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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Answer Team Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 61834  
Subject: Re: Sasol gas to liquids plant Date: 12/7/2012 1:31 AM
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Sasol is the leading user of this technology. They adapted and presumably updated German Fischer -Tropsch technology (World War II coal to oil technology) to make oil from coal via synthesis gas. This was during apartheid and was intended to give them a defense against a possible oil embargo. Converting synthesis gas from natural gas should be easy.

But this is still high cost, high pressure technology.

Celanese has new low pressure technology to convert natural gas to ethanol (and potentially to liquid fuels). I think their method is likely to be more economical.

Natural gas to liquid fuels has not much impact on global warming. The carbon in natural gas ends up as carbon dioxide when the fuel is burned. So no real net change. Some loss as fuel to run the process, but size compared to oil refinery losses is unknown.
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