Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U.S. Coal Peak Production: Point and counterpoint

21.10.2009
A timely debate on "United States Coal Peak Production" will enliven the October annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Portland, Oregon this week.

Highly regarded experts, Dr. David B. Rutledge of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Dr. Frank Clemente of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) will be keynote speakers presenting opposing views. A third invited expert speaker, Bob Milici, from the U.S. Geological Survey, will offer perspectives from the government’s coal resource assessment.

Coal peak production has been a seriously debated topic for the past few years outside the coal-science community. "We hope to spur science-based discussions by membership of the coal geology and geology and health communities," said session co-chair Romeo Flores. "Regardless of the magnitude of coal peak production, there will be a commensurate effect with respect to the overall environmental impact on CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants and its relation to global climate change, health, and economic growth."

Dr. Rutledge's impact on the subject of coal peak production began with a critical assessment of the world's coal reserves by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which he estimated to be much lower than previous calculations. His newly created model, using principles from M. King Hubbert's concept of oil peak production, projects ultimate coal production to 665 billion metric tons. This amounts to 59 percent of the corresponding number of reserves, which the World Energy Council estimated as 847 billion metric tons of coal as of year-end 2005. Thus, if the lesser estimate of world coal reserves is indeed the most reliable, then the resulting lesser amounts of CO2 ultimately emitted will tend to mitigate future impacts on global climate change. The National Research Council's Committee on Coal Research, Technology, and Resource Assessments agrees with many of Dr. Rutledge's criticisms but maintains positive coal reserves scenario. The highlight of these criticisms was presented at the 2008 American Geophysical Union Fall meeting in which he suggested that governments have overestimated coal reserves. Find more information at http://rutledge.caltech.edu/.

Dr. Clemente, who will present the opposite views, is co-author of the National Coal Council report, The Urgency of Sustainable Coal for the Department of Energy. The pressing need for U.S electricity will spur more coal-based generation with the Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) demand projection of about 5,000 billion-kilowatt hours by 2030. In 2007 the Council was tasked by the Secretary of DOE to conduct additional studies to "focus on several technological options to increase coal use consistent with the environmental goals of the country." A report issued in 2008 refined findings and recommendations from earlier reports regarding: (1) carbon management, (2) legal and regulatory issues, (3) hybrid electric vehicles, (4) in-situ coal gasification, and (5) converting coal to liquid and substitute natural gas. The urgency for sustainable coal is driven by costs; coal will generate 50 percent of our electricity at a cost of less than one-fourth of natural gas. Clemente maintains that, "Abundant coal will continue to play a cornerstone role in the world's energy supply."

**WHEN & WHERE**
Frontiers in Coal Science: From Basic Research to Applied Technology
Oregon Convention Center, Room B114/115
Projections for Ultimate Coal Production from Production Histories
Start time 1:35 p.m.
View Rutledge abstract at http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2009AM/finalprogram/abstract_163494.htm.
U.S. Coal Production
Start time 1:55 p.m.
View Clemente abstract at http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2009AM/finalprogram/abstract_164932.htm.
Estimation of U.S. peak coal production
Start time 2:15 p.m., discussion 2:30-2:45 p.m.
View Milici abstract at http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2009AM/finalprogram/abstract_160994.htm
**CONTACT INFORMATION**
For on-site assistance during the 2009 Annual Meeting, 18-21 October, contact Christa Stratton in the Newsroom (7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. PDT), Oregon Convention Center, Room D133, +1-503-963-5708.
After the meeting, contact:
Romeo M. Flores, session co-chair
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046 MS 939
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225, USA
rflores@usgs.gov.
David B. Rutledge
Engineering and Applied Science
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
rutledge@caltech.edu.
Frank A. Clemente
Sociology, Penn State University
201 Oswald
University Park, PA 16803, USA
fac226@psu.edu. Robert C. Milici
U.S. Geological Survey
956 National Center
Reston, VA 20192, USA
rmilici@usgs.gov.

Christa Stratton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.geosociety.org
http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/09-58.htm#

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks
18.06.2018 | Kyushu University, I2CNER

nachricht Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss
14.06.2018 | University of Maryland

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>