Renewable Replacement for the World's Oil

782 Words4 Pages
All over the United States oil is used for vehicles and for other uses. As the world’s oil reserves become depleted it becomes necessary to find a renewable replacement. Such replacements with the ability to make fuel can include coal, and organic materials. Synth Oil Efforts are being made to use and create fuel from renewable resources. Many of these technologies are already developed while others are close to becoming a reality. One technology ready to be implemented in the U.S. is converting coal to oil. Those possibilities were pioneered during the 1920’s and later used by Nazi Germany during WWII . Germany was pushed to use that technology because it didn’t have access to crude oil. Slowly other countries caught on and are creating and using synth oil in variety of capacities but, especially for automobiles. Today, the world is being pushed to use and discover more replacements to traditional diesel fuel not only due to access issues like Germany but, due to a foreseeable scarcity in the future. Today, countries like South Africa and China have coal to liquid plants already. Another Technology is turning wood into oil. How it works There are different materials that can become synthetic oil. They include organic materials, human garbage, and coal. Organic material such as wood is can be one method. The development of turning wood into fuel is evidently inexpensive. The first step (after cutting down the tree) is soaking wood in sulfuric acid to isolate “the sugars in cellulose” and produce “an energy-intense organic acid mixture .” It is then heated to 450 degrees Celsius with Calcium Hydroxide to eliminate Oxygen. The result is liquid hydrocarbon which can replace crude oil. Other than organic material (like wood), coal can be used to make liquid synthetic oil. This process is called Coal Liquefaction. There are two ways to do this: Direct Liquefaction or Indirect Liquefaction. Direct Liquefaction involves hydrocarbon reacting directly with coal . Indirect Liquefaction includes the coal gasification to a CO (carbon monoxide)/ H (hydrogen) mixture small quantities of other gases and oxygen in a gasifier. Once the gas is cleaned the liquid is produced by “adjusting the ratio of carbon monoxide to hydrogen in the gas ” and then pressurizing it with a calalyst (either methanol or gasoline). The sulfur and CO2 is removed and the process is finished. A major difference between the crude oil process and the synthetic oil process is that there is no need to dispose of excess gas which can cause safety concerns.
Open Document