With the problems in the Middle East helping to push the price of oil to new heights is it time to take green fuels more seriously?
Silverado is also working on the development of a coal-based alternative fuel. The fuel would substitute for oil in the generation of electricity and industrial heat.
The US has enough coal to supply its energy requirements for at least the next hundred years, but coal is dirty I hear you all scream! But what if it wasn’t dirty? What if it could be changed to provide a clean fuel, and vastly cheaper than the price of oil? The economic benefits make it worth investigating and there is also the added benefit of ‘energy independence’, which has got to be a major plus.
This brings us on to President Bush's Energy Policy Plan, the National Energy Technology Centre Vision 21 Program, and the United States DOE Clean Coal Power Initiative. Coal therefore could be the answer providing that it can be made available in a liquid form.
Silverado Green Fuel Inc., based in Fairbanks, Alaska is developing an environmentally friendly oil substitute produced from Low Rank Coal. A pilot plant has already underway and will be used to produce this Green Fuel from ultra-low sulphur Alaska sub bituminous coal following hydrothermal treatment. This fuel performed extremely well in combustion tests giving nearly complete carbon burnout, and minimal fouling. It is a stable fuel that can either be burnt or gassified as required. It is environmentally friendly and far less hazardous than coal itself. For the more scientific amongst us please visit Silverado’s website to gain a greater appreciation of the process. Silverado’s videos are also very informative.
How much cheaper is it? Current estimates put it at $15 per barrel. At this sort of price level it deserves more of attention. Silverado is working closely with State and Federal Legislators to develop funding through the government and also through private finance.
During my discussions with Silverado they very kindly sent me a book entitled Artic Village by Robert Marshall, which describes life in the 1930s in Wiseman, Alaska. (Printed in the United States by Thompson-Shore, Inc) Its well worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.
A news flash on Silverado’s gold production:
The sluice plant is now operating for 24 hours per day and is running very efficiently. The quality of the gold recovered is of jewellery quality and commands a 67% premium over and above the gold price. Silverado have reported that they expect to sell the larger nuggets for around $2000.0 per once. The total gold recoveries and related financial numbers will be released throughout the year – watch this space for further developments.
18 July 2006