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  1. #1
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    Can Synthetic Diesel from Natural Gas Compete with LNG in the US?

    Sasol, a South African energy company, intends to build a 96,000 barrel-per-day gas-to-liquids plant in southwestern Louisiana.

    The synthetic diesel fuel produced by this facility would provide a different pathway for shale gas to displace imported crude oil in the US transportation sector.

    Only time would tell whether or not it will be able to compete with LNG as a means for using cheap natural gas to replace traditional gasoline.

  2. #2
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    It can not compete with LNG but will be used to compete with conventional diesel and marketed as a premium clean diesel. LNG and CNG will remain much cheaper and cleaner. The process itself is very wasteful. It takes a perfect fuel and wastes enormous amounts of energy to turn it into a liquid so that companies will continue to burn diesel as usual, and not convert engines or buy new CNG and LNG engines. I really don't think this type of plant will go really be built. If it is it will lose money in my estimation. These companies are going very slow on this to see what kind of opposition they will have.

  3. #3
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    Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, air conditioners, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is used to make many products. It lowers CO2 emissions. Over 4,200 natural gas story links on my free blog. An annotated and illustrated bibliography of live links, updated daily. The worldwide picture of natural gas. Read in 66 nations.
    ronwagnersrants . blogspot . com

  4. #4
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    ronwagn, yes all that you have stated is possible, and natural gas really is an incredibly useful fuel, yet you have forgotten the huge cost of converting all current engines in cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors,etc. to run on natural gas. Pretty much our entire society is designed to run on oil, and just changing to natural gas is not as simple as it sounds.

    Then there is the fact that natural gas will not actually last forever. Despite the vast reserves buried in the US, not all of it is physically, or economically recoverable, and therefore production will start to decline in a few decades. I think nuclear (SMR or LFTR) along with renewable energy is the route that we must take in the future.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hitchcock View Post
    ronwagn, yes all that you have stated is possible, and natural gas really is an incredibly useful fuel, yet you have forgotten the huge cost of converting all current engines in cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors,etc. to run on natural gas. Pretty much our entire society is designed to run on oil, and just changing to natural gas is not as simple as it sounds.

    Then there is the fact that natural gas will not actually last forever. Despite the vast reserves buried in the US, not all of it is physically, or economically recoverable, and therefore production will start to decline in a few decades. I think nuclear (SMR or LFTR) along with renewable energy is the route that we must take in the future.
    Estimates are that we have a 200 years supply of Natural gas within our borders.
    I thought the discussion was about synthetic Diesel made from Natural gas, not about converting Diesel engines to Natural gas. South Africa is already doing this. Some oil companies here are on the verge, if not already doing it. It can be blended with our current diesel. http://www.bankspower.com/techarticl...ic-diesel-fuel

  6. #6
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    NG plus carbon (coke) can equal centane thru hexadecane with little loss of energy. IIRC, solution in molten salts can make it happen.

  7. #7
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    Could you please elaborate? How would we use centane or hexadecane?

  8. #8
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    To me it is all about getting the best fuel for the best price. Sassol is not sure it can make a profit in the USA and I think they will lose a bundle if they try it here. Our trucking companies are going toward CNG and LNG which is much cheaper and somewhat cleaner. Conversions are available that use any percentage of diesel in the blend for steep grades or if you don't have CNG or LNG available. I expect you will be seeing that in S.A. as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronwagn View Post
    Could you please elaborate? How would we use centane or hexadecane?
    What is diesel?

  10. #10
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    Help me out. My understanding is that when natural gas burns, the byproduct is methane. Methane is multiples worse than CO2 for the atmosphere. Why then are you so optimistic for the future of nat gas as a 'clean' fuel?