Thursday, May 22, 2008

In the 1920's and 30's, a Mormon scientist working out of Brigham Young University invented a new way to turn coal into gas- his name was L. C. Kerrick. The 'Kerrick process' gasified coal easier than any other method, and did it cheaper, with few polluting byproducts.

New cleaner methods of coal extraction make this process even more viable- the Chinese government has embarked on a massive program to use its coal to break its use of OPEC oil. The Kerrick process has remained essentially the same after 80 years. (The Chinese merely looked at the expired patents to get the idea).

If a country has coal, it can have fuel. We have an abundance of coal- if we wisely extracted it to minimize the environmental impact (still hard to do)...we could reduce our dependence upon foreign oil as much as 10 % within a ten years.

(Coal mining in general is a very terrible way to get energy-it rips up the ecology on a large scale, plus the pollution from processing and burning coal make it a distasteful energy choice. But the Kerrick process, with modern modifications, is a much better option than current practices).


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