- Number 286 |
- May 11, 2009
Liquid fuel under our feet
With the resurgence of a nearly century-old technology, lumps of coal could soon provide synthetic fuel to power our cars, trucks and planes. Coal-to-liquids technology can transform coal into high-energy transportation fuels. Washington-based Baard Energy has partnered with DOE's Idaho National Laboratory to design one of the nation's first coal-to-liquids plants. INL researchers have built computer models of the entire coal-to-liquids system to investigate approaches to make this carbon-intensive process emit fewer greenhouse gases. By modeling the plant from front to back, the INL team can find ways to make the process more efficient. With carbon sequestration and biomass usage factored in, manufacturing synthetic fuel actually results in lower carbon dioxide emissions than conventional petroleum fuel production.
[Nicole Stricker, 208.526.5955,