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Top doctors' prescription for feverish planet: Cut out coal

June 22, 2015 8:04 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Some top international doctors and public health experts have issued an urgent prescription for a feverish planet Earth: Get off coal as soon as possible. Substituting cleaner energy worldwide for coal will reduce air pollution and give Earth a better chance at avoiding dangerous climate change, recommended a global health commission.

Shifts in electricity generation spur net job growth, but coal jobs decline

April 7, 2015 12:09 pm | by Tim Lucas, Duke Univ. | News | Comments

In the four years following the 2008 recession, the coal industry lost more than 49,000 jobs,...

Which fossil fuels must remain in the ground to limit global warming?

January 7, 2015 2:39 pm | by Bex Caygill, Univ. College London | News | Comments

A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves globally...

Study: Existing power plants will spew 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide during use

August 26, 2014 4:33 pm | News | Comments

According to Univ. of California Irvine and...

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To clean up coal, Obama pushes more oil production

December 23, 2013 10:31 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

America's newest, most expensive coal-fired power plant is hailed as one of the cleanest on the planet, thanks to government-backed technology that removes carbon dioxide and keeps it out of the atmosphere. But once the carbon is stripped away, it will be used to do something that is not so green at all. It will extract oil.

Coal yields plenty of graphene quantum dots

December 6, 2013 7:55 am | Videos | Comments

The prospect of turning coal into fluorescent particles may sound too good to be true, but the possibility exists, thanks to scientists at Rice Univ. The Rice laboratory of chemist James Tour found simple methods to reduce three kinds of coal into graphene quantum dots (GQDs), microscopic discs of atom-thick graphene oxide that could be used in medical imaging as well as sensing, electronic and photovoltaic applications.

How do we balance needs of energy, water and climate?

November 15, 2013 7:26 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

In deciding how best to meet the world’s growing needs for energy, the answers depend crucially on how the question is framed. Looking for the most cost-effective path provides one set of answers; including the need to curtail greenhouse gas emissions gives a different picture. Adding the need to address looming shortages of fresh water, it turns out, leads to a very different set of choices.


Neutrons, electrons and theory reveal secrets of natural gas reserves

October 28, 2013 3:08 pm | News | Comments

Gas and oil deposits in shale have no place to hide from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technique that provides an inside look at pores and reveals structural information potentially vital to the nation’s energy needs. The research could clear the path to the more efficient extraction of gas and oil from shale.

China’s synthetic natural gas plants will have heavy environmental toll

September 26, 2013 9:01 am | News | Comments

Coal-powered synthetic natural gas plants being planned in China would produce seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional natural gas plants, and use up to 100 times the water as shale gas production, according to a new study by Duke Univ. researchers. These environmental costs have been largely neglected in the drive to meet the nation’s growing energy needs, the researchers say.

NETL pens MOU with Brazilian Coal Association

July 24, 2013 12:13 pm | News | Comments

On June 6, 2013, the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the Brazilian Coal Association (BCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Florianopolis, Brazil. By signing the MOU, both parties agree to work together over the next five years to assess the potential of CCS in fossil fuel–based systems.

Americans continue to use more renewable energy sources

July 22, 2013 9:12 am | News | Comments

Americans used more natural gas, solar panels and wind turbines and less coal to generate electricity in 2012, according to the most recent U.S. energy charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Natural gas use is up in the electricity generation sector, where it has basically substituted directly for coal, while sustained low natural gas prices have prompted a shift from coal to gas in the electricity generating sector.

Power plant limits at center of president's climate plan

June 25, 2013 6:50 am | by Johs Lederman and Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University, Barack Obama is expected to announce he's issuing a presidential memorandum to launch the first-ever federal regulations on carbon dioxide emitted by existing power plants, moving to curb the gases blamed for global warming despite adamant opposition from Republicans and some energy producers.


New emissions standards would fuel shift from coal to natural gas

April 5, 2013 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Tougher EPA air-quality standards could spur an increased shift away from coal and toward natural gas for electricity generation, according to a new Duke University study. Complying with stricter regulations on sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, and mercury may make nearly two-thirds of the nation's coal-fired power plants as expensive to run as plants powered by natural gas. The regulations would make 65% of U.S. coal plants as expensive as natural gas, even if gas prices rise significantly.

Milestone for new carbon capture and clean coal technology

March 20, 2013 9:52 am | News | Comments

An innovative new process that releases the energy in coal without burning—while capturing carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas—has passed a milestone on the route to possible commercial use, scientists are reporting. Their study in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels describes results of a successful 200-hour test on a sub-pilot scale version of the technology using two inexpensive but highly polluting forms of coal.

New coal technology harnesses energy without burning

February 6, 2013 10:08 am | News | Comments

A new form of clean coal technology reached an important milestone recently, with the successful operation of a research-scale combustion system at Ohio State University. The technology is now ready for testing at a larger scale. For 203 continuous hours, the Ohio State combustion unit produced heat from coal while capturing 99% of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction.

Reduce greenhouse gas by exporting coal?

January 16, 2013 9:36 am | News | Comments

Western U.S. coal companies looking to expand sales to China will likely succeed, according to Stanford University economist Frank Wolak. But, due to energy market dynamics in the United States, those coal exports are likely to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.

LLNL receives grant for underground coal gasification work

December 4, 2012 8:35 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Underground Coal Gasification Program has received a two-year research grant to study water-quality hazard mitigation strategies from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.


A long-term view of critical materials: From coal to ytterbium

August 29, 2012 3:38 am | News | Comments

More than 90% of the world's rare earth elements are now mined in China, and worldwide demand is anticipated to grow from 136,100 metric tons in 2010 to 185,000 metric tons in 2015. However, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists believe that taking a long-term view is vital for addressing both the current shortage as well as avoiding future shortages of materials that are crucial to U.S. industry.

More precise look at cradle-to-grave greenhouse gas emissions for energy technology

May 7, 2012 10:19 am | News | Comments

A new approach to assessing greenhouse gas emissions from coal, wind, solar, and other energy technologies paints a much more precise picture of cradle-to-grave emissions and should help sharpen decisions on what new energy projects to build.

Study: Replacing coal the least expensive way to reduce emissions

April 3, 2012 1:22 pm | News | Comments

According to a new study using SWITCH, a highly detailed computer model of the electric power grid, University of California, Berkeley researchers have learned that goals for decarbonization of the electric power sector are most easily achieved using renewable or nuclear energy sources in lieu of coal.

Reduction in U.S. carbon emissions attributed to cheaper natural gas

February 27, 2012 3:18 am | by Caroline Perry, Harvard University | News | Comments

In 2009, when the United States fell into economic recession, greenhouse gas emissions also fell, by 6.59% relative to 2008. In the power sector, however, the recession was not the main cause. Researchers at Harvard University have shown that the primary explanation for the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from power generation that year was that a decrease in the price of natural gas reduced the industry's reliance on coal.

DOE receives first repayment from successful DryFining CCPI project

July 6, 2011 11:31 am | News | Comments

The success of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) project has led to a repayment of $580,000 to U.S. taxpayers, with much more—potentially exceeding $13 million—possible in the future.

Self-cleaning anodes keep coal-powered fuel cells clog-free

June 21, 2011 12:18 pm | News | Comments

Solid oxide fuel cells rely on nickel-ceramic anodes that are easily clogged by carbon-containing fuels. Using barium oxide nanoparticles, however, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a self-cleaning technique that could allow solid oxide fuel cells to be powered directly by coal gas at relatively low temperatures without coking.

EPA pursues Michigan's largest coal-fired plant

March 24, 2011 5:49 am | by Ed White,Associated Press | News | Comments

A Michigan utility spent $65 million last year replacing key parts at the state's largest coal-fired power plant, but when regulators found out the brought DTE Energy to court for not also installing technology that would greatly reduce air pollution. The case highlights the industry-wide tug-of-war between compliance with EPA rules and the cost of new technology.

A subdued reboot for coal

August 11, 2010 7:50 am | Blogs | Comments

Legislators and DOE’s researchers alike are hoping FutureGen 2.0 is a smoother ride than the first go-around, which went the way of New Coke. With $1 billion now comitted, the coal-dependent U.S. is now headed rapidly for a massive retrofitting of coal generation. But carbon storage will inevitably mean higher energy prices for all.

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