One new article in Science on a new more efficient process to create synthetic fuels. Two different takes.
Green Car Congress points out how it can help reduce GHG in the article Less Work Required Could Result in 15% Reduction in CO2 Emissions Compared to Conventional Route.
Researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa and Rutgers University are proposing new Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) reaction chemistry and process designs that they say could increase F-T process efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by 15% compared to the conventional process.Meanwhile, Wired stresses how it can increase GHG in the article Bad News: Scientists Make Cheap Gas From Coal.
The new process, which uses a carbon dioxide and hydrogen route rather than the traditional carbon monoxide and hydrogen route, could also open up a pathway for the direct use of CO2 and H2 derived from low-carbon processes (nuclear, wind, solar, bio).
If oil prices rise again, adoption of the new coal-to-liquid technology, reported this week in Science, could undercut adoption of electric vehicles or next-generation biofuels. And that's bad news for the fight against climate change.Funny how two articles can come to opposite conclusions from the same research.
The new process could cut the energy cost of producing the fuel by 20 percent just by rejiggering the intermediate chemical steps, said co-author Ben Glasser of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. But coal-derived fuel could produce as much as twice as much CO2 as traditional petroleum fuels and at best will emit at least as much of the greenhouse gas.
While this research it promising, it is important to note that even the 15% improved process loses over 1/2 of the total energy during conversion.
If work is recovered from the heat rejected from the synthesis reactors, the net work required by the overall process in an 80,000 barrels per day facility is 820 MW—nearer the optimum (350 MW) than the conventional route (1000 MW).