Chemists Without Borders


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Coal Power Plants

From an MSNBC article on coal fired power plants:

Companies say the new coal plants are better than old ones, though both use the same approach: pulverizing coal, then burning it in huge boilers to power giant turbines. The new $1.1 billion MidAmerican facility will be one of the nation's biggest, with 790 megawatts of capacity. Its boilers and pulverizers will devour 400 tons of coal every hour, 3.5 million tons a year, Sokol says. Combined with an existing plant next door, it will require a fresh train of coal every 16 to 17 hours; each train will be nearly 1.5 miles long and lug 135 cars about 650 miles from Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

Wow. That's a lot of coal, and that's just one power plant. Anyone thought about what we should do try to reduce the rising demand for electricity?

Food for thought.



  1. It would only cost about 4.4 million dollars to open a PV solar plant that burnt NO coal and created zero carbon footprint with zero pollution. Electricity production cost would be dramatically reduced over a very short time span. In turn, the end user price per kilowatt hour would see a steady decline. Seems like a no brainer.

  2. Geothermal power plants work 24/7 and require no fuel. They use the free energy of the earth. They cost a little more to build but don't require trainloads of fuel and don't pollute the atmosphere. Ormat is a profitable company that is a leader.

  3. Good ideas both....

    Investment capital into renewable or sustainable energy seems to be the barrier...

    Better to spend it now while we have it.