How can coal be converted to petrol?

19 June 2011

Question

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. It's 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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