Synthetic Fuels Could Eliminate Entire U.S. Need for Crude Oil, Create ‘New Economy’
Princeton University - Synthetic Fuels Could Eliminate Entire U.S. Need for Crude Oil, Create ‘New Economy’
“The question was not only can it be done, but also can it be done in an economically attractive way.
The United States could eliminate the need for crude oil by using a combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops to make synthetic fuel, a team of Princeton researchers has found.
Besides economic and national security benefits, the plan has potential environmental advantages. Because plants absorb carbon dioxide to grow, the United States could cut vehicle greenhouse emissions by as much as 50 percent in the next several decades using non-food crops to create liquid fuels, the researchers said.
Synthetic fuels would be an easy fit for the transportation system because they could be used directly in automobile engines and are almost identical to fuels refined from crude oil. That sets them apart from currently available biofuels, such as ethanol, which have to be mixed with gas or require special engines.