Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Coal to liquid fuels part 2

As we suggested in our previous post the market pricing of Fischer-Tropsch coal to liquid fuels is now a very cost effective option for NZ .The indigenous production of coal to liquid transport fuels would reduce NZ imports to zero ,change the current account to positive,create 5000 jobs in the SI ,and provide energy security for NZ for 500 years.

The reaction, called Fischer-Tropsch, was invented by German scientists Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in 1926. It was used by the Germans, who had coal but little access to petroleum, to produce motor and aviation fuels during World War II.

Until now, only Sasol has used the technology, in South Africa, to convert gas derived from coal to produce diesel,which currently makes 150,000 barrels of oil per day from coal.

The gasification process allows the removals of exogenous particulates such as sulphur and reduces carbon monoxide emmissions.

The gasification process will also provide low cost alterntives to the Southland primary producers.

The usual suspects are already screeching ,but they fail to understand either the processes or the measurable comparative outcomes.Their pet project ethanol ,which they fail to mention the production of 1 gallon of ethanol requires 1,700 gallons of water and the process generates 12 gallons of waste. The coal-to-liquids technology would have none of these issues.

The eonomics of the FT conversion is around 40$ per barrel,in NZ we understand it will be around 43-45$US per barrel.

3 Large scale projects are in the feasability stage ,although interestingly enough smaller projects are more cost efficient and less energy intensive.

A further contention is the energy outputs would be less carbon intensive as opposed to bringing in oil and condensates from the middle east.

Update Radionz interview with Solid Energy


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