Re: Ginger discussed on Today Show?

From: Chuck Murcko (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 13:44:22 PST

On Monday, March 19, 2001, at 03:00 PM, Karl Anderson wrote:

> I haven't mentioned that the coal will get expensive, because I don't
> know when coal will start getting scarce. But can we burn more coal
> before we see effects like in China, anyway (hidden costs like
> agricultural and health damage)?

Last US estimates I heard were 600 years' reserves in country, not sure about
the world.

Whatever happened to direct MHD conversion for coal?

The idea was to couple DC directly off the burned gas (plasma) by "salting" it
(for example with K2CO3), passing it down a channel through a magnetic field, at
50+% overall conversion efficiency after conversion to AC for transmission.
Compares to 30+% efficiency from steam turboalternator only. Most of the proposed
systems were hybrid MHD/turboalternator.

Side benefit is NOx and SOx in the output are reduced because of higher burn
temps (300-400 deg C hotter than current plants), but this brings up problems with
materials to build the burner.

This is only one alternative using coal. Others are described at


Chuck Murcko
Topsail Group

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