OT: $7.5 billion Kemper power plant suspends coal gasification

$7.5 billion Kemper power plant suspends coal gasification. Owners of the plant made the decision to burn natural gas exclusively for now.
"The Kemper County plant was supposed to be a cutting-edge demonstration of the power of "clean coal" and, despite running five years late and more than $4 billion over budget, Kemper was able to start testing its coal gasification operations late last year. The plant used a chemical process to break down lignite coal into synthesis gas, or "syngas" which was then fed into a generator. The syngas burns cleaner than pulverized lignite coal does. In addition, emissions were caught by a carbon capture system and delivered to a nearby oil field to help with oil extraction. That, Southern and Mississippi Power said, would reduce the greenhouse emissions of burning lignite by up to 65 percent.
But with only 200 days of gasification operations under its belt, Kemper identified more issues with its technology, including design flaws that caused leaks and ash buildup. Last week, the MPSC indicated that it would refuse to allow Southern to raise rates to cover Kemper's continued construction and maintenance for gasification."
https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/06/7-5-billion-kemper-power-plant-suspends-coal-gasification/
I thought the destructive distallation of coal was a late 19th / eearly 20th century thing. I can remember when we converted from "town gas" to natural gas in the late 1960s. I still see old gasometers in London, but I think they're inactive now.
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It this similar to us building a new nuclear power plant which hasn't yet been proved in practice?
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On Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:15:26 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Well at least the Kemper plant could be converted to burn natural gas. Although at $7.5b, it's a pretty costly natural gas power station.
Not sure what you'd do if some political vanity nuclear project didn't work out as planned. Get the tax payers and / or utility consumers to suck up the costs I guess.
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On 30/06/17 10:31, Caecilius wrote:

Not sure what you'd do if some political vanity renewable project didn't work out as planned. Get the tax payers and / or utility consumers to suck up the costs I guess.
Oh. Energiewende. They already are.
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Yes. But then Trump said he would increase coal production to bring back jobs. Not sure how you'd sell it given the low gas prices in the US.

But paying absolutely any premium on your bill - no matter how great - is just fine for nuclear lovers. It's called bringing back control. To the Chinese.
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Yes, the problems have never been fully solved in an energy efficient or pollution friendly way as far as I am aware. With regards to Gas holders in London, they leaked which was really why they were decommissioned. Methane as used now is a very powerful greenhouse gas, though not as long lived as CO2 is. Many of the sites are now being built on. Mostly houses. I believe that some sites are contaminated by heavy metals, though I've never heard of quite why this should be the case. Brian
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On Fri, 30 Jun 2017 11:33:19 +0100, "Brian Gaff"

There are lots of environmental problems associated with coal gas production. Coal tar has lots of nasty things in it, and would no doubt contaminate the land that the gasholder was on. But I think the heavy metals would only be in the coal ash, as they're not volatile.
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The coal tar was removed before the gas was distributed. It made very useful feedstock for the chemical industry

Yes.
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On 30/06/2017 12:00, Caecilius wrote:

and the waste is radioactive. The more cleaned up it is the more radioactive per kg.
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The ash from coal-fired power stations is, because coal contains 1ppm uranium. No one seems particularly bothered about it.
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On Fri, 30 Jun 2017 12:32:32 +0100, Tim Streater wrote:

no

think the

volatile.
And the ash a gas plantmgot everywhere, back then it "just ash, 'armless 'init". Did a shoot on an old gasworks site, dire warnings about the contamination, advised to wear gloves, instructed to wash hands before eating etc. ISTR Arsenic being mentioned.

more

Wasn't there a case of power station fly ash being used for path ways on some allotments a while back. It all had to be removed but not sure if that was the radiation hazard or heavy metals leeching out and finding their way into peoples nice fresh veg...
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On Friday, 30 June 2017 15:08:46 UTC+1, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Power station ash was used for all sorts of things Eg "Breeze blocks" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_masonry_unit No longer made in the UK due to pollution, heavy metals, radioactivity issues.
And it was spread on ice on roads for years
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On 6/30/2017 8:19 PM, harry wrote:

I think you are talking there about fly ash or bottom ash, not necessarily from power stations.
As far as I am aware, PFA (pulverised fuel ash, as collected from the electrostatic precipitators of coal fired power stations since the 1960's) is the main ingredient of lightweight blocks. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the "filler" in car body filler too.
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On 02/07/17 13:04, newshound wrote:

Think that is mica to be fair
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On Sun, 2 Jul 2017 13:37:16 +0100, The Natural Philosopher

More likely to be talc. But various things derived from PFA are used as fillers for a variety of products. I'm thinking in particular of cenospheres, small hollow glassy microspheres. When power station ash was just dumped in lagoons (lagoons, to stop it blowing away), a small proportion (ISTR ~5%) floated on the surface, found on investigation to consist of hollow spheres. A use was soon found for them, as lightweight fillers for concrete, plastics etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulverised_fuel_ash https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenosphere
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