Nothing is worse for the climate than large scale coal-to-liquids. Not even the tar sands. In September, the Chinese news agency said it would rein in liquid coal plants. A Guardian story yesterday puts the lie to that claim:
A Chinese energy company is poised to open a chemical plant to make liquid fuels for cars and aircraft from coal, a move that has alarmed environmental campaigners who say it will increase carbon emissions and worsen global warming.
Nazi fuel. Has such an inviting ring to it.
The Chinese facility, operated by Shenhua Corporation, will be the first of its type in the world….
A study last year by the Chinese Academy of Sciences said: “Production of liquid fuels from coal is practically the most feasible route to cope with the dilemma in oil supply.”
I agree — if by feasible you mean, “will just about guarantee the end of the planet’s livability by 2100.”
Shame on the schizophrenic Chinese Academy, which in 2005 signed the Academies statement (along with the U.S., Russia, India, Brazil, and major European countries) that called for “substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions” — something that would be quite impossible with widespread use of
Nazi fuel liquid coal.
At least two more commercial scale coal-to-liquids plants are under construction in China, although the Chinese government has expressed concern about the possible environmental impact of uncontrolled expansion, and has taken steps to limit the number of smaller facilities.
Oh, why didn’t you say that to begin with: The Chinese government “expressed concern” about environmental impacts and is limiting the number of “smaller” facilities. That almost restores my faith in the wisdom of their leaders. Almost. Significant production of liquid coal would officially make their climate policy as immoral as ours. I fear that the figurative “U.S.-China Suicide Pact on Climate” I describe in my book is starting to become a literal one.
Capturing the carbon dioxide from liquid coal would reduce the negative consequences, though “would still produce at least 20% more carbon dioxide than petrol and diesel made from oil.” But, in any case, the Chinese plants are not designed for capture, even if they had some large, certified repository to put the carbon dioxide in, which they don’t. So the life cycle emissions will be “almost twice the carbon pollution as using conventional diesel.”
And putting this in dry Inner Mongolia doesn’t strike me as a terrific idea given that “the energy-intensive conversion plants also require massive amounts of cooling water to stop them overheating.”
I thought the Chinese were supposed to be wise and holistic, what with Confucius and Tai Chi and the I Ching and yin & yang and acupuncture, and inventing paper, movable type, the compass, silk, and porcelain, and all that. Turns out they are as dumb as us. Or maybe dumber. I mean, we would never go for something dubbed Nazi fuel … would we?
- Coal-to-Liquid Is a Dead End
- New Years Resolution #47: Get the real facts out on liquid coal
- Liquid coal means liquid problems
- Memo to Air Force: Stop misleading the public on liquid coal
- Congress should say NO to coal-to-diesel
- The WSJ (and Climate Progress) on Liquid Coal
- Liquid Coal Hearing Report
- China reins in liquid coal
- Liquid Coal Goes Down In Flames In Senate
- The Post Gets Coal-Liquids Story Mostly Right
- Plug-in Hybrids Beat Coal-to-Liquids (Duh!)
- Coal State Newspapers Attack Liquid-Coal Plans
- Some Thoughts on Coal to Diesel