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  #1701  
Old 13.10.2017, 11:26
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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With Trump banging on about 'clean coal', could a scientist please explain the technology, pros and cons to me?
It is like a nuclear power plant. Just that it constantly spits out mercury and uranium.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...nuclear-waste/
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html
https://www.epa.gov/mats/cleaner-power-plants
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  #1702  
Old 13.10.2017, 13:02
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Thank you both. It's worse than I imagined.

My question was prompted by watching a programme last night, 'Hidden Killers of the Postwar Home', which showed footage of the fatal 1952 London smog, then seeing Trump talking about 'clean coal' in his Fox interview this morning.
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  #1703  
Old 13.10.2017, 13:43
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Need 6 eggs for this .... got only 3 left , so no new batch. I just replace the baking soda with baking powder? The recipe says .....
Too late, just spotted this now. Next time you want to try a do-over and you're short on eggs, halve the recipe and make cupcakes. And don't use aluminum to do the butter coating - use your fingers or a small square of baking paper.

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With Trump banging on about 'clean coal', could a scientist please explain the technology, pros and cons to me?
Let's be honest, clean coal is just a buzzword to make people feel better. There's dirty coal, and there's slightly less dirty coal. But none of it should remotely be called clean.

If you're really curious, here are two older articles that goes into the concept behind clean coal:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/scie...a4947/4339171/

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...l/nijhuis-text

And here's a more recent one with a coal CEO admitting clean coal is not realistic or achievable or affordable on a large scale, at least with today's technology:
https://thinkprogress.org/clean-coal...-eda3e2841060/
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  #1704  
Old 13.10.2017, 16:04
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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With Trump banging on about 'clean coal', could a scientist please explain the technology, pros and cons to me?
"clean coal" is an oxymoron!

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Coal is responsible for over 800,000 premature deaths per year globally and many millions more serious and minor illnesses.
In China alone, around 670,000 people die prematurely per year as a result of coal-related air pollution.
The ‘Coal Kills’ report estimates that in India coal contributes to between 80,000 to 115,000 premature deaths annually. In the United States coal kills around 13,000 people annually, and 23,300 in Europe.
The economic costs of the health impacts from coal combustion in Europe are valued at about US$70 billion per year, with 250,600 life years lost.
Source

So why do people worry about nuclear power stations that kill a very tiny fraction of these numbers?
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  #1705  
Old 13.10.2017, 16:22
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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So why do people worry about nuclear power stations that kill a very tiny fraction of these numbers?
Because we're a small leap away from devising a 'battery' for storing solar, wind and wave energy.
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  #1706  
Old 13.10.2017, 16:30
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Thank you both. It's worse than I imagined.

My question was prompted by watching a programme last night, 'Hidden Killers of the Postwar Home', which showed footage of the fatal 1952 London smog, then seeing Trump talking about 'clean coal' in his Fox interview this morning.
Clean coal is actually about using modern technology to reduce emissions from coal. For a start scrubbers in the smokestacks to take out the carcinogens and the stuff that caused acid rain. Most modern plants already do that. In a second step they wanted to actually store the carbon dioxide underground by injecting it into places from which it can't escape in a hurry and where in theory it will eventually be absorbed into the rock (called carbon sequestration).

Carbon sequestration was a decade or so ago something the greens and especially the anti-nuclear folks were actually quite enthusiastic about. It seemed at the time too good to be true. Unfortunately it turned out it was. Too costly, too unreliable, too much hype.

The mood has since then largely swung against sequestration, for much the same reason that people don't like fracking. Essentially you're blowing stuff into the ground without having a clue how the rocks are going to react and where it might start blowing out again.

But the coal industry still thinks that, given enough money, they can make it work.
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  #1707  
Old 13.10.2017, 16:31
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Too late, just spotted this now. Next time you want to try a do-over and you're short on eggs, halve the recipe and make cupcakes. And don't use aluminum to do the butter coating - use your fingers or a small square of baking paper.
I did, used a recipe with butter but the same dish to bake it in. Turned out yellow. So either something with the coconut-oil (?!) or there really was some alufoil in there? The latter is still not logic, alufoil is perfectly okay to bake things in so a slip like that should not color the bread.
However, the new recipe is too heavy in butter now for my taste, so the trial will go on ..... on an other thread maybe

I could not bring myself to eat the blue bread, I admit, I threw it away
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  #1708  
Old 13.10.2017, 16:38
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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So why do people worry about nuclear power stations that kill a very tiny fraction of these numbers?
Because Hollywood has explained to us what can happen to a person who eats nuclear waste, but has yet to make a movie about the nasty stuff that coal does.
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  #1709  
Old 13.10.2017, 17:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Because we're a small leap away from devising a 'battery' for storing solar, wind and wave energy.
But Merkels move to switch of the nukes and ramp up coal is just stupid.


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Clean coal is actually about using modern technology to reduce emissions from coal. For a start scrubbers in the smokestacks to take out the carcinogens and the stuff that caused acid rain. Most modern plants already do that. In a second step they wanted to actually store the carbon dioxide underground by injecting it into places from which it can't escape in a hurry and where in theory it will eventually be absorbed into the rock (called carbon sequestration).
You can use a scrubber. But what will you do with the waste water? The answer for some plants is the "simplest and cheapest": Dump it in to the river.
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  #1710  
Old 13.10.2017, 17:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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But the coal industry still thinks that, given enough money, they can make it work.
Until a year ago, the main heating in my UK home was from an open fired Baxi back boiler, so I've seen changes in the types of coal on offer to the domestic user. I always knew that coal dust cannot be buried in my back garden because it poisons the soil, so experimented with different coals on the market. Supabrite leaves very little residue and burns hotter than other coals, but I became very wary of it after the embers burned straight through the cast iron ash pan.

I did a lot of research into alternative heating sources, particularly heat coils as I didn't have the space for a pellet fed boiler, but enough land for a coil. A long time ago I switched to wood for the fire, using trees I'd cut down in the garden and dried out over two years or more. There's a debate over reforestation and carbon neutral energy, but I don't believe we can get people to go back to that thinking en masse when they're so accustomed to flicking a switch for instant heating. The mental paper trail is too far broken for many. I did hope with the resurgence of wood burning stoves, until I heard friends discussing which brand of logs they bought, and how one log can cost £5. WTF!!!

So for now, my main hope is that some bright spark (excuse the pun) develops an economic storage system for renewable energy. The tiny Greek island of Tilos has reversed it's energy fortunes by investing in renewables, to the point where it's now feeding the excess into the Kos grid, instead of being dependent upon it. The day will come...
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  #1711  
Old 13.10.2017, 17:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Can't edit my post above, so just to add, before anyone thinks I'm a dippy hippy, I was 48 before I lived in a home with gas fired central heating. Many people here have known nothing else.
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  #1712  
Old 13.10.2017, 18:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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But Merkels move to switch of the nukes and ramp up coal is just stupid.
That's what she's planning?! I didn't know she and Trump were buddies in spirit.
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  #1713  
Old 13.10.2017, 18:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Just to correct you:
Coal is created from vegetable matter, and burning any form of wood, pellets or logs, creates almost as much pollution as coal.

The gasses and tars are still released, it is just usually on a small domestic scale here, and not obvious. But try leaving a white table outside for 24 hours in a region of wood burning stoves. They are romantic, but not clean!
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  #1714  
Old 13.10.2017, 18:42
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Just to correct you:
Coal is created from vegetable matter, and burning any form of wood, pellets or logs, creates almost as much pollution as coal.

The gasses and tars are still released, it is just usually on a small domestic scale here, and not obvious. But try leaving a white table outside for 24 hours in a region of wood burning stoves. They are romantic, but not clean!
Whom are you correcting?
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  #1715  
Old 13.10.2017, 20:36
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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That's what she's planning?! I didn't know she and Trump were buddies in spirit.
Planning... probably the wrong word.

The decision to shutdown Nuclear after Fukushima means that currently mothballed coal plants will have to take up the generating gap.
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  #1716  
Old 13.10.2017, 21:38
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Planning... probably the wrong word.

The decision to shutdown Nuclear after Fukushima means that currently mothballed coal plants will have to take up the generating gap.
Probably a better expression, not a word like planning is " the path to hell is paved with good intentions".

Merkel responded with a knee jerk reaction to the belief that the public were against nuclear! But switching to coal is x times worse for health and the environment. If Germany does not light up a lot of new coal fired power stations then they will have to buy electricity from neighbouring countries who use nuclear or coal

Merkel is a physicist so she knows exactly what she is perpetrating.
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  #1717  
Old 13.10.2017, 21:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Clean coal is actually about using modern technology to reduce emissions from coal. For a start scrubbers in the smokestacks to take out the carcinogens and the stuff that caused acid rain. Most modern plants already do that. In a second step they wanted to actually store the carbon dioxide underground by injecting it into places from which it can't escape in a hurry and where in theory it will eventually be absorbed into the rock (called carbon sequestration).

Carbon sequestration was a decade or so ago something the greens and especially the anti-nuclear folks were actually quite enthusiastic about. It seemed at the time too good to be true. Unfortunately it turned out it was. Too costly, too unreliable, too much hype.

The mood has since then largely swung against sequestration, for much the same reason that people don't like fracking. Essentially you're blowing stuff into the ground without having a clue how the rocks are going to react and where it might start blowing out again.

But the coal industry still thinks that, given enough money, they can make it work.
As mentioned, the problem with scrubbing is what happens to the waste water.
Certainly there was a big improvement in the release of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere; putting them into rivers may not be a big improvement

Also this does not address all the other nasty stuff released by burning coal;
Some of the most commonly found chemicals in coal and coal waste include:

Aluminum
Antimony
Arsenic
Barium
Beryllium
Cadmium
Calcium
Chromium
Cobalt
Copper
Iron
Lead
Magnesium
Manganese
Mercury
Molybdenum
Nickel
Potassium
Selenium
Silver
Sodium
Strontium
Tin
Vanadium
Zinc
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  #1718  
Old 13.11.2017, 17:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I want to know why cable always look like this after a while even though I make a point in not twisting them?
ask-scientist-cable.jpg

Anybody?
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  #1719  
Old 13.11.2017, 17:54
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I will recycle the same question, but for knitting. It always swirls!
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  #1720  
Old 13.11.2017, 18:44
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I want to know why cable always look like this after a while even though I make a point in not twisting them?
Attachment 130632

Anybody?
More than you ever wanted to know about such things here
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