Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hell of a Pedigree

Kos links to a story on Montana Governor (and Democratic rising star) Brian Schweitzer's plan for energy independence. Essentially, its a method developed eighty years ago that can derive gasoline from coal--and with skyrocketing oil prices, it's economical again.

Alright, so I'm intrigued. But oh, the history...

The Fischer-Tropsch technology, discovered by German researchers in 1923 and later used by the Nazis to convert coal into wartime fuels, was not economical as long as oil cost less than $30 a barrel.
The fuel that comes out of the Fischer-Tropsch method (also used by South Africa during their embargo years) burns cleaner than current fuels, stripping out sulfur, arsenic, and other nasty byproducts. [quoting from both the article and Kos]

Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. Now there's a nice set of play mates.

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