Low Grade Coal Deposit Makes Natural “Boiler” to Generate Electricity (Apr, 1932)

Low Grade Coal Deposit Makes Natural “Boiler” to Generate Electricity

VISUALIZE two million straining horses lashed to a load that would be one-eighth the weight of Mount McKinley and you will have some idea of the tremendous power that will be generated in the low-grade coal districts by the super-power stations of the near future.

In the new method devised by engineers to utilize the country’s vast deposits of low-grade coal, unsuitable for factory or home furnaces, Mother Earth is to be used as a boiler and burn this coal without ever bringing it to the surface.

The plan recently proposed calls for a number of pipes to be driven down to the deposits. One series of pipes carries water to the underground cavities, while other pipes carry air under high pressure, so that the coal burning there will develop high heat. Still another series of pipes carries the steam generated to the power station high above on the surface.

At the power station, giant turbines, each producing 150,000 h.p., would permit the steam to expand and turn huge electrical generators. With this scheme, expensive boilers, boiler room attendants, as well as coal will be eliminated. This underground inferno will furnish power for entire state.

  1. Gazzie says: May 8, 200810:09 pm

    Someone should email this to the Governor of Pennsylvania. They’ve had an underground coal seam burning in Centralia since 1962. Hell… they could have had two million straining horses working for them the last 46 years.

  2. jayessell says: May 9, 200812:25 pm

    Wasn’t this mentioned in Charles Steinmetz’s famous article
    “This may seem a dream” which mentioned electricity to cheap to meter?
    (Just pay a service fee for the outlets in your house.)

    Charlie… Change tag from ‘Aviation’ to ‘Impractical’.

  3. jayessell says: May 9, 200812:54 pm

    Dang! I read that article years ago and can’t find it!

    “You will think this a dream.”
    Ladies Home. Journal, September 15 1915.
    Charles Steinmetz

    I thought I read it at Paleo-Future.

  4. Charlie says: May 9, 20081:56 pm

    jayessell: Whoops, not exactly sure why I clicked aviation on that.

  5. Absolutejagauar says: May 13, 20085:27 am

    Laugh all you like, the truth is closer to this story than you think. In-Situ burning of low grade coal or oil stone is being ivestigated worlwide. Shame it took them 70 years to get there.

  6. Dog0 says: July 28, 20087:45 am

    Utopia Inc. ? I suppose the stuff coming out of the chimney must be fairy floss 🙂

  7. Tenocticatl says: January 16, 20113:05 pm

    Using the underground chamber as a geothermal source seems smarter… just pump in water, no air.

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