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View Diary: Sunday Train: Unleashing the Political Power of Bio-Coal (128 comments)

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  •  This statement: (1+ / 0-)
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    6412093
    Our existing biomass production is not aimed at producing biomass, it is aimed at producing something else. We cut down whole trees in our timber industry because the point of the process is to produce wood and paper pulp. If our aim is to produce biomass, we would do the same as Henry VIII (of the many wives and two surviving daughters, father of Elizabeth I, the first sovereign queen of England), when looking to guarantee sufficient charcoal for England's ironmaking industry. We would produce coppice (Wikipedia machine).
    There is no reason to believe that a large biomass coal industry would not continue to clearcutting existing forests on public lands with whole tree harvest operations.  That is one of the reasons why the Sierra Club is opposed to these forest biomass combustion and biomass fuel proposals.
    •  Yes, reworking your comment from ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... destructive sniping to constructive criticism ...

      ... it is quite appropriate to point out that in order to win the Sierra Club as part of the political coalition, which the supporters of the policy would surely wish to do, there will be a strong incentive to only credit biocoal produced from legitimate waste produces and from cultivated feedstocks grown with sustainable forestry practices.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 01:05:25 PM PDT

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      •  I don't engage in 'destructive sniping' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        What I am engaging in is an effort to defeat attempts to extend the life of existing coal-fired electric generation units by repowering them to either direct wood firing or firing them with charcoal and thermal treated wood.  

        Repowering coal-fired power plants with your charcoal fuel will generate more fuel cycle CO2 emissions per unit of heat input than if you re-powered such coal plants with natural gas.  That is why the Sierra Club and NRDC has recommended repowering of large coal-fired electric utility plants, like the Detroit Edison Monroe Power Plant, with natural gas.

        •  That is simply a lie. (0+ / 0-)

          Burning biocoal will generate far less carbon emissions than converting to natural gas.

          You can pretend that recycling CO2 is worse than natural gas, but the fact remains that we have to stop burning all three big fossil fuels, coal, and petroleum and natural gas.

          Indeed if your proposal was followed, and the coal plant was converted to natural gas, a larger percentage drop in net CO2 emissions per Kilowatt Hour would take place in switching it from Natural Gas to Biocoal.

          Advocate for one of the climate suicide fuels all you want, but don't that natural gas advocacy to be accepted without objection when it is based on a flat out lie about the net CO2 impacts.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:39:13 PM PDT

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          •  If you are claiming that natural gas combustion (0+ / 0-)

            releases more CO2 emissions than wood combustion  (or from combustion of a charcoal wood derivative) on a heat input basis, then you are making an erroneous claim contrary to accepted air quality science that is backed by U.S. EPA.

            U.S. EPA publishes emission factors for wood and coal combustion.  See respective EPA AP-42 emission factors for the subject fuels at the EPA Clearinghouse of Inventories and Emission Factors.

            Western low sulfur coal, the most common type in use, will release about 390 lbs of carbon dioxide per million BTU heat input.  (See AP-42 - low volatile bituminous coal, table 1.1-20)   at 6250 lbs CO2/ton coal and at 8000 BTU per lb of coal.

            Wood combustion releases 195 lbs of carbon dioxide per million BTU heat input.  See table 1.6-3

            For natural gas combustion, see table 1.4-2 at this link.   EPA says natural gas releases 118 lbs of CO per million BTU heat input at 1020 btu per standard cubic foot of gas.

            The combustion of charcoal will release more carbon dioxide on an emission per unit mass of fuel burned because charcoal will have a much higher percentage of carbon than is contained in unburned wood...and that is even before considering the fuel cycle contribution of the thermal processing and CO2 emissions associated with the charcoal production process.

            If you wish to continue to dispute this, please cite some valid air quality engineering information about CO2 emissions per unit of heat input or per unit of electrical generation rather than tossing out your false charge of dishonesty on my part.

            And no....this is not "sniping"

            •  But you already said that what matters is ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... the total CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Why are you know claiming that the only thing that matters is gross CO2 emissions and not total CO2 in the atmosphere?

              The lie is the claim that burning Natural Gas results in less net CO2 in the atmosphere when its straightforward that that biocoal results in less net CO2 in the atmosphere.

              The gross CO2 emissions, ignoring which CO2 originated in the atmosphere and which originated when your natural gas was taken from the ground, was already taken off the table by you when you said that what matters is the total CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

              Now we have three bowls. The mineral coal bowl (1), the natural gas emissions that you are advocating for (2), and the biocoal bowl (3).

               Start out equal size bowls half full of water.

              (1) Take a cup measure, fill it from the faucet, pour it in the bowl. That is mineral coal.

              (2) Take a half-cup measure, fill it from the faucet, pour it in the bowl. That is the natural gas that you are advocating for.

              (3) Take a cup measure, fill it from the bowl, and pour it in the bowl.

              Going on your own claim that what matters is CO2 in the atmosphere you are claiming that (1) and (3) will overflow first. In reality, (1) will overflow first, (2) will overflow second, and (3) won't overflow at all if 5%-10% of the biocoal is used as biochar rather than burned.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 08:07:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your undemonstrated, undocumented assertion: (0+ / 0-)
                The lie is the claim that burning Natural Gas results in less net CO2 in the atmosphere when its straightforward that that biocoal results in less net CO2 in the atmosphere.

                The gross CO2 emissions, ignoring which CO2 originated in the atmosphere and which originated when your natural gas was taken from the ground, was already taken off the table by you when you said that what matters is the total CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

                ....is yet to be numerically characterized and described, anywhere at all in your diary and comments.   There isn't any diclosure or clarity to your claim at all.

                I've given you my emission factors for fuel heat input, and you won't disclose your claimed basis for your undemonstrated assertions.

                •  I'm waiting for you to admit the ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... obvious point that every ton of carbon emitted through biocoal produced from biomass feedstock is a ton of carbon previously removed from the atmosphere, so the steady state impact of that aspect of the use of biocoal is carbon neutral.

                  You've got emission factors, but you've omitted the sequester factors, which are 0 for coal, 0 for natural gas, and greater than the amount of carbon contained in the biocoal produced, for biocoal.

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                  by BruceMcF on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 03:15:01 AM PDT

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