The U.S. military, searching for a synthetic alternative to imported petroleum-based fuel, can power its 21st Century vehicles with the same chemical technology Germany used to produce its gasoline during World War II, according to a study scheduled for the May 16 issue of ACS' Energy and Fuels, a bi-monthly journal.
In the study, Sasol Technology's Delanie Lamprecht points out that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been seeking alternative ways of obtaining "Jet Propulsion 8" (JP-8). DoD uses that single kerosene-type fuel, virtually identical to commercial aviation fuel, for almost all its gas turbine and tactical diesel engine applications. The defense department also wants an alternative route to JP-5, a slightly different fuel used on aircraft carriers.
Invited to participate in the effort to develop alternatives, Lamprecht studied use of so-called Fischer-Tropsch technology. Sasol is a pioneer in use of the technology to produce synthetic fuels from coal. It can convert coal, natural gas, or biomass into a synthesis gas and thereafter into a Fischer-Tropsch syncrude suitable for refining into JP-8, JP-5 and other liquid fuels. The study concluded that it is feasible to use the process, together with current refining technology, to produce a "battlefield fuel of the future" that could power the military without reliance on imported oil.
Article: "Fisher-Tropsch Fuel for Use by the U. S. Military as Battlefield-Use Fuel of the Future"
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