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Coal to Liquid Technology - Essay Example

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Coal is a resource that is both cheap and plentiful. However, there have been concerns related to it effects on the environment. These concerns aside, the demand for energy is increasing everyday and some countries either do not produce oil or do not produce it in sufficient quantities…
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Coal to Liquid Technology
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Download file to see previous pages Although, renewable energy is an alternative it takes time and additional resources. Some countries are very poor but have coal in abundance. It therefore means that clean technology has to be found to produce energy from coal. Several methods of transforming coal to liquid are available. Some of these are low yield in comparison to others that have yields of up to 70%. The task is to ensure that the level of greenhouse gas emissions is kept low in order to save the environment for the next generation. 2.0 Coal consumption and reserve of the world and the US According to the EIA (2012) the total coal consumption of the world for the year ended December 2010 was 7,994,703 million short tons. EIA (2012) also provides data for the year ended December 31, 2008 which indicates that the amount of coal reserves in the world was 948,000 million short tons. The tables labeled Table 1 shows comparative figures for coal consumption for those years and four (4) years prior to those years. Table 2 shows figures for coal reserves for 2008. Consumption of Coal Description 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 World NA 7,994,703 7,318,283 7,327,554 7,014,934 USA 1,003,066 1,048,295 997,478 1,120,548 1,127,998 US as a percentage of the world 13.11% 13.63% 15.29% 16.07% Table 1: Coal Consumption USA and the World (source U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)) The table indicates that USA alone accounted for approximately 14.33% of the world’s coal consumption between 2007 and 2010. In 2007 the US accounted for 16%. Although the world’s consumption of coal increased in 2008, coal consumption in the US declined by a small margin. Both world consumption and US consumption declined in 2009. However, while the world consumption declined by negligible amounts (9,271 million short tons) the US consumption declined by approximately 11% (123,070 million short tons). In 2010 the US consumption increased by approximately 6% while world consumption increased by approximately 9%. The US accounted for 13% of the world’s consumption in 2010. Coal Reserves 2008 Description 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 World 948,000 USA 260,551 Table 2: Coal Reserves USA and the World – Source U.S. Energy Information Administration The table shows that in 2008 the US held 27% of the world’s coal reserves. This is a very high percentage and indicates how beneficial coal would be if a way is found to reduce its effect on the environment. 3.0 Arguments against the use of coal Many arguments have being put forward against the use of coal. They include: i. Health and safety hazard ii. Large quantities of water are used in coal mining iii. High levels of pollution (Hansen 2009) iv. Destruction of mountains v. Accidents caused from coal mining 3.1 Health and safety hazard Coal is hazardous to the health and safety of all who come in contact with it, especially coal miners. The Center for Disease Control (2012) indicates that between 1998 and 2007, 8,111 persons died from Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis. Most of them were male (8,010), white (7,865) and age 65 years and over (7379). Although the death rate has been declining, it is still cause for concern. A number of accidents have also resulted from inadequate safety measures as miners are left to risk their lives at some mining operations. In fact, in an article entitled Justice for Upper Big Branch, The New York Times (NYT) (2012) indicates that 29 miners died from an explosion at a mine in West Virginia.. In relation to this case a United States attorney filed fraud charges against a Superintendent of the Massey operated Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia of plotting to conceal hazards, doctor’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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