Science Questions

How can coal be converted to petrol?

Sun, 19th Jun 2011

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Question

Jeremiah asked:

How can coal be converted to petrol?

Answer

Dermot -   Well the South Africans have been doing this for a very long time because of the years of sanctions.  The well-known technology is called Fisher-Tropsch technology and that can be used to synthesise hydrocarbon chains.  Traditionally, the process was used for synthesising diesel but you can synthesise a naptha-type material if you want to or a kerosene type material.  Itís just a question of optimising the reaction conditions and choosing the right catalyst.  People are starting to develop a range of fuels now from synthesis gas.

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Jeremiah asked the Naked Scientists: Hi guys, how can coal be converted to petrol? What do you think? Jerryade, Sat, 6th Sep 2008

Motor fuel has been obtained from coal tar...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzole
RD, Sat, 6th Sep 2008

You can make something like petrol from so called "synthesis gas"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer-Tropsch_synthesis
The syntesis gas is made from coal and steam at high temperatures. Bored chemist, Sat, 6th Sep 2008



Would this be money for old soap? paul.fr, Sun, 7th Sep 2008

i saw in a book that you can convert it by spraying a paste of coaldust and oil containng iron oxide and alkali as catalyst into hydrogen at 200 atm pressure and 450 degree celsius. The product gotten after are hydrocarbon gases and a liquid oil. On distillation, this oil yields a fraction suitable for petrol. Jerryade, Thu, 11th Sep 2008

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