Thursday, September 01, 2005


BETSY'S PAGE has a fascinating post on an article about the VAST amounts of oil shale in the USA, deposits which contain 100 times the amount of oil as there is in Saudi Arabia. She believes that we will eventually find a way to extract the oil which is both clean and economical - especially if oil stays around $70 a barrel.

There's ANOTHER vast reserve of oil-containing reserves in the USA in the form of COAL. And the technology to convert coal into oil ALREADY exists - it's been around since the 1930's:

"REUTERS" - 8/26/05 - HELENA, Montana - Montana's governor wants to solve America's rising energy costs using a technology discovered in Germany 80 years ago that converts coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. The Fischer-Tropsch technology, discovered by German researchers in 1923 and later used by the Nazis to convert coal into wartime fuels, was not economical as long as oil cost less than $30 a barrel. But with US crude oil now hitting more than double that price, Gov. Brian Schweitzer's plan is getting more attention across the country and some analysts are taking him very seriously. Montana is "sitting on more energy than they have in the Middle East," Schweitzer told Reuters in an interview this week. "I am leading this country in this desire and demand to convert coal into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. We can do it in Montana for $1 per gallon," he said. "We can do it cheaper than importing oil from the sheiks, dictators, rats and crooks that we're bringing it from right now." The governor estimated the cost of producing a barrel of oil through the Fischer-Tropsch method at $32, and said that with its 120 billion tons of coal -- a little less than a third of the U.S total -- Montana could supply the entire United States with its aviation, gas and diesel fuel for 40 years without creating environmental damage. An entry level Fischer-Tropsch plant producing 22,000 barrels a day would cost about $1.5 billion, he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gadzooks. For whatever insane reason, people keep going back to Fischer-Tropsch, even though the Karrick-LTC process, which is public-domain, cheaper, more scalable, less dangerous....

All the information on both is available, you can even find it with google, papers and history, both kinds of plants have been run in the past in the US, UK, and Australia. The Karrick plants are everything described above, but every time someone talks about it these days, they insanely pick Fischer-Tropsch.

I just don't get it. Kinda makes me all black-helicopterey.

Would that I were an eccentric millionaire so I could blow my fortune pushing the Karrick process. :/