Coal is oil before it becomes coal
“Coal is oil before it becomes coal,” Wolfe said. “We [the United States] have more coal than Saudi Arabia has oil.”(LINK)
LEBANON, Va. – Every few minutes, Richard Wolfe poked his gloved hands into coal dust to remove a block from a pottery kiln’s viewport so he could peer at the metal 55-gallon drum inside.
A steady whoosh of 1,300-degree flames engulfed the weathered drum and its contents, the ingredients for what the scientist called “super clean” coal.
“What we’re doing is taking the coal apart and putting it back better than it was naturally,” he told his audience of four coal industry insiders who met with him on a recent Saturday in a dusty barn in Lebanon, Va.
Wolfe, the son of a West Virginia coal miner and a former Abingdon-based coal researcher now residing in North Carolina, calls the end result “carbonite,” a glossy chunk of rock that looks more like a burned brownie than coal.
He said it burns hotter than coal and can power generators that make electricity, but without spewing as much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air as regular coal.
The same chunk also could be used in the steel industry, home heating or even water purification.
Simply put, carbonite is the combination of two types of coals heated at high temperatures with a secret catalyst. Wolfe declined to name the catalyst because he intends to patent both the process and the product.
This could be big. The reason:
What sets carbonite apart is that it produces 25 percent less carbon dioxide than natural coal, half as much sulphur dioxide and no mercury.
Indeed. The Future.