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View Diary: "Clean Coal" Plant Scrapped for Financial Reasons (11 comments)

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  •  I've already ranted about oil shale. (3+ / 0-)
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    wonmug, imabluemerkin, ER Doc

    My first rant was You aren't kidding about oil shale being dirty.

    I can attest to that first-hand.

    My first job after graduating with a B.S. in Geology in 1981 was to work for one of two contractors for Getty Oil (later acquired by Texaco and now subsumed in Chevron) who were trying to demonstrate the efficacy of using technology developed for oil shale to extract asphaltum from diatomaceous earth.  The contractor I worked for built a pilot plant that dissolved the asphalt using hot gasoline as a solvent.  That approach failed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that the plant was built at 1/4 scale, including the pipes, which caused the gasoline-diatomite slurry to clog wherever the pipes changed direction.  The other competitor built a full-sized (production-scale) retort that baked the diatomite to extract the asphalt, then centrifuged it to separate the liquid.  The remaining diatomite was then blown out of the retort tower.  The result was a cloud of dust that reduced visibility to 100 feet and blocked out the Sun for 5-10 miles downwind.  That technology won and is among those that Chevron has on the shelf right now.  If that's what the oil shale future looks like, then the Green River Basin is going to be an ugly place. :-P

    The second rant started here and concluded with this tidbit.

    The fossil destruction alone would be valued in the billions of dollars.  The same strata that contain oil shale also contain the best commercial fish fossils in the country, to say nothing of scientifically valuable plant, bird, reptile, invertebrate, and mammal fossils.

    And today, one of my students came up to me in my geology class and told me his father was doing the engineering work on an extraction plant big enough to provide 8,000 jobs.  That's a bribe the likes of which a lot of people will take.

    "Iraq: the bravest 1% fighting for the richest 1%." ~ An Unknown Kossack.

    by Neon Vincent on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 04:59:13 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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