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National Policy Relevance

The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process holds the promise to substantially satisfy the President's proposed goals in the Presidential Initiatives for energy and environmental policy.

Presidential Initiatives include:

  • Clear Skies Initiative: calls for substantial reductions in SOx, NOx, and mercury. This new proposal will aggressively reduce air pollution from electricity generators and improve air quality throughout the country. The Clear Skies Initiative will cut air pollution 70 percent, using a proven, market-based approach that will save American consumers millions of dollars.

    The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process promises to virtually eliminate these emissions. The IPFC process would capture sulfur and mercury in coal, which is made possible because the coal fuel in which these pollutants reside, is not combusted.
  • Climate Change Initiative: seeks to achieve improvements in carbon management. President Bush said, "we must address the issue of global climate change . . . in a serious and responsible way, given the scientific uncertainties . . . Wise action now is an insurance policy against future risks."

    A development program for the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process would be "action now" because a pilot plant could be on-line in 3 years and a demonstration plant in 7 years, which would establish the means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to half that from traditional coal-fueled electricity plants. Without any costly control technology and without increasing the price of electricity from coal, the IPFC process promises to deliver a 50% improvement in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Hydrogen Initiative: promotes transition to a hydrogen economy. President Bush proposed a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel initiative to reverse America's growing dependence on foreign oil by developing the technology for commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells to power cars, trucks, homes and businesses with no pollution or greenhouse gases. The program includes development of "hydrogen infrastructure."

    The IPFC process promises to make hydrogen produceable by every gasoline station, nationally, at a price that would be at or below the cost of gasoline. There would be no better way to encourage hydrogen infrastructure than to make it broadly produceable throughout the United States.

    The American Physical Society issued a report in March 2004 observing that "hydrogen cannot simply be extracted from the air, ground or water -- it must be produced. Yet, as the Secretary of Energy has stated, current hydrogen production methods are four times more expensive than gasoline." The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process promises to be the best at very cleanly producing electricity and hydrogen from coal (or any fossil fuel). Hydrogen is calcualted to be produced for zero dollars per gallon of gasoline equivalent when electricity is sold for 4 cents per kilowatt hour, a price below current market prices!
  • FutureGen proposes funding the "world's first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant. This project is designed to dramatically reduce air pollution and capture and store greenhouse gases." The White House, "Protecting Our Nation's Environment: A Realistic, Growth-Oriented Approach to Global Climate Change: A Synopsis," undated. FutureGen is more fully explained on the Department of Energy Fossil Energy Program site.

    The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process has an aggressive development project plan, which schedules a 100 megawatt commercial demonstration plant for operation in 7 years.

    The demonstration plant would dramaticlly reduce air polution and make capture and sequestration much less costly by delivering a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide that does not need cleaning before sequestration. Since the carbon dixoide is not mixed with combustion gases in the exhaust stream, it is ready to demonstrate zero carbon dioxide emission.
  • Energy Policy. The Administration also has a significant Energy Policy policy proposal: "America must have an energy policy that plans for the future but meets the needs of today. I believe we can develop our natural resources and protect our environment."

    The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process has the capability to produce electricity, hydrogen and gasoline and diesel fuel from "our natural resources and protect our environment. Domestic fossil fuels and biomass, including high sulfur coals, are the IPFC fuels and its products are electricity, hydrogen and gasoline, which can satisfy "the needs of today."

    The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process economics are very attractive for producing electricity and gasoline from high sulfur coal. If electricity is sold at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, gasoline is a zero cost product.

    The electricity subsidizes the gasoline so that it could be sold at any price per gallon and cover all costs. Of course, profit is a necessary component, so it would have to be sold at market prices, but its potential to contribute to energy independence is unparalleled by any known present or potential process.
  • Oil Refineries. The President believes the United States needs more oil refinieries. In "Remarks by the President on National Energy Policy," President Bush observed: "While there are some -- you know, we can't overcome the fact that we haven't built a refinery in years and we should have."

    There is two-fold benefit from the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process:

    • The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process has the potential to be the means for distributed refinery capacity. Every electric utility, or for that matter every gasoline station, in the United States could have the means to produce gasoline using the IPFC process.

    • The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process has the potential to lower refinery cost by creating a cheap source of hydrogen for refinery-critical operations.

      The National Energy Policy report released by the White House observes that one refinery in the United States "is closing in part because of the cost of meeting cleaner-burning gasoline requirements."

      Hydrogen in refinery processes is the means of making "cleaner-burning gasoline."

      An Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process co-located at a refinery has the potential to provide cheap hydrogen as the means of making "cleaner-burning gasoline." With refinery waste as a potential fuel for the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process, refinery operations can be made that much more efficient.

  • International Energy Goals. The White House reports that a major prong of its strategy to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations is to "assist developing countries, especially the major greenhouse gas emitters such as China and India, so that they will have the tools and resources to join this effort and be able to grow along a cleaner and better path."

    A joint project with China or India to commercialize the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process would go substantially beyond that obtainable from any other energy process toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in China and India. The IPFC process is a much simpler process than the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle because it requires no oxygen system and no steam plant to generate the gasification products.

  • Science Goals. The Bush Administration's August 2004 Annual Report: "Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005" states Carbon dioxide "is the largest single forcing agent of climate change," that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane "have been increasing for about two centuries as a result of human activities," and that "approximately three-quarters of present-day anthropogenic [carbon dioxide] emissions are due to fossil fuel combustion."

    The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell produces about half the carbon dioxide to produce a kilowatt of electricity from fossil fuels as does a traditional fossil fuel combustion power plant. It is an answer competing for recognition with a number of already funded solutions with much lesser potential for carbon dioxide emission reductions.

    The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell also is the best answer for sequestration of carbon dioxide because it produces a concentrated stream ready for sequestration. No cleanup is needed because no other gases are released from the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell component of the process.


    While the Department of Energy has investments in advanced coal powered systems, none tops the potential of the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process, which promises to be significantly better in environmental and cost performance than any known technology, including the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle.

    The range of potential fuels for the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process is also the broadest available: Any carbon containing fuel, including oil, natural gas, coal, or biomass, can be used. Evaluations show the greatest environmental and cost savings may be realized using coal, an abundant domestic resource in the United States.

    The potential of the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process to satisfy 4 Presidential Initiatives and meet urgent national energy priorities should prompt the Federal Government to encourage rapid development of the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process.

    Last modified 2/13/05
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