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Coal Liquefaction

The relative quantities of coal, petroleum (plus natural gas liquids), and natural gas proved and currently available in the United States are 18 X 1015 British thermal units (Btu), 3.7 X 1015 Btu, and 2.5 X 1015 Btu, respectively. The relative total recoverable resources are 134 X 1015 Btu for coal, 11.2 X 1015 Btu for petro-leum, and 9.5 X 1015 Btu for natural gas (Parent, 1979). Since coal represents roughly 86 percent of the total U.S. resource, one would expect its use to approximate that percentage of the energy input in the United States. But actually, the percentage of coal in the fossil energy input is only 21 percent. Petroleum and natural gas consumption accounts for nearly 75 percent. Almost half (48 percent) of the fossil energy used in the United States consists of petroleum and its products. Since some 45 percent of this petro-leum must now be imported, it is essential that our primary re-source, coal, be used in increasing amounts. This paper presents

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Energy Specializations: Unconventional Fossil Resources – Coal gasification; Unconventional Fossil Resources –Synfuels

JEL Codes:
Q42 - Alternative Energy Sources

Keywords: coal liquifaction, energy policy, liquid fuel substitutes, gasification

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol1-No1-9

Published in Volume 1, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.