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Davidflude
12-10-2008, 06:01 PM
I am going to raise a subject to which there appears to be an answer provided you use two technologies, one old one new.

First the old technology.

This was dealt with indepth by aconomist writing in "The Age" so interstate people may have missed it.

Rather than use coal to heat water which then drives turbines to make electricity he advocates using coal to drive diesel engines to drive the turbines to make electricity. Furthermore he has done his sums to show that it is more efficient to build the power plants close to consumers and take the coal to them rather than build long transmission lines. A further advantage is that the coal/diesel plants can be quickly switched on or off unlike the coal/steam plants which are suitable for base load only. This means that coal/diesol plants can be used in conjunction with wind and solar plants to meet the variable load.

This is using existing diesel technology. As the diesol plants are fixed it will be possible to build them using ceramics so that they run at much higher temperatures than existing diesels. This would make them even more efficient.

The second technology is very new. A member of the Smorgan family is grafting a pilot plant onto an existing coal/steam plant. This uses photo synthesis to covert the carbon dioxide into three products which can be sol for a greater value than the cost of running the plant. This reduces the carbon output by an average of 46%.

What has not yet been tested is how much it would cost to light the plant during the night so as to reduce the carbon emmissions by over 90%.

This has got to be a winner. It means that Australia can export all the coal it can dig out the ground with a massive reduction in green house gas emissions.

What I like best is that the whole approach can be carried out by the private sector. Think about it - clean coal technology at a profit.