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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So we seem to be in a super green time in our world and it seems like we could create a DPF type filter for all coal fired electric plants. This could allow all manufacturing etc. to continue without crippling all of the economies in the world. Appears to be a very redundant idea but emissions are emissions and we should be able to scrub the soot and the sulfur [sulfur dioxide] from the exhaust.
 

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I think they already do have scrubbers that do what they can. But at the sheer volume that coal is burned in order to create the heat to ultimately convert to electricity, there's only so much that can be done. The greenest solution is finding alternatives that create less by-product from being burned (natural gas being the most popular right now), or of course making solar/wind/etc more efficient. The problem there is of course politics of lobbying from the coal industry being very entrenched, so change is unpopular.
 

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Except for China, all the big coal burning economies have serious scrubbers and other emissions controlling features on coal power plants. China doesn't.
 

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Except for China, all the big coal burning economies have serious scrubbers and other emissions controlling features on coal power plants. China doesn't.
Yet. Between international pressure and the pressure of their own population becoming more aware of their middle class and applying pressure things will change for China, I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your response guys, and good information. I just wish that we could do more than we are currently doing because stopping coal production and use completely is going to create a huge hole in the world economies. I know that we are trying to use alternatives but imo they're not going to materialize quick enough to replace coal. Maybe natural gas but we don't seem to be converting to it very fast. Btw, I'm not a promoter for the coal lobby I'm just saying it could get rough in the near future.
 

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Coal is a dirty fuel, high in Sulfur and it creates a lot of soot. There are technologies to scrub and capture all products of its combustion, but it is very expensive to operate. Natural Gas is much cleaner burning, but still produces CO2 which is becoming a major player in politics these days. Nuclear power is the only true "green" technology as far as reduction of CO2 emmissions, but then there is the risk of a leak or meltdown.
 

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Coal is a dirty fuel, high in Sulfur and it creates a lot of soot. There are technologies to scrub and capture all products of its combustion, but it is very expensive to operate. Natural Gas is much cleaner burning, but still produces CO2 which is becoming a major player in politics these days. Nuclear power is the only true "green" technology as far as reduction of CO2 emmissions, but then there is the risk of a leak or meltdown.
Actually we now know how to build reactors that won't melt down and will use all the long lived radioactive waste from the first generation of light neutron reactors. Unfortunately our regulatory system, including our courts, make it so expensive to even try to build a nuclear plant that no one will even attempt to build an advanced reactor.
 

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Unfortunately our regulatory system, including our courts, make it so expensive to even try to build a nuclear plant that no one will even attempt to build an advanced reactor.
On top of the public reaction.
 

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Electricity is not a source of energy, more of an energy medium, still produced by mechanical means. That translated to a source of heat to make steam, to drive a turbine, then to rotate a conductor in a magnetic field. Hydro is nice, skips the heat and steam process.

Back in the 50's and 60's, even earlier, hydro was are only source of electrical production. And was extremely inexpensive, but only a limited number of rivers and dams, that could not keep up with the population growth. So other heat sources had to be found such as coal or natural gas.

Nuclear fission could be okay taking a larger molecule and breaking it down to smaller ones, a great majority of these process or inert elements, but a rather small percentage produces what we like to call, crippled atoms that are highly radioactive. And the half life of these little buggers is measured in thousand of years.

If all of the molecules could be broken down into smaller inert elements, this wouldn't be a problem, that relatively low amount or radioactive materials is a major one.

But this is only one of the problems, comparing the nuclear core to say acres of coal, an extremely low source of energy density, that nuclear core as an astronomical amount of energy and must be very carefully controlled. Or a melt down will occur. High energy density is always a problem. Ha, use to know this field quite well, been like over 50 years ago, brain is getting a bit corroded. But these are the basics.

Really difficult to predict if with nuclear fusion will have the same problem where deuterium is suppose to be combined to form a larger helium molecule, just the opposite of fission. Crippled molecules may also be produced that would also be highly radioactive.

Population density is one of the key problems, can recall leaving the Chicago city limits and being out in the country, now solid city. Same with all the major cities in this world. One thing for sure, our technology is not keeping up with it.
 
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