RE: tidbits on oil

From: Vandergraaf, Chuck (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 21:38:09 EST

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    Yes, I know about turning coal into diesel fuel. During WWII, cars were
    even running on gas produced by the destructive distillation of wood.
    Recently, there was a proposal to use compressed air as a portable energy

    I recall a speaker some years ago who proposed to use nuclear energy to
    produce electricity that would then be used to hydrolize water to produce
    hydrogen. The hydrogen would be used with coal to produce diesel fuel to run
    trains. When I asked the speaker why not simply run electric trains, it
    turned out that this entire project was intended to keep coal miners

    Turning anthracite into diesel fuel seems to me a waste of good anthracite.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Glenn Morton []
    Sent: Sunday January 20, 2002 10:50 PM
    To: Asa@Calvin. Edu
    Subject: RE: tidbits on oil

    Chuck wrote:

    >Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2002 12:16 PM

    >My guess is that the first evidence of the impact of a decrease in oil will
    >be a sharp reduction in air travel: trains can run of electrical energy and
    >ships can go back to using coal, if necessary. But it's a bit of a stretch
    >to think of coal-powered 747s. ;-)
    There is a process to turn coal into a diesel-type fuel. The Germans used it
    to run their war machine in WWII. However, the anthracite coal deposits of
    the US are at the end of their Hubbert curve so that coal is not there.
    Bituminous coal is somewhere prior to Hubbert peak but I have heard some
    worrying reports about the useful energy we will get out of it by 2040 being
    less than what it costs to mine it. Don't know if those reports are true or

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