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December 19, 2007



1. before the advent of the Haber process, ammonium sulfate coproduced with coal tar was the most important synthetic nitrogen fertilizer

2 since ship's bunker coal contains ~ 2% or more of nitrogen ,mostly in polycyclics, , the pyrolysis yield of water soluble pyrroles, pyridine and ammonium compounds may have been in the low teragram range

3 Coal fly ash contains on the order of 1kg P2O5 / tonne

This suggests the codeposition of nutrient phosphorus and nitrogen with iron may have at least locally met the N-P-Fe synergy criterion for enhancement of carbon fixation.

Doug Wilken

Deepest apologies concerning the attribution error at Jerry Pournelle's site. :)

I look forward to your formal paper. It should prove interesting. Keep writing and researching.


What you have just said is equivalent to saying that because China does not filter out fine coal ash (which is now showing up as far as Seattle) that Chinese coal burning power plants are actually fighting Global Warming and might even precipitate an ice age.
This may be true. I hope it is true. I don't see any other source of hope. Solar is going to supplement natural gas peaking, wind is going to supplement hydroelectric generation, and nuclear could supplement, or replace, nuclear, but cars and planes will still need hydrocarbon fuels.
And we certainly appear to be past the tipping point for the Arctic Ice Pack, at least.
As China is not a marine desert, this line of thought is of somewhat limited interest

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Good read! This post made me do a bit research on my history background. The same issues are pressing nowadays, such as the offshore oil drill that just (as always) beyond the realms of reality with today's law.

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A perfect reply! Thanks for tainkg the trouble.

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