a wide-ranging energy bill, which would among other things mandate more ethanol production and increased fuel economy for automobiles.

Other proposals being studied in Congress could provide fresh tax credits and other incentives for coal-to-liquid fuels that can be used in cars, trucks and even airplanes.

The technology for using coal for liquid or "synthetic" fuel has been known since the 1920s, and Germany used it extensively during World War II. The process being studied now would convert coal into a gas to remove impurities such as mercury and sulfur and, in a second stage, into liquid fuels and other chemical products.

Corey Henry, spokesman for the Coal-to-Liquids Coalition, said that the overall process of making motor fuel from coal could result in lower greenhouse gas emissions if combined with technology to capture and store carbon gases.

"The question is whether people want clean fuel from our own coal or dirty imported oil," said Henry, whose coalition includes big energy companies, labor unions and the South African firm Sasol.

He said the carbon dioxide from the process could in some cases be pumped into oil fields for hard-to-recover reserves.

Henry said South Africa produces more than 30 percent of its transportation fuel from coal, proving that it can be practical, and that other countries including China are interested in efforts to replace oil-based motor fuels with coal.

But environmental activists worry about any move to increase coal use, saying the fuel leads to a variety of negative impacts from mining, processing and burning.

Ted Glick, coordinator of the US Climate Emergency Council, said that without carbon sequestration, liquid fuel from coal would lead to twice the level of emissions as from gasoline.

"Even with carbon sequestration coal is still worse than gasoline, and it would cost a tremendous amount of money," Glick said.

Glick said the 10 billion dollars proposed for coal-to-liquid technology would be better spent on alternatives such as wind power, solar energy and other conservation efforts. For the auto sector, Glick said more effort should be concentrated in technology such as plug-in electric hybrid cars "not this old and dirty and destructive coal ... going from coal to liquids is going backwards."

Bill Wicker, spokesman for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said senators are trying to reach consensus on a loan program that could help coal conversion without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Committee staff is actively trying to make a path forward to address both the issues of oil security and climate change," Wicker said.

He said committee chairman Senator Jeff Bingaman is "unwilling to look at one without the other."

Wicker said there is momentum in Congress to encourage clean-coal use and to take advantage of the abundant energy source in the United States that could replace imported oil.

The Senate leadership "recognizes that coal is and will be an important part of the nation's energy mix," Wicker said.

In the House of Representatives, Virginia lawmaker Rick Boucher offered a proposal to establish price guarantees for liquid fuels from coal to encourage production.

"By using one of our nation's most abundant natural resources, coal, to produce transportation fuels, we can address fuel cost concerns, make our nation less reliant on imports from politically unstable regions of the world and simultaneously benefit our domestic coal industry," Boucher said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Coal-to-Liquids Coalition
Car Technology at SpaceMart.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Toyota To Make Diesel Engines With Isuzu
Tokyo (AFP) Jun 15, 2007
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. will outsource production of low-pollution diesel engines to Isuzu Motors Ltd., a local business newspaper said Friday. The move comes as the Japanese auto giant aims at solidifying its position as the leader in eco-friendly vehicles by tapping the technology of a capital tie-up partner, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Rockwell Collins And ARINC Sign Agreement For Broadband Offering
  • Academic Group Releases Plan To Share Power Over Internet Root Zone Keys
  • Satellite Enables Mobile Wireless Broadband Services To Conventional Devices
  • Singapore Airlines Selects Rockwell Collins Satellite Communications

  • SES Signs For Five ILS Protons Through 2013
  • ILS Wins Arabsat-5A Contract To Launch On Proton Breeze M
  • Dawn Spacecraft Never Damaged Set To Launch July 7
  • Proton-M Rocket With US Satellite To Lift Off July 7

  • easyJet Plans Greener Aircraft By 2015
  • Airbus Wants To Cut CO2 Emissions By Half By 2020
  • Airlines To Order Nearly 30,000 New Planes In Next 20 Years
  • Airlines Pledge Emissions Cuts But Warn EU Curbs Could Jeopardise Sector

  • Boeing-Led Team Responding To TSAT Space Segment Request For Proposals
  • KVH Receives Order For Fiber Optic Gyro-based TACNAV II Vehicle Navigation System
  • Northrop Grumman To Begin Developing New Satellite Communications System For B-2 Bomber
  • Boeing Demonstrates Integrated Voice, Data And Video Services With TSAT Tests

  • Australia Weighs In To Make The Perfect kilogram
  • German Radar Satellite TerraSAR-X Launched
  • Plastic That Grows On Trees
  • The Space Junk Threat Complexity Part 2

  • Hall Appoints Feeney To Top GOP Position On Space And Aeronautics Subcommittee
  • Dodgen Joins Northrop Grumman As Vice President Of Strategy For Missile Systems Business
  • Townsend To Lead Ball Aerospace Exploration Systems In Huntsville
  • NASA Nobel Prize Recipient To Lead Chief Scientist Office

  • NASA Satellites Watch as China Constructs Giant Dam
  • Kalam Calls For Development Of Satellite Systems For Entire Humanity
  • Boeing Launches Italian Earth Observation Satellite
  • Envisat Captures First Image Of Sargassum From Space

  • AeroAstro Extends Globalstar Simplex Data Service Eastern Australia And New Zealand
  • Albertis Seeks Share In Galileo Partner Hispasat As Surrey Welcomes EU Support
  • EU Agrees Galileo Needs Public Bailout
  • EU To Back Galileo Bailout And But Faces Tough Talks On New Funds

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement