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Re: E-M:/ Letter to the Editor, Christian Science Monitor

Enviro-Mich message from "Alexander J. Sagady" <ajs@sagady.com>

At 07:44 PM 04/07/2006, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from jmgear <jmgear@acd.net>
>It's an lovely idea that power companies' experience cleaning up particulate emissions means that they should be able to do the same with CO2.  If only it were so!  
>Alas, CO2 is not caused by an impurity in the fuel that can be scrubbed out of the exhaust.  Rather, CO2 is, chemically, the product of burning any carbon fuel, whether it be coal, natural gas, petroleum, or wood.  
>Although we must continue to pursue CO2 sequestration, we must only do so in parallel with steps to aggressively reduce our CO2 output.  

John, one thing is for sure....the days of building more conventional pulverized-
coal-fired electric power plants with disposal of waste heat by discharge
to air and water should be cast by the wayside.  But that is almost certainly 
what DTE Energy and Consumers Energy is going to give us for future plans.

The fundamental problem with conventional coal-fired power plants is that too 
much of the fuel energy content is wasted with waste heat disposal to cooling 
water discharge, cooling tower discharge and stack gas emissions.

As a society we have got to learn how to integrate electric generation with other 
methods and demands for energy utilization.   Silly politicians talk about 
renaissance zones for building ethanol plants out in the countryside.  However, 
the ethanol plants actually should be built at petroleum refinery sites where
abundant waste heat from heaters and boilers can be used to power distillation 
units at ethanol plants.....

Every future fuel burning facility should be a co-generation plant that produces 
needed process steam, electricity and makes use of hot water/low grade heat
for beneficial and useful purposes.   We have to resurrect district steam and hot 
water heating systems where central fuel burning and production of electricity also 
produces energy for commercial and residential space heating.   This is particularly 
important in our northern climate.

An interim measure might be to use waste heat from electric power production to 
heat greenhouses for food production and other agricultural uses.

Another technology worth considering is Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
electric power production where coal and waste fuels are gasified and the 
produced gas is burned in heat recovery steam turbines or is used to produce
methanol for further liquid fuels use and/or combustion at remote sites.   However, 
IGCC will require some additional attention to mercury and NOX control.

By the way, the activists on the water withdrawal issue must also 
understand that Consumers Power and Detroit Edison using waste heat
disposal to the atmosphere through cooling towers is every bit as bad of a 
out-of-basin water transfer as Nestles running off with your water.  Just 
because the water leaves the basin as vapor doesn't mean it is any less of 
an out of basin transfer than water bottled as a product.

Alex Sagady

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

657 Spartan Ave,  East Lansing, MI  48823  
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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