Posted by: energyblogwalter | March 20, 2010

Re: Texas university has eureka moment for coal-to-gas

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/texas-university-has-eureka-moment-for-coal-to-gas/article1502823

(email to author:Neil Reynolds)

While an interesting article the comments as they relate to available
coal amounts do not take into account population and rates of
consumption, nor a base year since consumption rates are in constant
change. In fact there is no discussion of the data you used at all
for these assumptions.

Since coal consumption rates would go up in the use of this (new coal-to-gas) technology you cannot argue that it would last a long time, since that is based on current technology not the new one. Thus if the consumption rate went up, the finite resource would deplete faster and not last hundreds of years.

To explain and illustrate this very important point, please view
Arithmetic Population and Energy (2002) from Dr. Bartlett here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY . His analysis of coal is
particularly germane. I think it runs about 70 minutes but I highly
recommend it. I promise you won’t see your own article the same way
afterwards.

He first explains the exponential function but will get to discussing
various energy systems and the coal situation in the United States.
While a bit dated this video does reward repeat viewing and I hope you
will enjoy it.

After which you can re-read your article and note your own
assumptions. I hope as a result your analysis would incur more
interesting directions.

Best Regards,
Walter

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