Fischer-Tropsch progress

A new article published in the journal Science claims a breakthrough improving the efficiency of the Fischer-Tropsch process, which converts coal to liquid fuel suitable for engines.  The article itself is behind a registration barrier, so I can’t even read the full abstract, but the Armed and Dangerous blog says they’re reporting a 3-fold improvement in efficiency.  (Via Instapundit.)  The abbreviated abstract also reports a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

The United States has by far the world’s largest coal reserves.  I’m not sure what level of efficiency is necessary before FT fuel is competitive with imported oil, but this has to get us much closer (at least to sour crude, such as from Venezuela).

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