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Thread: Making gasoline from coal

  1. #1 Making gasoline from coal 
    Time Lord
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    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06229/714268-28.stm

    Suppose we find out next year that we can't import oil anymore. How plausible would it be more us to start converting coal?

    I'm not worried as much about the energy cost so much, because in theory we could get the energy from a number of sources like nuclear (probably less popular since the incident in Japan), hydroelectric, wind, solar, coal based power plants....etc.

    Basically I want to know what is the maximum price oil can reach. I'm thinking that it can't get higher than what it would cost us in the USA to refine gasoline from our own abundant coal reserves. Because if it did..... we would do that instead of paying for crude. But, how much is that? Would we ever be able to afford it?


    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  3. #2  
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    There is the old Fischer-Tropsch process the Germans used in WW2.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer–Tropsch_process


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  4. #3 Re: Making gasoline from coal 
    Comet Dust Collector Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Basically I want to know what is the maximum price oil can reach. I'm thinking that it can't get higher than what it would cost us in the USA to refine gasoline from our own abundant coal reserves. Because if it did..... we would do that instead of paying for crude. But, how much is that? Would we ever be able to afford it?
    As we evntuually deplete all the hydrocarbon reserves (putting the carbon in the air and ocean) the sky's the limit.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Oil from coal is very plausible. Germany and South Africa both have a history of using the technology (Fischer-Tropsch) and there have been attempts in the US but uneconomical basically because of the enormous cost of the reactors. The CO2 release is higher than burning conventional oil.

    With the morons we have in Congress this last point doesn't seem to matter.
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