Coal for Construction, Not Energy

If we are facing a future powered by LENR — or any non-carbon-based fuel — there are obviously going to be impacts on existing energy industries, and in that light I found an article entitled “Coal Doesn’t Have To Die – We Can Make Furniture Out Of It” by James Conca at Forbes interesting. He writes:

Industry and Wall Street are beginning to gear up for a new materials future. Coal as a non-burning resource will drive the expansion of new carbon-based industries that will replace wood-based, metal-based and plastic-based products such as furniture, utility poles, home-construction materials, beams, ropes, industrial belts, car bodies and a host of other products.

Think of resin chairs that could seat an elephant, last a hundred years, and be really cool looking.

Such carbon products could be used in space exploration and human habitation off-world to protect astronauts and colonists from many forms of radiation and from high energy particles using especially dense and strong forms of carbon materials and fibers. Such new carbon technology would also offer ultra-strong carbon-fiber belts for use in the space-elevator

It appears that coal is a good candidate for the production of graphene, the widely-touted new supermaterial which has incredible strength and lightness as well as heat and electrical conduction capabilities. Coal is an abundant resources widely distributed throughout the world with an already existing mining and distribution infrastructure in place.

Conca mentions that taking coal out of the energy production equation will require a new mix of energy sources, He supports “Gen III” nuclear, more natural gas and other renewables to make up the difference. The transition to an age where carbon was the basis for materials would be greatly enhanced by widespread use of LENR to provide energy in many settings — something we talk often about here.

I like James Conca’s thinking. I think articles like this provide great food for thought and discussion. We’re living in an age where it seems that technological miracles are occurring in many fields. To have the LENR and Graphene industries emerging at the same time is very exciting and I think could lead to a future that we can at present barely imagine in terms of technological advancement.