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back to article US airforce checked out for synthi-fuel by 2011

The US Air Force (USAF) is already well known for its wish to be free of dependence on oil imported from suspect overseas dictatorships. Ultimately, the plan appears to be for the USAF's mighty aerial armadas to run on fungus or algae-based biofuels, but in the nearer future the Yankee airmen would be happy with any kind of …

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Alert

Talk about late to the war!

Wow, I know they were a few years late, but jet fuel made from coal ! I could swear blind a certain Mr Hitler had his planes runnning on this stuff ooo about 60 years ago....but then again, the American goverment only introduced the concentration camp a few years ago.

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Thumb Up

Coal?

Ah, what a wonderful image. Casey Jones at the throttles of a B-52, with his trusty fireman shovelling like mad into the wings, and a bay full of H-bombs behind him...

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Black Helicopters

American also has lots of oil

Known domestic supplies and estimated additional supplies off the coast of the United States would probably keep the USA completely self-sufficient for the best part of the next century, but they've all been declared off-limits by congress, mostly, it has to be side, while the Democrats held a majority. It's ironic really, they spend all that energy talking about how the US should be free of its dependence foreign oil, but they're busy preventing new refineries being built and locking up domestic sources to prevent them being exploited.

Daft, is the word. Absolutely, completely, utterly daft.

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NRT

Coal?

Won't the lumps damage the compressor blades?

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ww2

Americans had concentration camps during WW2 that's where they put all the Japanese families that were living in the States at the time.

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Stop

coal we have but

can we get it, currently much of our coal lies under cities that don't allow mining in them, of course that could change. Most of the real coal production is in Montana, where you can do pretty much anything you want, but such a cost. There are mountain top removal mines in Appalachia also highly destructive despite the industries reclamation programs (sometimes they don't follow through). I think this is a dead end just like oil this isn't renewable, it's even more disruptive to get, and of course if you use it for more it will run out faster.

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Unhappy

@Graham

Not so daft I expect. What they are doing is reaping/raping the oil from abroad while it's relatively easy to do so without harming their own stocks.

When the shit finally hits the fan and the world is in choas with no oil left along comes America unchallenged.

Arise Mr President, Lord and Master of Earth.

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Heart

And yet...

If the US *does* exploit those oilfields, then they're "raping the environment". Joyous.

"but then again, the American goverment [sic] only introduced the concentration camp a few years ago"

Droll. Especially considering Hitler himself was late to the party. Britain invented them during the 2nd Boer War.

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Unhappy

Re: American also has lots of oil

The plan is to use up everyone else's then hold the world to ransom, allegedly.

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Hydrogenation of Coal

Yep that Mr. Hitler and his fat transvetite friend Mr. Goering use this process for producing fuel. Admitildy it was internal combustion engines, but I'm sure some progress must have been made in the last 60 years.

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@Stu Reeves

Oh, no. America has been doing concentration camps 'since the 1860s, at least. I'm little more than a good rifleshot from one of the more notorious ones right now, from that era.

Yes, synthfuels have been around for a long time, but until recently, there were socio-economic reasons to keep on burning regular petrolium-based fuels. Obviously, things have changed.

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Half-baked measures

Come on America - the Lippisch company designed a ramjet powered supersonic coal-fired fighter as long ago as 1944:

http://www.luft46.com/lippisch/lip13a.html

Thankfully, the Nazis desperate shortage of firelighters put an end to that project.

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Boffin

Concentration Camps

Actually it was the Spanish in Cuba a few years before the Boer War that invented them, but please continue bashing Britain you obviously like it.

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Alien

new refineries? shyeah right....

Pfft... with the environmentalist lobbies in America?

They've been successfully blocking oil companies for decades.

Building a new refinery might displace some rare cross-eyed toad, you know.

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@ A Coward

>> When the shit finally hits the fan and the world is in choas with no oil left along comes America unchallenged.

I guess my desire for crisp fried insect overlord will have to wait till the rest of the world has eaten its way thru available Big Macs and none are left. Best time for an insect overlord invasion anyway.

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Heart

@Cwilk

More humor. I make a response to a comment bashing America and I get accused of "bashing" Britain. I merely state fact. Besides, the camps you're referring to were "reconcentration camps" from which the term "concentration camp" evolved.

Besides, I love Britain. So smeg off.

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Joke

Very Funny Joke Guys ?

This a very funny joke guys !

Now let us see the last time I checked Oil refineries use massive amounts of feedstock to generate the high temperatures required to refine crude oil as such some 29.8% by volume is used to fire the furnaces , of the remaining out put volume not less then 60% by volume is used in our modern industries for the production of plastics and everything else that is required to feed our modern societies!

This leaves far less then one third of of the oil consumed to heat our homes and power assorted transport and war machines !

However no one has pointed out a small but salient fact that huge Shale Oil deposits exist in many places around the world including the America's in Kansas of all places too , with the potential to last several hundred years at current consumption rates !

During WW2 isolated Oz down under was actually able to use town gas to power their civilian cars and whilst denied access to cheap middle eastern and Malay oil fields , resorted to refining Shale Oil to power their entire military fleet by a company called Commonwealth Oil Refineries . After the war BP took them over for penny's in the pound and shut down the facility in question but kept a very tight grip on all known deposits as well and grabbed a fair size chunk of unexploited coal fields at the same !

I believe that once Oil Prices pass the $400 per barrel limit this process of Shale Oil Refining becomes very cost effective !

However the yeah but here is that should cheap Oil which greases the entire world economy from A to Z pass the $100 per barrel mark , we would then be looking down the barrel of massive stagflation like the one the 1973 OPEC Oil crisis precipitated ! This would make the one from old Sleepy head Gerry Ford look like a picnic , due to the world's absolute dependence on both plastics and all the agricultural by products dependent on cheap oil to grow cheap food to feed us !

Oh well life does move in circles , what price a choice indeed !

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Boffin

America and fossil fuels

Stand back, I'm a geologist, this could get rocky (my coat? yes the one with the extra long sleeves that tie up at the back)...

America actually doesn't have a huge amount of oil. The USGS estimate, which is higher than almost anyone else's, puts proven US reserves at about 22 billion barrels (the precise number fluctuates depending on the price of petroleum) - about 2.5% of global reserves or 3.5 years of US consumption.

The potential for large new discoveries in the US is very low as the country has been thoroughly explored. There is some potential in very deep continental shelf traps and the very high Arctic, but it is always worth remembering that US oil production peaked in 1971 despite huge new production from fields under the North Slope and Gulf of Mexico.

Unconventional oil - shale and tar get more attractive as oil prices rise, but the US reserves of shale are predominantly in Colorado and Wyoming. They could be economically mined with current prices, but there is an insurmountable problem that one barrel of oil from shale needs three barrels of water - and the West is drying up as its water supplies are diverted to irrigation and the city. Shale is too bulky to transport for refining, so that problem seems to have no solution.

Hydrogenation of coal, yep it's a possibility, the new governor of Montana has said his state should become America's gas tank. Whether he could politically get the citizens of Big Sky country to accept the environmental cost is another matter. The same problem of water also applies - Montana has been in a two year drought now and much of the state is quite dry.

Finally, all reforming of hydrocarbons into synthetic crude produces enormous quantities of CO2. Even American politicians are starting to realise that global warming is a real problem and not a Hollywood plot gone wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Synthi-fuel?

Since all fuels in use today are manufactured products they are ALL synthetic.

In the short term for our societies there is no option but petroleum replacement fuels that are usable in existing engines. Eg. Coal liquification technologies as discussed in this article.

In the medium to long term range we have electric and gas powered engines assuming battery tech gets good enough and that problems with hydrogen production, storage and distribution are solved.

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Coat

How the heck

did we get onto the subject of concentration camps ??????

Still at least in britain we dont have them any more, we may have a few suspect terrorists in long term detention, but at least they aren't kept outside in cages during the day

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