Diesel from brown coal

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:03
ThreadID: 58329 Views:2551 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Just heard on ABC radio's The World Today, that the production of diesel from brown coal is perfectly feesable with oil at $100/barrel .
So now its on the political radar and if Labour don't push it the Libs will, unless the oil industry are BIG donors....?....hmmmmm
We shall see,
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Reply By: Member - Royce- Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:19

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:19
Ha... You must be in town. We get the World Today after the Country Hour! I logged on specially to bring this up.

I had heard that when diesel hits $2.50 brown coal becomes viable... But... with 500 years worth, just down the road from me.. sound promising! The technology is already there.

Cheers Royce
AnswerID: 307509

Follow Up By: nickoff - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:57

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:57
The technology to turn coal into oil is not new at all. The Germans developed it during the Second World War, when they didn’t get access to the Middle East oil fields, and lost the oil fields in Checkoslavakia.
They converted brown and black coal to oil, diesel and aviation spirit. Aviation spirit was so costly to produce that it spurred the development of the jet engine as it used an easier to produce liquid fuel, IE kerosene.
Also I believe that South Africa used and expanded this technology during the boycott of their county by the western nations when they had no access to outside crude oil supplies. The technology is there, but it is still “dirty” and expensive.
Maybe that the jump in crude oil prices will spur the development of a cleaner coal to oil procedure and we can try and limit the CO2 generation as that is where I think that this will get us by the short and curlies.
There is also a big push to convert Natural Gas to liquids.

This will put Australia in a leading position in the worlds energy stakes as we have some of the largest coal (black and brown) reserves’, major natural gas reserves and about 1/3 of the worlds uranium reserves
FollowupID: 573346

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:46

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:46
Hi Royce,
what I want to know is what are our pollies actually going to DO about this matter or does it require a vox poll to activate them. Instead of wasting another week haggling over 3.8 V 5c/L cut in fuel tax....GET ON WITH POLICY THAT MATTERS.....thats better,sorry about that..... :))
FollowupID: 573352

Follow Up By: davida - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:53

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:53
Politician ...... DO something

Isn't that an oxymoron??

FollowupID: 573354

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:56

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:56
Hi err david(?)
lets not get too cynical shall we ....LOLOLOL
FollowupID: 573355

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:54

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 13:54
I think transport fuel is a big competitive issue and the people pushing it in the Latrobe Valley have been doing a three year study on the fertilizer side of things.The Age article. It was in the Fin Review as well. It is worthy of note that a lot of German's wartime diesel was produced from coal. It was stated that we have hundreds of years of supply there and also that the carbon emissions would be lower than burning to produce electricity.

You can see from this article of 2003 that the Victorian Government has got us nowhere Coal seam gas

One wonders if the environmental effects enquiries may stall it though
AnswerID: 307512

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:09
Its called the Fischer Tropsch process and was pionered by the Germans in WW2 due to lack of oil but abundance of coal.

Take a variety of feedstocks - coal / nat gas / algae / biomass / straw etc etc. Split them down into carbon monoxide and then put through the F/T process where they are combined with hydrogen to create a variety of hydrocarbon products.

The South Africans have been doing it for decades to produce synthetic jet fuel and now have approval to produce 100% synthetic Jet A1.

There is a group in QLD lobbying to get gov support for a GTL (gas to liquid) plant up and going.

Bad points - using fossil feedstock gives no carbon dioxide benefit to the environment, F/T fuels burn cleaner but create more CO2 at the manufacture stage (although it is easier to capture), and a small F/T plant will cost at least 3 billion to build.

But F/T fuels are the best option for "drop in" replacements for crude oil products, use all existing vehicles and infrastructure.

Dont hold your breath though, look at how the Coal lobbyists (im guessing) had the solar rebate killed off, and have virtually killed the industry overnight.

cheers Brad.
AnswerID: 307515

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:17

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 14:17
Forgot to say, dont hold your breath on bio based fuels either,

DSTO identified a very viable, prolific, hydrocarbon-producing plant suitable for transport fuels and gasses, which could power all of Australia.....Wanna guess when this occured and Govt was informed?.....

FollowupID: 573348

Reply By: bv - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 19:38

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 19:38
Add to that our known insitu reserves of shale oil, which are now economical to process ( they are doing so Qld) that could keep Oz in fuel for the next 50 years and we seem to be well positioned. As mentioned, it is up to the govt to ensure we look after ourselves and not sell it all to the highest bidder.

AnswerID: 307574

Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 21:59

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 21:59
I didn't hear the report. Was it Monash Energy they were talking about? It's the biggest CTL proposal for Victorian brown coal. They have an informative website: Monash Energy

AnswerID: 307617

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 22:31

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008 at 22:31
Sorry Adrian,
I missed the specific detail, just caught the generic brown coal/diesel matter, cheers,
FollowupID: 573473

Reply By: Ray - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:39

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008 at 08:39
If a viable alternative was found the major greedy oil companies would buy the patent and that would be the last we would hear of it.
AnswerID: 307670

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