A Renewable or Nonrenewable Energy Type
The Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is a catalytic polymerization reaction that can be used to make transportation fuels, primarily gasoline and diesel. The process was invented in 1925 and used commercially by Nazi Germany in World War II as well as South Africa, starting in the 1950s. Initially, the fuel of choice to start the process was coal, but recently there has been increased interest in natural gas and biomass. The interest in natural gas is of most interest, as it provides an option for taking stranded natural gas and converting it into a liquid. This avoids the need for pipeline or liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport, which may be difficult to implement due to both geography and geopolitical reasons. The levelized cost of producing gasoline and diesel through this process is competitive with refining, but new commercial implementation has been hindered by the high capital cost of building the plant.
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