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View Diary: Obama/EPA Latest Proposal for New Power Plant Greenhouse Gas Emission Control Proposed Rules (10 comments)

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  •  Most petroleum coke produced and combusted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erratic, LinSea

    in the United States is done in cement kilns which are not subject to the power plant rules unless they engage in co-generation with the clinker production process.   And in a cement kiln, the fuel is not the primary source of process generation of greenhouse gases.....the limestone to make clinker is the primary process driver of CO2 emissions.

    There isn't likely to be a carbon tax enacted that would have the effect of 'economic shutdown' of existing coal fired power plants.   Such plants are going to have to comply with future greenhouse gas emission limitations developed by the states and approved by EPA under the authority of the Federal Clean Air Act.   However, just because a tax is not high enough to cause the effect you're after does not mean a lesser tax does not accomplish does and the practical effect of increasing the total price of fossil fuel combustion is energy conservation (and thus reduced emissions).   Remember that the imperfect and the possible is not an enemy of progress.

    •  They are going to have to do something with (1+ / 0-)
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      increasing volumes of tar sands petcoke and US cement production is flat, running at 70% of capacity.
      IEA says that existing pulverized coal power plants can't easy absorb that pet coke, though new IGCC ( ideal for carbon capture and sequestration) seem to have no problem.

      Adding any carbon tax would significantly raise the cost
      of running these inefficient,  increasingly obsolete plants.
      $10 per ton of CO2 would raise the cost of fuel by 10%.
      The public prefers clean energy so I don't think management
      is going to hang onto these dinosaurs.

      •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
        IEA says that existing pulverized coal power plants can't easy absorb that pet coke, though new IGCC ( ideal for carbon capture and sequestration) seem to have no problem.
        The reason is the typically high sulfur content of petcoke (about 4%), and the higher GHG emissions of petcoke compared to coal isn't very desirable if an electric utility is trying to reduce GHG emissions.

        Petcoke also contains significant amounts of vanadium.   The presence of vanadium in process flue gas is undesireable in a power plant controlled with an electrostatic precipitator (that also does not have an SO2 scrubber) because vanadium rapidly surface-media catalyzes the oxidation of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid which isn't what you want in the discharge stack.

        In an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant, petcoke is still an issue because the high sulfur content will increase the sulfur recovery unit duty of the unit.   IGCC plants do have an important advantage over conventional pulverized coal power plants in that waste management of the metals in the process (with the exception of mercury) leads to a glassine, vitrified waste product that does not generate metal toxicants as fine particles out of a stack.

        •  Sulfur is is not that hard to remove and (0+ / 0-)

          wasn't an issue according to my link at the Tampa IGCC power station which burns 100% petcoke.
          I think the US produces about 60 million tons of refinery petcoke today and major increases thanks to the ridiculously hyped North American Energy Revolution is a big headache.

          I think that if the oil companies agree to sequester the CO2
          emissions of their oil refineries they should get to process
          tar sands after all they can then burn their petcoke in IGCC units and sequester it all in their old oil and gas fields.

          •  It is a question of is achieving a (0+ / 0-)

            balance between you fuel sulfur inputs vs. the ability of your H2S absorber tower to sweep the syngas for H2S and the ability of the Claus plant and any talil gas treatment to clean in up.  

            Gasification of petcoke is being pursued.  I seem to remember that there were proposed big petcoke gasification projects at the ExxonMobil Baytown refinery and at another location in St. Charles, LA.

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