Technology with attitude

More On The Coal To Gas (Fischer-Tropsch) Process

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You want to make terrorism a thing of the past? Well, one of the first steps is to get rid of our dependency on foreign oil.

But how to do that…

Oddly enough, we do have a way. The Fischer-Tropsch process is a way to turn coal into oil that’s been around since the 1920s. And we have enough coal in this country to create more oil than in all of the world’s reserves. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly to convert coal to oil.

In fact, the information I read about this the first time I encountered it was so strong I wrote about Fischer-Tropsch almost immediately after reading the story. Very exciting stuff to find out.

From Wired:

Forget hydrogen for now, we may dig our way out of our foreign oil dependency. A technology for turning coal into liquid fuel that has been kept underground for decades is slowly becoming commercialized.

Syntroleum and Rentech Development are among several companies refining the Fischer-Tropsch process for turning coal into diesel fuel. The process super heats coal to release a gas, which is then cooled and turned into a liquid. Fischer-Tropsch was developed in the 1920’s in Germany, and the country used synthetic diesel during WWII to fuel planes.

According to one estimate, the United States has a coal reserve of 500 billion tons which could be converted to more fuel than is in all of the world’s petroleum reserves.

Several small-scale plants are now converting natural gas and coal to diesel, and the federal government is providing financial support through FutureGen grants. With rising oil prices and diminishing supplies, you’ll be seeing a lot more about Fischer-Tropsch in the coming years, especially in coal rich states.

Please, please, please spread this around the blogosphere. The government isn’t paying attention right now, but we can make a difference. Just a small little post can get some momentum going behind this process and possibly lead to a big change.

I leave it in your able blogging hands.