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The end of use of the term fossil fuels

Thomas Brown, Thomas Gold

Thomas Brown, writer, Thomas Gold, physicist at University of Cambridge, England, Harvard University, Cornell University. He was interested in the abiogenic formation of fossil fuels: These comments are by University of Connecticut Emeritus Professor of Physics, Howard Cork Hayden about Thomas Gold's work, which is the basis of this article by Thomas Brown.

"I have read Thomas Gold’s work, and find it fascinating. When we look at the oceans of methane on Titan, and see spectra from methane all around, we have to ask why the earth should be excluded from the family of bodies around the sun that have primordial methane."

"I quarrel with this: 'Coal is amazingly pure carbon, often 90% or more, with mineral contents as low as 4%, and ash residues of less than 3%.' Carbon atoms have an atomic mass of 12, and hydrogen atoms have a mass of 1. Coal is basically CH --- one atom of each --- making coal 92% carbon by weight. Coal is neither diamonds nor graphite, the natural forms of carbon in nature; it is not pure carbon."

"Gold imagines microbes deep in the ground slowly working on CH4, removing hydrogen atoms by combining them with oxygen stolen from (say) ferric oxide to make ferrous oxide. Petroleum is close to being CH2, and coal to CH1 (CH). So if Gold’s argument is to be used, it is important not to call coal 'amazingly pure carbon.' ”