COAL POWER Direct [May 30, 2012]

Climate Science From the Onion?

The already low quality of scientific publication has now reached rock bottom. The Onion recently reported on three scientific studies that put illustrate how far quality scientific inquiry has fallen.

Coal-to-Gas Switching: It’s All in the Price

Trying to assess the potential for coal-to-gas switching in today's environment is something of an art form. Suppose for a moment that one were able to devise an economic model that truly replicates real-world generation dispatch for plant operators. A model is only as good as the inputs that go into it, and, let's face it, future natural gas prices are a critical component.

Design Features of Advanced Ultrasupercritical Plants, Part II

Advanced ultrasupercritical (A-USC) is a term used to designate a coal-fired power plant design with the inlet steam temperature to the turbine at 700C to 760C. In Part I of this three-part report, we introduced the A-USC boiler. In this segment, we look at the metallurgical advancements required for the A-USC boiler to operate at such high temperatures. The final report will explore the A-USC boiler’s unique design challenges.

EPA Sets Carbon Standards for New Coal Units, Compliance Options Limited

In late March, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed its first-ever carbon pollution standard for new power plants, limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new fossil fuel–fired power plants. However, the technology options for complying wiith the proposed rule remain few and expensive, as recent developments demonstrate.

FERC: Coal Generation Losing Out to Natural Gas

Coal generation, as a percentage of total power output in the U.S., declined steadily to 39% at the end of 2011 from about 51% in 2002, while generation from natural gas–fired combined cycle plants grew to more than 20% from 10% over the same period, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said in late April, as it released its annual assessment for U.S. energy markets.

Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, CSAPR Legal Pushback Mounts

Two Environmental Protection Agency rules are facing legal challenges. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is being challenged by half the U.S. states, while a decision in a case concerning the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule could be reached as soon as this summer.

More Reasons to Question Whether Gas Is Cleaner Than Coal

Is natural gas as clean a fuel as we are led to believe? A recent study by a Cornell University professor concludes that leaks of natural gas into the atmosphere may make coal the better choice.

Optimizing Your Coal Ash Recovery Operation

Coal combustion products often can be recycled into a variety of construction and building materials. However, first you must be able to retrieve the wet ash from a holding pond before the ash can be dried and sold.

The End Game

The Obama administration often says that there is room for coal in our future fuels mix. However, the administration's actions lead me to believe President Obama has something much more profound in mind.