US Air Force testing coal-powered airplanes

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By Christopher Hopkins

Senior Vice President for Aggregates and Mining, The Saint Consulting Group

As the United States fights to free itself from the burden of foreign oil dependency, a new use for coal is being tested by the United States military.  Accelergy, a Houston based company, has developed a fuel that is liquefied clean coal. This will have a positive impact on the coal mining industry as we move forward.

Accelergy has come up with a way to convert the coal into an economical, clear, and arguably clean form of jet fuel.

According to Tim Vail, Accelergy’s CEO, the key is a process fine-tuned at ExxonMobil in the mid-1990s that turns coal or plant matter directly into a liquid. Unlike the often-criticized Fischer-Tropsch process devised in the 1920s, Accelergy’s process does not get convert coal into a synthetic gas before transforming it into a liquid. Eliminating gasification greatly reduces carbon dioxide emissions, as well as the total amount of coal (or biomass) consumed to produce liquids, he said. And it’s cost-effective.

The Chicago Green Technology Examiner has full details.

Christopher Hopkins is senior vice president for aggregates and mining for The Saint Consulting Group, email, phone 615-656-3794

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