This is a brief description of studies that exemplify the methods and approaches that have been developed and used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers in conducting integrated assessments. See the complete list of Integrated Assessment Briefs to find out more about ORNL's efforts in integrated assessment. Contact Mike Farrell ( for more information.

Ecological Hazards of H-Coal Liquefaction

The H-coal process is a demonstration of a new synfuel technology.

How could new synfuel technologies such as H-coal liquefaction affect environmental resources?

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory identified, evaluated, and ranked the potential ecological hazards posed by several synfuel technologies, including H-coal liquefaction. Research was based on (1) estimated quantities and compositions of aqueous, solid, and gaseous waste streams; (2) contaminant concentrations calculated for air, water, and soil; and (3) comparison of predicted exposure concentrations with toxicological and environmental benchmarks.

Aromatic amines, phenols, and cadmium were determined to be probable environmental concerns should full-scale development of H-coal technology take place. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mercury, arsenic, lead, nickel, copper, zinc, iron, beryllium, manganese, chromium, chlorine, NOx, SO2, and suspended particulates were categorized as possible concerns.

Eddlemon, G. K. and L. L. Sigal. 1982. Potential ecological hazards of H-coal liquefaction. pp. 28-38. In Trace Substances in Environmental Health, xvi. D. D. Hemphill (ed.), University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

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Integrated Assessment Briefs. 1995. ORNL/M-4227. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.