small_steps wrote:Note that coal to oil involves more steps that coal to gas.
So the use of coal gas to fire CCGTs (I know - cost) to produce electricity at about 60% would be greatly more eff than to go the extra steps and convert the coal gas to a liquid and burn it in your ICE at 30% eff. Granted, there are costs of distribution etc. but the difference in infrastruture requirements would likely be swamped by the eff of use.
Also note that to replace 1/4 of the oil consumption in the US would require the doubling of domestic production of coal (use of low BTU coals and Rentech conversion factors)
Doubling of coal production is not that hard. Especially given how huge the profits would be and the fact that coal production is simple, old, proven technology. Fischer-Tropsch is it. There's nothing else that's going to work.
Really, I read about Hydrogen (Storage + Transport Problems), BioDiesel(Negative EROEI), Oil Sands (Maybe, but needs lots of natural gas/energy input/water), Energy Efficiency (Sure try it but Good Luck!), Oil Shale (Still needs more research), and the only solution to liquid fuels is Fischer-Tropsch, period end of story.
I don't even know why this board doesn't have a fischer-tropsch topic because all the rest is just unrealistic thinking brought about by the environmental minded's disapointment that there's no way to escape from carbon based energy. By all means, keep researching alternatives, maybe there will be a huge breakthrough that solves all our energy issues in a nice neat environmentally acceptable way but given the choice between die-off mixed with millions of man hours of effort constructing an infrastructure to suppor a non-viable solutions and Fischer-Tropsch I'll take Fischer-Tropsch.