Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

GT Courtesy Listing


Using Coal for Energy Security and Climate Change Mitigation


Dr. Eric Larson


Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University


Friday, February 5, 2010 at 2:00:00 PM


ISyE, Executive Classroom Building


Valerie Thomas


Coal can be converted to petroleum-like fuels to displace oil imported for use in our transportation system. Existing technologies are commercially available to do this, but CO2 emissions associated with the coal-derived fuel would far exceed emissions from the petroleum fuels displaced. If the CO2 produced as a by-product of liquids production from coal were to be captured and stored, emissions associated with the resulting fuels would still only be about the same as for the petroleum fuels displaced. To reduce emissions further, some biomass could be added to this system as a co-feed. Detailed performance and cost analyses of such systems will be described, and implications for energy security and for climate change mitigation will be discussed.


Dr. Larson is a senior member of the Energy Systems Analysis Group at the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University and also an affiliated faculty member of the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He also spends some of his time with Climate Central, a non-profit science and media organization created to provide clear and objective science and engineering-based information to diverse audiences on climate change-related topics. Larson's research interests include engineering, economic, and policy-related assessments of advanced clean-energy systems, especially for electric power and transport fuels production from carbonaceous fuels (biomass, coal, natural gas) and for efficient end use of energy.