(AV_167730_b) Energy Crisis

i’ll tell you all of you for later tonight we feel this is a very pertinent subject and we’re glad that you’re taking an interest in it we would also like to thank our four panelists and our moderator for taking time from their very easy schedules to come and talk to us we feel that we have assembled a very qualified and very distinguished group of men here to talk to us about this subject so at this time i’ll turn this over to howardvale but before just before i do that i wanted to explain that woi is going to take this program them to our bell and he will ask the four panelists the different questions then this way they can get it all on tape so um this time howard would you like to introduce our panel well thank you very much gladys uh ladies and gentlemen tonight we’re very fortunate to have a distinguished panel on hand to discuss the topic the energy crisis just a couple words of introduction here energy is absolutely essential facet in the welfare of the united states and the reason of course is that all human life depends upon energy and this nation could not possibly live without it dr glenn seaborg the former head of the atomic energy commission and the 1972 president of the american academy of science put it succinctly when he stated quote the future of energy is the future of man without it we become nothing with it we become whatever we wish and strive to be and it’s doubtlessly no mere coincidence that there is a relationship when you’re comparing groups of nations to note that less than 50 percent of the world’s population consumes close to 90 percent of the world’s energy and there’s a great chasm between the advancement of the energy-using natures and the non-users the greater the power consumption per year per capita the greater the life expectancy life expectancy and literacy of the populace not to mention the overall prosperity of the nation and the growth national product it would appear then that denied a sufficient supply of energy a developed country could progressively backslide to a more primitive state now today we’re confronted with a situation in which a total lack of energy is certainly not a realistic prospect for this country but we are confronted by an actual inadequacy of supply at the present time and a growing potential for shortages in the future and to many experts our energy future looks rather bleak right now representative craig hosmer of california is the most prospective congressional observer of energy matters likens our problem to that of a man who having jumped from the floor of a 40-story building the 40th floor casually observes as he passes the 20th floor that things still look pretty good but upon reaching the tenth floor he observes that the problem is beginning to look rather serious the bottom line of representative hosmer’s analysis is that the nation’s energy problems have now reached about the fifth floor now how did we get here how do we avoid a crisis well our panelists will view the problem and offer possible solutions from varying points of view the first panelist tonight who address you is dr glenn murphy a man with whom i’ve had many pleasant years of experience i was on the staff at iowa state university he’s a distinguished pres professor of engineering at iowa state university he’s the head of the department of nuclear engineering and he’s the author of many articles and books in a wide range of engineering topics and has been honored by national engineering societies for his contribution to the overall field of engineering without further ado glenn i’ll turn it over to you thank you hard as hard as pointed out there is a serious deficit of energy approaching and this comes about simply because we’re using more energy sometime this morning probably every one of us flipped a light switch and the light came on just as it did a year ago but one thing is different and that is that there are more people and all of the people are wanting more power the net increase is amounted to about seven percent in the last year and that rate has been going on for many decades not much seven percent increase is not much and we rather get

used to a seven percent increase but this means that the doubling time of energy requirements is about 10 years this means that in 1983 we’ll need about twice as much power as we did today in 93 we’ll need four times as much in the year 2003 we’ll need about eight times as much energy this is based on the data that have accrued in the past and includes both the population increase which is about one and three tenths percent per year with additional births death rate being lowered somewhat or greater age of living and immigration entering in the present rates this means that the city of ames would require the equivalent of 16 of the present power plants that we have within the 30-year period if you look in the phone book you will see that we have a municipal plant that added to its capacity in 1958 and again just 10 years later in 1968 it was approximately doubled just a little more than doubled in that two-year period so by 1978 we will expect it to be doubling again last time it cost us 8 million dollars to double the size of the par plant you can assume that it’s going to cost something the next time we add to it this been going on all over the united states so that the average has amounted to seven percent per year and as i said this comes about because there’s greater power use per capita when i was uh growing up in our home there were four light bulbs in the house that is four drop cords from the ceiling and we had about 40 watt lights in each one of these and never had more than two of them on at the same time well the situation is quite different now in our house we have something over 50 electric motors associated with different parts of the house so this particular thing is not unique to us i am sure now how are we going to accommodate the increasing need for energy well one way of course is to keep right on building power plants the way we have been if we continue this at the present rate and there’s every reason to expect that the present rate will continue by the year 2003 or 30 years from now this will mean that we need to build more than 10 times as many electric power plants as the total of those constructed in the past 67 years new construction will amount to something over 2 million megawatts of electrical power now at 400 megawatts each this would be something in the order of 5 000 new plants that would need to be built within the next 30 years the iowa quota of that would amount of course to about a hundred plants or approximately one large plant per county this construction would mean that we would need something over 6 million man years of effort simply to build the plants alone this would require about 200 000 men working full-time for 30 years now when you consider that our present labor capacity is only about 50 000 involved in this time in this kind of labor you will see that we have some difficulty in getting the power plants constructed let alone fueled and operated if we look at the fueling that might be involved in these we can think of several different things that may be used of course fossil fuels are the first ones that come to mind coal oil and gas because these have been used in the past for a considerable extent and some of the other panelists will be talking more in detail about those so i will simply pass over that by mentioning that we have problems in connection with coal production because of the strict mine laws that have gone into effect and because of the difficulty in locating sources that are cheap and which are low in sulfur content

the oil problem is one which is confronting us at the present time you talked to anyone out in pamel court within the last month and they will have things to say about the oil supply gas we know is has some problems mainly economic associated with that if we look at the other sources of power we have hydro power and we do not have much more potential for the development of hydropower within the united states this certainly will not by any stretch of the imagination begin to take care of the needs in the future another possibility is wind power 30 40 years ago one would see windmills scattered all over this part of the country to help with to supply some of the power need and to help with the production of electricity in some cases now the difficulty with this is that wind doesn’t blow consistently and it doesn’t always blow at the time we need the power so it does not look at the present time as though this would be a very dependable source of power tidal power is another one which can be utilized theoretically the tidal power however is very expensive to develop according to all estimates that have been made and it means that the power would be developed at the seacoast rather than being available economically to the interior of the country thermal power in the sea is one on which some experimental work has been done the french have developed some electrical power by utilizing the difference in water temperature between the surface and the depths of the sea geothermal power or utilizing the power coming from the greater heat down in the depths of the earth is used effectively in certain locations in iceland for example they are using geothermal power to heat all of the buildings in the city of reykjavik we’ve been using geothermal power as well in california in some places it is available in quantity in new zealand and has been used in italy for many years in a portion of northern italy solar energy has been talked about somewhat in connection with that we have two principal problems one of them is storage of the solar energy the fact that the sun doesn’t shine at night and the other problem is one that the of the overcast that is frequently present so that this coupled together with the fact that there is a very low efficiency in the production of electricity from solar energy means that it is not a very effective method at present someone has calculated that it would be necessary to utilize essentially all of the state of arizona to as a solar collector in order to provide the power that is used that would be used in the united states by the year 2000 this is not very practical the other thing that could be done of course would be to build a solar collector put it out into space where it wouldn’t take up any of the earth’s surface and then beam the energy back to the earth well in view of the fact that we sometimes have difficulty getting power from the ames plant downtown out to the third ward i’m not quite sure that we could dependably get all of the power back from a station out in space somewhere so we need to look at some other things well as you might have guessed from the introduction one of the other possibilities is nuclear power and i’d like to say just a few words about that as well and that is that nuclear power has certain advantages on the face of it that is the advantage of having a large amount of energy available with a small amount of material a pound of uranium fully consumed as fuel will be equivalent to a long train load of coal and it also has a potential for producing more fuel from non-fuel materials than it utilizes

put in other words what i’m saying is that we can take a pound of uranium utilize it completely to get the energy out of it theoretically at least and at the same time produce about one and three tenths pounds of new fuel now this is the ideal to which we are are striving at the present time it is actually possible to produce more fuel than is being consumed and at the same time produce large amounts of energy from the fuel this is with the fusion with efficient devices that we now have with the fusion devices that are being considered but which have not yet been engineered to the point of actually producing fusion power in quantity it would be possible then to produce about eight times as much energy as is produced per pound of the present uranium fuel the uh another advantage of the fusion device when when this is developed and i look for its development within 50 years at the outside we would then be able to utilize seawater as one of the sources of energy some of the constituents of seawater could be utilized as the fuel and there would be adequate fuel capacity for many years to come so far as the problems about nuclear energy are concerned first of all let me say that many of these problems have been overcome so that nuclear energy is being produced cheaper than its competitors under certain conditions the safety of the nuclear plants is well demonstrated it is the safest of the industrial operations that are that we know about the this comes about as a result of a great deal of care in the development of the plants the licensing arrangements are very complex and compliance is checked on regularly radioactivity coming from the plants has been a source of concern to many people the both inside the industry and outside of the industry the facts are that there’s been sufficient concern within the industry that the radioactivity levels have been held very low at the outside of plants the a jet flight between des moines and los angeles will subject a person to more radioactivity than they would be subjected to by being on the outside of a nuclear plant for four months day and night the waste disposal problem is another one that is getting considerable attention at the present time this i think is going to be one which we will solve by the very simple expedient of making use of the waste products up to this point it has not been particularly economical or people have not been particularly interested in utilizing the waste product but as with most everything else we can find uses for these and this i think is going to be the ultimate answer on waste disposal well in summary because my time is about up i would say that this that all indications are that we will need about eight times as much energy within thirty years as we are using at the present time providing for this energy is going to strain our construction capabilities it is going to give us difficulties concerning the obtaining of adequate fuel and the distribution of this the solution i believe ultimately will be to use a mixture of fuels with nuclear coming into the picture more and more and i have full confidence in our ability to solve these problems as time goes on when we need to solve a problem we can usually solve it thank you very much glenn your remarks are certainly very interesting and informative our

next panelist is dr carl vondrum carl’s professor of geology in the department of earth science at iowa state university is disciplined in stratigraphy and prior to coming to iowa state university he was employed as an exploration geologist for both chevron and amaco corporations carl thank you howard let me adjust my slides here a moment at the end of the trade for you well indeed there is an energy crisis and it’s not one that was created by the petroleum industry i’d like to talk to you about petroleum there is still a great deal of petroleum to be found in fact enough to satisfy our needs for a few years there is petroleum that is our main source of energy petroleum which would involve oil and gas these are fossil fluids that occur trapped within the rocks of the earth’s surface you notice here that the demand is very great it’s surprisingly great in fact and this is fairly recent you can see january 15th and it has to do with statistics for the week of january 5th 18 million 193 000 barrels of oil per day are used in this country that’s of that particular week and that’s up 1956 000 over the previous year at the same time and the figures for the past week unfortunately i didn’t have an opportunity to make a slide of those are up 200 000 barrels per day over a month ago so you see our our need or demand for this kind of energy is increasing but our supply is down the supply as of a month ago the week of january 5th was 12 million 35 000 barrels per day and that involved a number of things that involved domestic crude production which was nine million four hundred thousand barrels and involved crude imports which have been increasing and it involved product imports these are petroleum derivatives that are imported from europe and from the near east and south america and then of course the crude which runs to the stills from sources that we have domestically here i’m sorry i gave you the wrong figure i actually should have added these together should have been 13 million and some about 14 million so you see we’re running behind i took this as a total so the total should actually be these four are these three figures here for our actual supply so our supply is running behind our demand now we have stocks however and their stocks are significant but of course they wouldn’t last too long at the present rate that we’re utilizing the oil and here are our stocks you can see that our crude on hand that we have is 242 million barrels or 243 million barrels and we have quite a stock of gasoline and quite a stock of middle distillates and these are the the fuel oils that we’ve been so concerned about here recently it has been this that has brought our attention to our energy crisis and of course the shortage of gas i have the next line well that crisis definitely exists and it’s because we don’t have enough petroleum on hand at present this gives you some idea of how much petroleum has been found in this country since the first oil well was found in in the 1850s and there has been of course an increasing demand for that oil at first the first 50 years it was very difficult to get rid of it or to sell it it was sold primarily as as medicines and elixirs but gradually it replaced the whale oil business in fact it caused the death of that industry and it took over as a lubricant and then eventually as a as a primary source of fuel of energy well this is how much is left to be discovered 810 billion barrels left to be discovered uh actually that’s not quite true the amount total amount that will be discovered that includes the amount that has been discovered in the amount which is

discoverable and here’s the same for gas natural gas this is the amount that has been discovered today this is the total amount which will be discovered from the first time we began utilizing natural gas this is the amount that remains to be discovered so you see there is still at least a natural gas a sizeable amount to be discovered and the same is true with oil but our increased demand however is making this amount a very small one and we can make predictions up to 18 up to 1985 and it looks still pretty good for petroleum let me have the next slot big problem is the fact that we haven’t been carrying on exploration the way we should have to find this petroleum and there are a number of reasons for that one of our greatest sources or areas which provide a source for petroleum is the gulf coast region offshore it provides about daily about 1.6 million barrels of oil which supplies a good share of the petroleum we use in this country the rest of that nine million comes from the interior here however we have not tapped of course this area up here in alaska well looking at the offshore region most of the oil is telling where all the oil is coming from the continental shelf area an area that varies in depth from from sea level to 600 feet below sea level thus far we’ve only explored two percent of our continental shelf so you see we have a good share of our continental shelf area here and that’s all in this darker blue right here to be explored around our continent of north america and a good deal around the united states itself some of the areas that hold great potential of course we know about the gulf coast here it’s subdivided into three areas the greatest one being the central region but this one is just now being looked at the eastern gulf coast and it looks like it will have equally as great potential as the central gulf coast the southern atlantic the central atlantic the northern atlantic all will be important and of course this area uh north of of alaska will be very important our entire west coast shows a great deal of of potential including of course that area off santa barbara which now has been off limits for a couple of years for drawing as a result of an accident there a drilling accident which resulted in the leaking of oil there are onshore many good areas to search for petroleum that are remaining however they are becoming very expensive because the obvious areas have been have been explored this requires drilling to depths of 20 to 30 000 feet and that is very expensive just recently the deepest well drilled in oklahoma just a year ago went to 30 500 feet and it was in search of gas natural gas they found gas at 18 000 feet the gas potential of that well is about 200 000 cubic feet of gas per day and the cost of gas today the average cost of the wellhead to the fellow that found that oil well or gas well is 17.1 per thousand cubic feet so you can see that makes that well just marginal when you consider that it cost six million dollars to drill the well alone and it doesn’t take into account the expense involved in exploration the anadarko basin which is in southern southwestern oklahoma and in the panhandle of texas is one of these deep gas basins where the average wells are being drilled to twenty thousand feet and it holds great potential for natural gas and will provide us with estimates are anywhere from 50 to 100 trillion cubic feet of gas to date it’s only provided about 11 11 trillion cubic feet of gas but it has great potential but it will be very expensive to drill to those depths and at the present cost for gas of gas which is fixed by the fpc it’s not profitable to really go out and search for it so there you see what the potential is at least i have a few things that i’ve written down here that i think need to be done if we’re going to get some of this energy of course it’s not everlasting as you can see first thing we’re going to have to do is coordinate our national energy policies

there are some 60 agencies government agencies that are involved in energy one way or another and there really is no coordination between them second we’re going to have to establish realistic environmental health and safety standards that involve the search for energy of course that this will require some protection for the environment that is an important concern but at the same time i think there will have to be a balance between uh environment and our search for energy third we’re going to have to encourage a greater development of resources on public lands and this is a real problem about 50 percent of our remaining oil and gas potential is on public land and that includes these continental shelf areas that i mentioned to you by the way i didn’t mention the continental slope area which has not been searched at all and that’s the region from six hundred to six thousand foot depths beneath sea level that has not been looked at at all well just recently there was an offshore sale of land uh government land and just a very small parcel was was put out for sale and those sales are about yearly that small parcel of of land brought on closed bids 1.6 billion dollars which went to the federal government well that 1.6 billion dollars could have drilled could have drilled all the oil wells wildcat wells and production wells that were drilled during the previous year during 1972 or during 1971 actually it was during 1972 in september that this sale was held it was for offshore louisiana lands so you can see what part of the problem is the oil companies are paying so much just for the opportunity to drill in the area to the federal government that there just isn’t enough capital left to to do the necessary exploration and then such small parcels are let out for sale the same is true for coal and uranium forty percent of the coal is on federal land fifty percent of uranium on federal land about eighty five percent of the oil shale and tar sands which may be very important in the future are on federal land and of course the charter that i showed you here involves the recoverable oil the free oil not that which is trapped within shales or trapped within the tar sands and there is almost as much trapped in that as was shown on that chart for instance in the tar sands of canada there are and these aren’t estimates they’re actual figures eight hundred billion barrels of oil tied up in the tar sands is to maintain the oil import quotas and i think we all know the reasons for that the more oil imports we bring into this country the less likely we’re going to search for oil here now you might say well let’s go find our own oil and not produce it let’s go ahead and import oil from foreign countries it just doesn’t work that way when you put six million dollars into a well you want to get a return on that investment you can’t afford to let that six million dollars sit there for 15 years now perhaps the federal government could do that but industry cannot so it would discourage our own exploration and make us dependent upon foreign countries many of which are very difficult to deal with politically sixth we should allow field prices of natural gas to reach their competitive level rather than placing a a arbitrary level of 17.1 cent which is the average uh price at the well head per thousand cubic feet of of gas and the prices vary from 5 cents per thousand cubic feet controlled by the federal government all the way to 40 cents 40 cents right now is more realistic this this well-head price was set arbitrarily in 1958 and finally we should expand research industry of course does carry on a good deal research but it varies with the amount of capital they have to deal with and the profit they’re making and in the last few years the profit hasn’t been good i might add that the industry is is planning a big exploratory effort this next year they are budgeting a record 10.2 million dollars for for exploration actually for exploration and production refineries etc 5.8 million 5.8 billion

will be for exploratory drilling and exploration and it will result in about 32 000 wells being drilled which will be a record the last time they came close to that was in 1969. that’s assuming of course it will be a record that’s assuming they have some some success because that’s important the more success you have the more initiative you have to search for oil thank you well thank you your remarks were very interesting and gave us a good deal of food for thought our next panelist is dr james j o’toole he’s a physiologist associate professor at iowa state university in a vet college an associate at ames lab he’s an ecologist in the area of radiation and chairman of the environmentology council at iowa state jim will give us an environmentalist viewpoint of the energy crisis jim thank you hard well the energy crisis we face now and inevitably in the future casts a double shadow the one we see clearly now outlines the dilemma of the near future and our problem in finding energy sources to supply our needs for direct use in heating transportation electrical generation in keeping industry and agriculture going living in the manor no doubt the grand manner in which we become accustomed needless to say our technological society now consumes more energy per person than any other nation over twice as much as sweden and other western european nations in a relatively short period of time we have come to experience a domestic shortage in petroleum with future projections showing greater demands for imported oil since the early 1950s our per capita consumption has doubled our appetite for electricity is even greater here our doubling time per capita is 10 years and what’s more important this rate of increase has been predicted to continue and i wonder if you appreciate just what doubling time means to mathematicians it’s called exponential growth i like to illustrate it in this way a fellow living in the country has a lily pond at least it will be a lily pond but on day one the first of may he wanders around and spots a water lily down in the corner of the pond and the second day he sees two and the third day he sees four and in the fourth day he sees eight he takes a trip and comes back on the 29th day and notices that his lily pond is half covered and i wonder how many days he has left before it’s completely covered he’s got one day to understand the impact of any exponential growth rate is to understand the problems that we face in the future and the very near future uh one report states that if this rate continues we’ll run out of power plant and trend transmission sites about the year 2000 one generation away and out of land and water space by the middle 2000 unfortunately there are other severe considerations that may have escaped serious scrutiny and to interject a reflective note let me ask the obvious question what are we going to do with all this energy well we have reached a lifestyle now that base to a great extent on the culture of waste how can our environment really tolerate any more of this approach imagining a quadrupling and a quadrupling of that in the early 2000s more importantly where will the raw materials come to which this energy will be applied right now six percent of the world’s population we use over 30 percent of the world’s resources i think you can see the relationship now between natural resources and energy this energy has to go someplace the environmental impacts of energy use are directly related to the per capita consumption of energy for example our annual health and property damage bill for air pollution alone is 16 billion dollars of which six billion is assigned to fossil fuel power plants

and this is in the council of environmental quality 71 annual report if we prorate this cost per power plant it would about equal the cost of the mortgage payments on the average fossil fuel plant but getting back to resources the industrial productivity of this country has resulted in a great drain on our own natural resources as well as the worlds we import over ninety percent of aluminum and chromium ores sixty five percent of nickel and tin ores and over 30 percent of iron ores our main resource non-renewable we live on a spaceship earth and as the cliche goes we recognize that everything has a limit emphasize this here’s a few statistics which estimate the current supplies of global resources and these are from the u.s bureau of mines mineral facts and problems resume an official publication these supplies are i’ll quote these on two basis the length of time they will last based on the exponential use of energy and the length of time they will last provided we level off at our present rate of consumption in aluminum at a constant rate it would last 100 years at an exponential growth rate 31 years iron would last 243 years 90 years exponentially chromium 420 years at a constant rate 95 exponentially led 26 at a constant rate 21 exponentially nickel 150 years 53 exponentially natural gas 38 years 22 years exponentially petroleum 31 and only 20 years exponentially copper 21 years exponentially zinc 18 years exponentially obviously if we could find a genie’s lamp like fusion power we still would be stuck with our limited earth and its short supplies the long shadow portends even more these productive ventures produce pollution every increment of productivity leaves its impact on air water and land we shouldn’t be diluted with the public utterances that energy will solve the pollution problem there are of course action forcing programs that will minimize environmental impact but these must be anticipated and integrated with the growth phenomenon and we’re way behind right now as that statement that was published on health effects of air pollution when i say integrated i mean we have to view our system in its holistic aspect that energy is not something to be considered separately from resources and separately from the environment in which we live and even separately from our own personal desires and wants and we’re getting pretty fundamental when we reach this level of consideration we may even by now begin to visualize a model emerging from our manner of life our day-to-day demands and relate this to the limits imposed by the earth itself just as the natural world is limited by its energy source and by its natural resources in the soil and in the water we need to consider this both our physical limits and our psychological limits in order to survive we live in a nation where the public has come to accept the fact that decisions which are vital to society are being made almost exclusively by institutions and governments in our present dilemma we should ask one another whether or not these present institutions are serving the public and if not what is needed in the way of reorganizing public institutions to achieve their proper end in order to answer this key question the public will have to agree on what is a public interest and set goals for the nation’s future not just until today’s fuel crisis is solved or gets band-aid treatment but the long long pulling of the future with the understanding that when the decisions we make today on energy and resources will have its impact on the quality of life for our grandchildren and their great grandchildren the year 2000 is only one generation away to set our goals we as individuals need to learn a great deal about energy and about our store of resources which is all we have on this spaceship perhaps our first lesson the fuel crisis today has made its impression we know now that these factors have limits

we have to learn a great deal about the relationship of energy to our society and its complexity early pioneers for example knew at a glance at the woodshed or a look out the back window at the at the woodlot what was in store for the coming season now we rely on a complex supply system with options and decisions being made by others far removed who frequently disagree among themselves and who have vested interests other than the public interest it’s time we tried to close this knowledge and information gap it’s apparent that our institutions which are charged with responsibility for coordinating allocation use of energy and resources are also in a state of confusion energy crisis were predicted 20 years ago by resource analysts and demographers the public today is clamoring for a national fuel and energy policy and there is none yet visible the significant cause of this dilemma is a division of responsibilities among government agencies all with separate missions for example the department of material has long had the mission of developing coal and oil resources of the nation the aec has had the mission in both promoting and regulating the development of nuclear power the bureau of reclamation the corps of engineers has had the job of damning rivers and developing hydroelectric sources these roles were set when the nation was conscious of its great resource base which required at that time exploitation for a young and growing nation as a result the agencies took on these attitudes of exploitation and inevitably became sympathetic to the ever-present voice of the developers it is no secret that the department of interior had a special relationship with the petroleum industry in this atmosphere the public whose desires are less well articulated come off second best it has been pointed out in the senate interior committee report a copy of which you may examine that a more direct input of public opinion is essential to the democratic process the need has in part become apparent in congress and one landmark act the national environmental policy act of 1969 was a major move in giving the public a direct input into agency decision making needless to say what that act has done too much of resource development in this country it’s important to recognize that in our complex society decisions are for the most part made outside the public sphere and often in spite of public opposition the impact of energy and natural resource decision making points out the urgency of considering new institutional arrangements where these unorganized segments of society you and i be represented by spokesman and supported by a staff with resources the idea of ombudsman in government is not new the present energy dilemma has emphasized the limitation of the present way many government institutions operate specific deficiencies show one inadequate development of a foundation of information on energy resources and their production and especially the side effects of their development two because of the imbalance and the influence of various sectors of society our public energy decision making does not reflect society’s preference but rather special interests three energy policy programs and regulatory decisions are made in separate offices piecemeal resulting in poor coordination and little possibility of balancing into relationships four regulatory responsibilities of many agencies are interwoven with their program responsibilities which promote the resource wherever solution whatever solution the future may hold for these and other problems such as are related to energy they will not be arrived at in time unless we the public mount our own exponential growth curve a growth curve in self-education public expression and innovative involvement in the planning and decision-making process thank you thank you jim for those thought-provoking remarks dealing with the pitfalls and problems associated with our growing demand for energy and your program for coming to grips with these problems i’d like to say last but certainly by no means least our last panelist brianke’s initial presentation is dr thomas d willock professor chemical engineering department at iowa state university

prior to coming to iowa state university dr wheelock worked as both a sales engineer and chemical engineer in industry and during his stay at iowa state university has also done consulting work with industry in the area of research his interest lies in the area of investigating fluidized bed reactors and their application to various chemical treatment processes such as coal gasification which is a potential source of energy supply and without further ado we’ll turn it over to you tom thank you howard i’d like to have the lights dimmed so i can show a few slides i think we need to be concerned today about our supply of natural gas this chart which appeared in chemical engineering magazine last october shows the potential demand and anticipated supply for natural gas starting in 1965 and continuing through the year 1985 now i think that what this shows is that the potential demand is far outstripping the supply the spline demand were pretty much in balance back in 1965 but by 1970 the potential gas demand was about 14 percent greater than the supply and by 1985 the potential gas demand is going to be about 179 percent greater than the supply now our supply curve for gas probably peaked out in 1970 and so now we’re in a period of steady decline whereas our demand curve continues to rise well back when man first appeared here on the surface of the earth there was about nine or ten times as much energy tied up in the form of coal and lignite as in the form of natural gas or petroleum this graph shows and compares the initial supply here on the surface of the earth and you can see that coal was present in much greater amounts now we’re using up the gas and oil at a great rate fortunately most of our initial coal supply is still intact now this is data that was assembled by the u.s geological survey several years ago and is attributed to king hubbard of that agency and it shows plotted here the annual production rate of natural gas in the united states from starting in the year 1900 and continuing through the year 2060 and from 1900 up to the present time of course natural gas supply and demand and production increased at an exponential rate every year the supply and consumption increased by 6.34 percent now we’re at this point and you see if we follow this exponential curve we’d go right out the roof obviously this is a physical impossibility and hubbard predicted that the production of gas would have to peak out and he predicted that it would peak out in 1980. well you saw on that previous graph that it probably peaked out in 1970 so from here on out it’s a declining supply now i think the most startling finding is that about 80 percent of our total gas supply will be consumed and only 65 years this is you know barely one person’s lifetime and to think that 80 percent of our gas will be used up within that span of time i think is quite startling this situation the case of coal is much brighter this graph shows the annual production rate of coal between 1800 and the year 2 800 now the time scale here is much broader this covers a thousand years so far we’ve used the amount of coal which is represented by this the shaded area now hubbard has estimated that we could increase our production of coal for a number of years perhaps for the next 200 years before it would peak out and our production rate would

start to decline now there are two curves on this graph one of them is a very conservative estimate this reflects the coal fields that have been mapped and measured accurately the other curve is a much less conservative estimate but i think the important thing is that we have enough coal to last us for several centuries whereas we only have enough gas to last perhaps a few decades now the coal in the united states is widely distributed this map shows where the principal coal fields are located in the united states now of course you’ve heard about the appalachian coal fields they’re very famous and a lot of our best coal comes from that area in the midwest we have large coal fields underlying iowa illinois missouri kansas and of course in the west we have some very large coal fields which are largely untapped and we have lignite fields down in the southern part of the united states and also up here in the dakotas the character and quality of the coal vary a great deal from one coal field to another here in the midwest our coal tends to be of medium quality it has a great deal of sulfur great deal of ash forming material in appalachia they have a high quality bituminous coal but it too contains appreciable amounts of sulfur and it’s only out here in the west in the rocky mountain area that you find coal that contains very little sulfur and so today you may have observed unit trains on the railroad passing through ames conveying this coal from wyoming to the chicago area where they need the low sulfur coal the fact that coal is widely distributed i think means that sometime in the future will be feasible to locate coal gasification plants in various parts of the country which will be close to consumption centers for example i wouldn’t be surprised but in the future we’d see a large gas plant in the dakotas supplying gas to the minneapolis-st paul area we’ll probably see gas plants in central oil illinois supplying the chicago area and gas plants in west virginia and pennsylvania supplying the population centers of the east coast the transportation distances will be of course much smaller than they are at present for conveying gas from the gulf coast region to saint paul or to chicago or to the eastern seaboard what about the technology some of you may recall it several decades ago every city in the united states almost had a gas plant in fact we had a gas plant right here in ames for making gas from coal the type of gas it was produced was a very inferior quality i don’t think any of us would want to go back to that type of gas so the gasification of coal in the future demands new and improved technology some of this is available today in germany the lergie company of germany has developed processes a process for converting coal into a substitute natural gas unfortunately the german process has a few drawbacks for example it’s not suitable for all types of coal so in the united states today we have a sizable research and development program which is aimed at developing new processes for converting coal into substitute natural gas and there are at least four leading processes under development which i have listed here the high gas process the co2 acceptor process by gas process and the synthane process the synthane process is being developed by the u.s bureau mines high gas process by the institute of gas technology in chicago this process the co2 acceptor process by the continental oil company by gas process by the bituminous coal research institute now in addition to these processes for manufacturing high quality synthetic or substitute natural gas we also have another type of process being developed which would produce a low btu fuel gas which would be used for the generation of electric

power you may have noticed within the last couple of weeks an item in the paper a newspaper saying that westinghouse had been awarded a contract by the government to develop a low btu fuel gas now this simply compares the characteristics of the old type of coal gas that we used to produce in this country with the new substitute natural gas that we need several decades ago we produced water gas which was primarily a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen it had a low heating value it was produced in low pressure rather inefficient processes it was uneconomical to transport very far and of course it would be incompatible with our present burners today we couldn’t use it in our furnaces and stoves without changing the burners so what we need is a substitute natural gas which has essentially the same chemical composition as natural gas which has a high heating value just as natural gas has which would be produced in high pressure continuous processes which would be economical to transport and which would be combative compatible with present burners to produce this type of gas from coal requires a very complex process and i show here a schematic diagram of such a process which starts with mining the coal and then pre-treating it gasifying it at high temperatures and pressures with steam the gas would then have to be cleaned and be passed through several chemical reaction steps in order to finally produce the high quality substitute natural gas we need this simply shows some of the chemical reactions involved and i think you can see that it’s a very complex process consequently requires a great deal of development which takes a long time and a lot of funds several gas pipeline companies have announced their intention to construct coal gasification plants two of them in new mexico and northwestern new mexico and the four corners area one of them in central illinois now hopefully these plants may be constructed and ready to operate by the latter half of the present decade these plants would utilize the german technology because we haven’t yet developed our own technology each of these plants would be quite sizable each would be capable of producing about 250 million standard cubic feet of gas per day each would cost about a quarter of a billion dollars each would consume about four to five hundred train car loads of coal a day at the same time our own technology is developing and this is being sponsored and supported by jointly by the american gas association and the office of coal research which is in the department of interior the primary thrust of this development program is a series of large pilot plants so now we have a large pilot plant in chicago designed to demonstrate the high gas process there’s another large pilot plant in rapid city south dakota designed to demonstrate the co2 acceptor process another large plant is under construction in pennsylvania to demonstrate the bygas process this joint program is costing 30 million dollars per year with one-third of the funds coming from industry and two-thirds from government now the idea here is to demonstrate these processes in the pilot plant scale take the information that’s developed in the pilot plant operations use that to design a prototype plant which will be one third of full industrial scale this prototype plant will cost about 150 million dollars and perhaps it will be ready to operate by 1976