Post by Scott Lurndal Post by puppetsock Post by Quadibloc
Sounds like a premise for a science-fiction story, doesn't it?
is very good news... except for what it says about human nature.
They quote $1 to $2.50 per gallon of gas produced.
I'm guessing that the usual method of producing the various
chemicals involved in their process is to consume fossil fuels.
Maybe coal, maybe petroleum. Therefore, they are cheap. But
we want to get them without producing CO2.
How about instead of guessing, you read the actual paper first?
It's quite detailed on the process, the engineering and scale-up.
Note that there is a pilot plant used to validate the assumptions
I scanned the paper. All it talks about is the extraction of CO2 from
the atmosphere, which is no mean feat at 400 ppm. Then they throw some
handwavium out there and say that they can convert CO2 to liquid
hydrocarbons using the Fischer-Tropsch process.
The Fischer-Tropsch process is a means of converting CO (carbon
monoxide) to liquid hydrocarbons. Not CO2. It is a very difficult
process to run and to scale up (ask Qatar and Exxon why their F-T
reactors cannot run at more than 35,000 barrels per day). Converting
CO2 to CO is a very energy intensive and expensive process which is my
primary objection to their stated low pricing.
BTW, the process will work to produce gasoline and diesel. It just is
going to be horribly expensive. So, should we ever run out of crude oil
(200 years of non-proven reserves in the USA now at ten million barrels
per day) and natural gas (1,000 years of non-proven reserves in the USA
at thirty trillion standard ft3/year), we have a backup way of getting
liquid fuels for the USA. Of course, this ignores conversion of coal
into gasoline and diesel which is a much cheaper process (Sasol makes
about a quarter million barrels per day of gasoline and diesel in South
Africa from coal). And the USA has a lot of coal still in the ground.