Synthetic Fuels Could Replace Entire U.S. Need for Crude Oil

Scientists at Princeton University found that a combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops could form a synthetic replacement for today's gasoline. The scientists said that it could replace virtually our entire need for crude oil and make the United States independent for oil imports. They also said that synthetic fuels "could be used directly in automobile engines and are almost identical to fuels refined from crude oil."

The news gets even better as synthetic fuels are less harmful to the environment and would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, the researchers estimate. Of course, there are downsides as well. One of them is the time frame of implementation: The time required to create a synthetic fuel supply and distribution infrastructure would be about 30 to 40 years, Christodoulos Floudas, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton, estimated.

And then there is cost. The adoption of synthetic fuel would cost about $1.1 trillion. According to the EIA, the United States is currently importing about 317 million barrels of crude oil per month at a cost of about $28.5 billion per month. At this level, the synthetic fuel cost represents the cost of crude oil imports of about 39 months.

 

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  • bak0n
    The time required to create a synthetic fuel supply and distribution infrastructure would be about 30 to 40 years.

    Talk to me in 60 years when I'm dead and its still not out.
    22
  • livebriand
    I'd rather we spend the money on renewables, rather than unsustainable and still polluting synthetics like this.
    22
  • azraa
    livebriandI'd rather we spend the money on renewables, rather than unsustainable and still polluting synthetics like this.


    Totally agree with this guy.
    And this applies to the power grid AND vehicle usage.
    Synth fuels will have a drawback from the biological point of view and they will produce pollution anyway. (IE: id rather consume electricity than chopping down entire forests for crops to be sown, the soil weakens and industrial giants dont give a shit)

    Electrical cars need to be focus no. 1 to the energetic research of USA.
    Larger scale solar plants needs to be a priority
    On the other hand, I do not oppose thermonuclear power.
    Sure it is dangerous, but we live in the 21st century and there are many proofs that it is safer than ever, any scientist could say that. Physics and the engineering behind it are well known by now.

    We need anything but oil and coal generating our power.
    22
  • Other Comments
  • bak0n
    The time required to create a synthetic fuel supply and distribution infrastructure would be about 30 to 40 years.

    Talk to me in 60 years when I'm dead and its still not out.
    22
  • A Bad Day
    Quote:
    The news gets even better as synthetic fuels are less harmful to the environment and would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, the researchers estimate.


    Quote:
    combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops


    Coal: Need this be explained?

    Natural gas: Although it's a cleaner fuel than oil or coal, the issue is the gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing. There had been many reports of wells leaking toxic liquid waste (often times contaminated with heavy metals), or leaking so much methane into the watertable that it blows out the water pumps in the surrounding area. Methane is also a much stronger heat trapper than carbon dioxide.
    -3
  • aaron88_7
    As long as my future car can fly I really don't care what kind of fuel it uses.
    10