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Considering Coal AND The Carbon Neutral Debate

Post in 'The Green Room' started by tjnamtiw, May 29, 2011.

  1. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    "carbon neutral" is a buzz slogan...its still a time equation. CUt a tree, plant a tree, you achieve neutrality in ~50 yrs. We will never be able to get neutrality with anything we have to extract from the ground. Our planet, in its current state, cannot support the level of vegetation it did a few million years ago (even if it could, we are constantly repurposing useful land). No one can argue about the power of coal..its pretty available, and energy dense, but I, personally, have a moral objection to it. Its somewhat dangerous to mine, its somewhat dirty to handle,and its somewhat impactive to the local environment to mine. On the plus side...how many other "rocks" burn so damn hot eh? Pretty impressive stuff. If it fits your needs, then use it, its already being taken out of the ground, no stopping that...wonder what the long term price stability is (just thinking out loud here). Power and Industry really like coal.

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  2. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    So is driving a car and using electricity. At least burning coal lessens the dependence on oil and supports local industry.
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Burning pellets doesn't lessen dependence on oil and support local industry?
  4. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

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    lets go burns some coal baby! china burning it
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  6. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    China will soon be burning OUR COAL that we refuse to burn for 'environmental reasons'. Do you actually think China gives a crap about the environment? AND those are our stockpile of natural resources!

    Where is the sense in that? Tree huggers just don't get it when the coal gets burned anyway AND we lose our future sources of energy. Kind of like forbidding us to drill in the Gulf but letting China drill there and give to $2billion to Brazil to drill for oil for china.
  7. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i think "carbon neutral" as jake says is not achieved with any solid fuel combustion. so in essence he is correct.

    however, comparing coal to pellet "environmentally" is no comparison. emmission rates from a modern certified pellet stove are so very low when compared to coal, also taking into consideration , pellet fuel is "non sequestered" carbon meaning its part of this period of the planets "life" not from the distant past as with coal (and oil). these trees, if allowed to rot on the ground will in the end release roughly the same amount of carbon as if burned. difference is the time scale , a tree may take years to decompose completely. pellets in a stove seemingly go faster (especially when they are expensive, right?) but even still its the same carbon either way.

    im with my "liberal tree hugging" buddy Dune on this one. until technology comes around that can negate the effects of non sequestered carbon, coal will continue to be a far less "green" fuel
  8. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Hug those trees but your 3 tons of coal burning per year means diddly squat to China burning 3,000,000,000 TONS per year NOW. Your not saving the earth one darn bit, sorry to say, but to each his own. If you live in the Eastern part of Pa., you can today get a ton of good coal from the breaker in Tamaqua for $167. Plug that into any of the energy calculators to see the difference. It's a no brainer if you are sensible. :)
  9. Steve Z

    Steve Z New Member

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    There is no such thing as carbon neutral if you are burning anything. It's almost an oxymoron! I burn anthracite coal and I'd challenge any pellet stove to show that it's emmisions are less. Anthracite makes no smoke, no creosote, and only emits CO. Yes there are ashes of maybe 8-10% in good coal but when I burned wood I had just as many. I used to clean the chimney every season with wood and rake the creosote from around the oven in the cook stove every month. Now, I never have too.
    At the end of the season I unplug the coal stoves and use my shop vac to suck up any fly ash in the pipes. That's it.
    My stoves are both from the early 20th century. The cookstove from 1909 and the cylinder backburner from 1920. The cylinder stove is very efficient and burns the coal to a powdery ash. This was the height of coal burning technology and I've yet to see a modern box stove compare.
    That said, anyone who is using electricity in the USA, has an electric water heater, a fridge, etc. is using coal whether you know it or not. Half the electricity in the country is made with coal. On average you're using about 2 tons worth a year unless you are totally off the grid and generate your own. Wouldn't that be nice!
  10. Centurion

    Centurion Member

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  11. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Sometimes folks will do stuff to eleviate their own guilt. They will then project their guilt on other folks to dilute it. Kinda like Christianity.
  12. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    HARR!! Ya, I think this thread was started so he could make "hug those trees" type statements.
  13. Steve Z

    Steve Z New Member

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    And what exactly is your point? I dare say the anthracite coal I burn contributes less particulates and emmisions (only CO) than your pellets.
  14. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    A lot of coal is used here for electricity too.

    Plans are in place for carbon capture so the coal useage will be greener than before:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/enviro...for-carboncapture-power-stations-1673141.html

    However, the only true carbon neutral way forward is to be cold in Winter (whilst China burns more and more fossil fuels)................

    It's not easy being smug when you are freezing to death........... ;-)
  15. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    always remember to account for the "true" cost of things. Burning your anthracite in your stove, on its own, is pretty clean. Its the mining thats not clean. Keep in mind also that anthracite is a very dense and clean coal, and most in the world are burning bituminous, which is much dirtier. I also wouldn't venture out on the limb of saying "burning coal only makes CO". There's a lot of stuff in coal, whether you see it or not. If it were THAT clean you could crush it up and filter water through it. I wouldn't try that trick, would you? Carbon neutral is a time game, not quite an oxymoron, but really close. I regard it more as a "comparative" science concept.

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