Inspirational “clean coal” commercial

I hope this helps you get pumped up to work to improve the American economy and restore American power.

I admit it, I am feeling a little sarcastic this morning. Perhaps a better word would be jealous – why doesn’t my industry run ads like these?

Please forgive me for this one, but one of the commenters on the thread reminded me of a rather short lived and ill conceived clean coal ad that some of us still find quite amusing.

I am pretty sure that I have never met any coal miners like those.

About Rod Adams

29 Responses to “Inspirational “clean coal” commercial”

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  1. Gareth Fairclough says:

    Clean coal. Don’t make me laugh!

    Nice ad, but it’s preying on the ignorance of the sheep uh sorry, *cough* people.
    Ignorance about energy? Well I was sitting on the train going into Cardiff (The nearest city, and our capital) When I heard some American accents. One of those people said something about coal and all the others (4 in all) said almost in unison:

    “Uh, like, What’s coal?”

    Needless to say it raised a few giggles and nasty looks from the locals. South Wales was for some time among the world leaders in coal mining. We also had our (un)fair share of disasters and the waste tips are as high as any of the mountains around my home town of Caerphilly.

    My apologies for such a badly constructed reply. Spent a little too much time drinking with friends and family last night!

  2. David Andersen says:

    The problem is that there is no actual Nuclear Industry similar to the coal industry. Since the energy density of nuclear fuel is so high there is not a large mining industry similar to coal, and the refining of fuel is run by the government and they don’t particularly care if the business continuess or not. We also have reactor manufacturers who are more interested in competing with each other rather than forming an industry group to promote their product.

  3. Daniel says:

    Clean arsenic and clean mercury never stood a chance.

  4. Does anyone believe this stuff?

  5. Michael R. Himes says:

    If ones government is bought by the hydrocarbon industry there is little any academic thinker, let alone public “sheep”, can do about it. Russia is all but owned, now that industry is going private, by “God’s chosen People”. This assessment of humans was made by the same ones calling us homo sapiens…chuckle. See what MMK industries and Viktor Rashnikov is doing for Russia and the Zionist movement. He lives in London in a palace fit for the Queen. If my number were “41″ for the oar I power (See Ben Hur) and Jews rather than Romans ruled this ship we call Earth, I can only hope that the skipper sees value in what I have said to him.

  6. John Englert says:

    The industry just needs a good slogan…

    Nuclear fission: the power to end a global war; now the power to end global warming

    • Cal Abel says:

      Gwyneth Cravens has a good one adapting the title of her book, “Nuclear Power: The Power to Save the World”

      I would counter the new slogan with nuclear power needs a new mindset.

      The power is in what you do. Nuclear can do a whole lot and we need to start looking past just pushing electrons down a wire.

      Unfortunately, current actions are on a pipe dream. I may be proven wrong, but after talking with one of the directors about NGNP, I don’t think I’m too far off on calling it a pipe dream.

      The program is not evaluating how to integrate NGNP into process heat applications, or even what process heat temperatures would be needed. The lack of integration philosophy fails to take into account reactivity feedback mechanisms from process heat users and the impacts that that would have on reactor safety. These are not trivial issues.

      From a market standpoint if those are not addressed NGNP derivatives will only be useful for making electricity. Yeah they are more efficient, but incase if you haven’t heard uranium is cheap. NGNP would have to compete in the electricity market against existing LWR reactors. NGNP’s thermal efficiency would not make up for its capital inefficiency. It would be DOA.

      For those engineers who read this blog, start thinking about how to crack the nut of using existing reactor technology for process heat applications. It is not simple.

  7. James Greenidge says:

    The Conoco-Philips ads (the campus and farmer’s market ones with the ever irritating eco-naggers) are even more vexing. It could’ve been a pro-nuclear ad if you swapped two words. David Andersen brings up a sobering point that explains MIA nuclear ads; how can you run an ad campaign for an industry that technically doesn’t exist?

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  8. Well at least it’s infinitely more credible than this gem:

    The whole ad fails 1.5 seconds after starting to play when they use for its theme a song that tells about the slave-like conditions in american coal mines. :D

  9. Cal Abel says:

    Y’all are missing the beauty of coal. It is pretty remarkable in several regards:
    1. It is a large source of fixed carbon.
    2. We have a mining and rail infrastructure that produces and moves 1 billion metric tons of coal per year. So much for “16 tons and what do you get.”
    3. We have a lot in this country that is readily accessible.

    These facts do not take away from the facts about the combustion of coal.
    1. It releases a whole bunch of gunk into the air. SOx, NOx, CO2, Hg, particulate, ozone, etc
    2. Pollutant mitigation is expensive, very expensive.

    Two summers ago I presented an idea at the ANS annual meeting in San Diego where we more effectively managed the bad of coal, and capitalized on the good to solve a myriad of problems, including greenhouse gas reductions.

    The idea involves two key concepts:
    1. Repower coal plants with moderate temperature nuclear reactors (e.g. GE’s ecomagination S-PRISM)
    2. Use the coal as a chemical feedstock to produce synthetic fuels using a portion of the heat from nuclear reactor. All of the bad stuff is captured in the chemical process.

    The funny thing is we have all the pieces and parts necessary to do this in the private sector.

    Our problem with coal is that we keep on burning it.

    • Daniel says:

      We should do with coal what we do with gold … Get it out of the ground, melt it and put it back into the ground in vaults.


    • James Greenidge says:

      Wish there were more emphasis on preserving coal and oil only as the source for the synthetic materials we need instead of mostly burning it for electricity which nuclear does best. You’d think conservationists and greens would jump on this reasoning.

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

      • Daniel says:

        I am in the midst of reading Blees’ book ‘Prescription for the planet’. A book that supports nuclear IFR technology.

        With plasma converters and the recycling of Municipal Solid Wastes into Hydrogen and Carbon, we could have an unlimited supply of synthetic oil (which is of better quality than natural oil).

        So instead of letting our Municipal Wastes turn into methane, we could recycle them into oil and leave a footprint that is 20 times less polluting than methane.

        Blees’ book also puts nails into the hydrogen future. The stuff can’t be stored or distributed with our current knowledge. He sees boron as a the futuristic source for automobile energy.

        Worth reading, lively and very well written.

        • George Carty says:

          I don’t see how you could have an unlimited supply of synthetic oil produced from waste. After all, isn’t the amount of oil used to make plastics and other chemicals negligible compared to the amount used as fuels of one type or another?

        • Daniel says:

          I just read the book and am no expert on the field of plasma converters. But there is a huge amount of municipal solid waste that is carbon based.

          Those plasma converters are able to separate the carbon and hydrogen and put hydrocarbons back together to produce synthetic oil.

          There are prototypes in production I believe but I do not know if the technology has picked up commercially since Blees wrote his book in 2008.

          One interesting material produced from plasma converters is Rock Wool. It could be used as a basic raw material for many applications, including sending it to the bottom of the oceans to rejuvenate coral reefs.

        • Daniel says:

          Cars would be propelled with boron, which could be recycled forever.

        • Cal Abel says:

          The concept is of closing the material flows of the economy. Something that is strongly advocated in sustainability circles. Unfortunately, they tend to forget the second law. Where we take a relatively higher entropy waste product and from a relatively lower entropy sun fuel with an input of useful work. It doesn’t just happen through wishful thinking, it takes work. On the scale of our economy and at the pace of our economy it would take a whole lot of useful work.

          I think the only way that this can be done is with nuclear fission. It is the only known and viable energy source with a high enough energy density to make this work.

          It was on this or another post that someone commented on greens for the most part being Luddites. The environmental movement through its actions is seeking a deconstruction of our economy (eliminating all low cost, reliable power sources for unreliable high cost power sources through regulation and political maneuvering.) Our economy needs power to work. If we are going to make it more efficient it is going to take more power. That may seem an oxymoron, but it isn’t.

          Thus if we are going to do anything more meaningful with nuclear power we have to get it out of just making electricity.

  10. Daniel says:

    I am watching the football game on CBS… Patrick Moore is doing a commercial on the tarsands areas that have been restored to a fresh & never seen before habitat from after the mining has taken place.

    The European lobby against the filthy tarsands oil is kicking in.

  11. I’ve been saying this for FOUR years – the problem is the folks in the nuclear industry holding the purse strings are also in the COAL industry. They will not be aggressive in the promotion of NUCLEAR because they also have too much vested in coal …
    Its called a “Conflict of interest.”

  12. Zachary Moitoza says:

    Hilarious! I don’t see what that has to do with it being “clean.” As for powering our economy or a “250 year” supply, we peaked in producible energy from coal in 1998. We’re at global peak coal now! Tough luck, coal!

  13. Leslie Corrice says:

    Why doesn’t America’s nuclear community run ads like this? 35 years ago while doing some chemical engineering support work at my company’s coal plants, I discovered the relatively high radioactive levels of coal fly ash while leak checking the Alpha sources used to detect coal feeder blockage. I compiled a report, submitted it to my boss, and he tore it up before my eyes, sternly admonishing, “Coal money builds nukes. We don’t bite the hand that feeds us. Plus, we don’t need an anti-coal-radiation movement [screwing] things up like with nukes.” I think a similar executive perspective exists with America’s utilities to this day. Coal is still king, and they want to keep it that way. Nuke competition is to be shunned.

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