CTL fuel is readily useable today in existing transportation markets and can be delivered through existing pipelines. Auto and airplane engines are currently compatible with CTL fuels.
Each 10,000 barrel/day CTL plant can produce clean liquid fuels and support more than 2,000 jobs (direct and indirect) with coal from the many states with significant coal reserves and production.
CTL diesel fuel is cleaner than conventional diesel, with virtually zero emissions of criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants and mercury. It will rely on coal mined under the most comprehensive environmental laws in the world.
CTL technology is capable of capturing CO2 for use in enhanced oil and coal bed methane recovery, or for safe storage underground to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
CTL technology has been in use abroad since the 1940s, was perfected in South Africa in the 1980s, and is today being developed for industrial-scale production in China and by other major industrial competitors of the United States.
CTL projects will rely on the nation’s coal reserves — the world’s largest, at 27 percent of global supply. The U.S. is estimated to have 40 times the amount of energy stored in coal reserves than it has in its domestic oil reserves.
The U.S. boasts a near 250-year coal supply at current use levels, making coal our most plentiful domestic fuel. By contrast, the U.S. must import 60 percent of its oil consumption — a share projected by EIA to rise to 70 percent by 2025.
A feasible production goal of 300,000 barrels/day by 2015 equals the daily domestic needs of the U.S. armed forces.
CTL plants are costly to construct, about $1 billion dollars for a 10,000 barrel/day facility, and up to $6.5 billion or more for a world-scale 80,000 barrel/day plant with a five-seven year lead time.
CTL technology incentives should be weighed against the cost of further reliance on imported oil. The “hidden cost” of defending oil supplies in the Persian Gulf alone is conservatively estimated at $305 billion annually. Incentives backed by the federal government are needed to discourage the foreign energy cartel from destroying the domestic CTL industry through energy price manipulation.
U.S. coal reserves cannot be nationalized by a foreign government, require no costly armed forces to protect and need no costly exploration efforts to discover.