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(Wilmington Star)   U.S. Air Force to test new coal-based jet fuel   (wilmingtonstar.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy  
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7913 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 May 2006 at 7:56 PM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-05-15 06:22:20 PM  
"The Air Force consumed 3.2 billion gallons of aviation fuel in fiscal year 2005, which was 52.5 percent of all fossil fuel used by the government, Pentagon statistics show. The total Air Force bill for jet fuel last year topped $4.7 billion."

3.2 Billion gallons of fuel.
4.7 Billion dollars for the fuel.
$1.47 per gallon.

JP5 = sorta Kerosene.

April figures for kerosene at the pumps in NY state? $2.91.

Interesting.
 
2006-05-15 07:20:38 PM  
Fear: Yeah, but that $2.91 is after sales tax (which I guess the gov doesn't pay), and other sorts of overhead.

/Plus, I'm sure the gov buys in bulk.

/I think like 40 to 60 cents per gallon is tax here in CA
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2006-05-15 07:36:38 PM  

Usenet provides this description of one of the experimental aircraft the Germans were working on at the end of the war:

Lippisch P13a: This one takes the prize (any prize). It was a ramjet-powered, sharply swept delta, with the cockpit built into the tail fin. It was powered by coal gas generated from solid fuel, and had a nominal design speed of 1650 km/h. Yes, you read that right -- a coal-powered supersonic fighter. A small rocket engine was provided for take-off. Alas, it never flew. The DM-1 glider, built along the same general lines and intended to validate the airframe design, was completed after the war and test-flown in the US; some results were published in Lippisch P13a and Experimental DM-1 by Hans-Peter Dabrowski (Schiffer Military History; ISBN 0-88740-479-0). Aerodynamic testing in a wind-tunnel took place at Langley field, by what was then NACA, in 1946. Results were "disappointing", but led eventually to the successful delta wing concept.

Vital statistics: length 6.7 m, span 6.0 m, max speed 1650 km/h (Mach 1.55; this was the original design speed, although wind tunnel tests went up to Mach 2.6), range 1240 km; armament: two cannon.
 
2006-05-15 07:48:51 PM  
lordargent: Fear: Yeah, but that $2.91 is after sales tax (which I guess the gov doesn't pay), and other sorts of overhead.

Oh I agree.

Federal taxes, state taxes, EPA mandated stuff all adds to the cost. However; if the gov't had to pay what we all do, they would be a bit less anxious to spend the cash.

I'm just cranky tonight and gas sticker shock has hit my family. My wife drives 90+ to 200 miles a day for work. She is paid reasonably, but not well by any stretch of the imagination. It has just gotten frightfully expensive.
 
2006-05-15 08:01:35 PM  
Not spiffy, more like shiatty.
 
2006-05-15 08:03:45 PM  
2006-05-15 06:22:20 PM Fear_and_Loathing

3.2 Billion gallons of fuel.
4.7 Billion dollars for the fuel.
$1.47 per gallon.

JP5 = sorta Kerosene.

April figures for kerosene at the pumps in NY state? $2.91.

Interesting.


The missing amount would probably be state and federal taxes, no retailer markup and discounts for buying in massive quantities. I'm guessing if you bought over 3 billion gallons of fuel a year you could get a pretty good deal on it.
 
2006-05-15 08:03:51 PM  
Way to reduce fossil fuel consumption!

wait . . . what?
 
2006-05-15 08:04:23 PM  
Jet fuel is extra refined kerosene at least standard jet fuel is. There's JP-7 used by the SR-71 which you can toss a book of lit matches on and it won't ignite. But standard jet fuel is basically kerosene. In principle you can use any combustible fluid to fuel a jet engine. In that way they're like diesels. Can run on anything but today run on specific tailored fuel.

Using coal to produce jet fuel? Saweet. Just wait until someone figures out gasoline from coal. Already have diesel from coal, now jet fuel, gasoline will show up.
 
2006-05-15 08:05:27 PM  
Speaking of coal, I have a quasihistorical-engineering question for some smart person who is goofing off at work in some Chemistry job:

The nazis made 'synthetic' petroleum from coal in WW2. How practical is it and at what price point can we all start driving with coal-derived gasoline and stop overselling ethanol? Is there some problem with this method like maybe it is causes lots of pollution?
 
2006-05-15 08:05:54 PM  
Semi interesting ... obviously the author has never heard of spell/grammar check though ...
 
2006-05-15 08:13:24 PM  
My guess is the practicality depends on the price and availability of oil.
 
2006-05-15 08:16:38 PM  
keloyd

Well I sorta match part of your desired responder criteria, so here goes. So far no one has quite pulled off gasoline from coal. At least not anything that would be suitable and meet emissions, vapor temp and other requirements.

What the germans did was basicaly make diesel from coal. As for the cost, currently for diesel made from coal it would go about $2.20 a gallon in large scale production. Gas could maybe go for the same, more or less. Depends on the exact process used.
 
2006-05-15 08:18:40 PM  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer-Tropsch (pops)
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/09/montana_governo.php (pops)

The Wiki article does not talk about conversion to gasoline, but says that diesel and apparently av gas. The Treehugger article seems to say that you can get to gasoline and that oil only needs to stay above $30/barrel to make this profitable.

If this be true, what are we waiting for?
 
2006-05-15 08:19:28 PM  
BTW: not the subby, smitty or submitter.
 
2006-05-15 08:20:36 PM  
So my HTML Foo is off tonight...
 
2006-05-15 08:22:56 PM  
Just look at it this way, if the rest of the world runs out of oil and we're reduced to using coal liquifaction to produce fossil fuels, keep in mind that half of all the world's coal reserves are under the United States. :)

Might as well repost my standard Oil-Gas Conversion post:

Interest in coal to oil conversion is reduced by three main factors;1) High capital costs - the conversion plants are expensive and require a rather sophisticated technological base to achieve and maintain a high efficiency rating, 2) High operating cost - the plants require precision maintence as most of the process takes place in large steel vessels operating under high heat and extreme pressure as well as requiring access to millions of gallons of water pumped in per day, 3) Low crude oil costs - it is still cheaper to import crude and refine it unless the plant can be located in an optimal location.

Technological advances and rising crude costs over the last 3 decades or so have improved the efficiency of the process enough that conversion from coal or natural gass to a single low grade fuel type, like diesel for trucks would be cost effective if co-located near abundant supplies of coal and water.

A company in Pennsylvania is constructing a pilot plant, estimated to reach production of 5,000 barrels of diesel a day, to see if a larger scale plant would be feasible. If so, they have plans to construct a full scale plant in Wyoming on a site of roughly 1,000 acres with access to 10 million gallons of water per day. Estimated production would be 57,000 barrels of diesel per day.

A Houston based company has bought an option from a coal firm in Wyoming to build a large plant near an undeveloped coal reserve in Carbon County. The plant will generate 350 megawatts of electrical power and supply 33,000 barrels of diesel fuel per day; along with some lighter fractions, like naptha.

Eventually though, oil will become scarce enough that it will become cost effective to perform on a large scale. And the oil companies will naturally step in because 1) they have the resources to build all those expensive conversion plants and 2) because they will already have the refineries necessary to seperate the oil into the fractions needed by consumers and 3) because they will already have the existing
petroleum fuels distribution systems needed to get the products to the consumers.

A country with little external purchasing power, extremely cheap labor and a great deal of coal, like China, would greatly benefit from construction of such conversion plants now since the low labor cost could reduce the end cost of the oil to less than that of imported oil. In fact China is already spending billions of dollars on a coal to oil conversion plant in Shenmu, Shaanxi Province.

Two other nations perform commercial conversion due to necessity. A Shell plant in Malaysia converts natural gas into diesel and Sasol in South Africa converts coal to supply most of the country's diesel needs.

The Malaysian plant was implemented because the natural gas source was far enough from a major city that both a pipeline and a liquification plant would have been impractical solutions.

Sasol was created by the South African government to meet the country's energy needs during the isolation imposed by Apartheid and is still in operation primarily for enviromental reasons as the Fischer Tropsch conversion process produces diesel that is nearly sulfur free.
 
2006-05-15 08:23:08 PM  
Every solution creates a new problem. Coal can indeed be used to create refined gas but the energy required is outragious and not to mention an environmental nightmare. Carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) is basicly released with the burning of coal. Complex solutions will need to used in the future to deal with this issue. Other crap like arsenic and mercury, uranium, thorium, etc. is also released. In fact more radioactive contamination results from burning coal then nuclear fission power generation. Even "clean coal" technology may as well be an oxymoran compared to nuclear energy. I am very much in favor of hydrogen "refined" from nuclear power as our future enegry source.
 
jph
2006-05-15 08:26:29 PM  
Uh, Kelly Johnson started to use a coal-based fuel in the late 1950s for the SR-71 Blackbird/A-12 Oxcart. He backed off when he found that the coal particles damaged engine components. (Don't believe me? Read Johnson's book.)
 
jph
2006-05-15 08:28:09 PM  
www.geocities.com
 
2006-05-15 08:30:44 PM  
bgrainger: If this be true, what are we waiting for?

For the middle east to run out of all THEIR oil. What...do you think we'd use up all of ours first?
 
2006-05-15 08:35:43 PM  
WTF, shouldn't the Air Force be developing an anti-gravity propulsion system by now.
 
2006-05-15 08:42:00 PM  
Fear and Loathing - why did your wife accept a job with that much driving? Is she compensated at all?

In general, if this becomes popular that article down the page about the ozone hole "healing" might need to be updated.

/Await the furious beating by engineers
 
2006-05-15 08:53:02 PM  
FLMountainMan

Fear and Loathing - why did your wife accept a job with that much driving? Is she compensated at all?

I'm guessing some sort of Sales Rep/Field Svc/similar-type job.

I was laid off not too long back but, for almost 9 years, I could expect a work-day drive distance of 100+ miles, not including my 30 mile round-trip commute (Dell field service warranty technician).

My "career high" was 465 miles on a single work day...


/not so unhappy to have been laid off
//trying to establish an in-home business
///like waking up at noon after 9 years of 9 - whenever..
 
2006-05-15 08:57:36 PM  
Cool.

This months Popular Science has Oreo powered rockets.

\dude, does this make me a nerd?
 
2006-05-15 09:00:40 PM  
BigSnatch

WTF, shouldn't the Air Force be developing an anti-gravity propulsion system by now.

Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.
 
2006-05-15 09:05:03 PM  
simpsonfan

So now, besides pilot and copilot, they'll need a third crewmaqn to shovel the coal.

Actually on later steam locomotives they figured out that the fireman was actually the limiting factor to performance, and replaced him with an mechanical system. Big engines burned so much coal that a human had no way of keeping up with it for long.
 
2006-05-15 09:08:38 PM  
keloyd:

What they did was break the coal down to more basic, gas like hydrocarbons, though it was actually, like previously said, diesel. They may have used a hydrogen/ platinum method, or maybe ozone. The source was cheap, and the processes required less heavy, and therefor bombable equipment, that petroleum refining, but it did have draw backs. First and foremost it sludged up engines quite badly, and had a higher vapor pressure, so it took a greater spark, or longer time, to get started. Finally, since it burned quicker it had worse fuel economy.
 
2006-05-15 09:12:36 PM  
Evil Twin Skippy: Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

But it's mostly the Army that uses helos.
On topic, though, the work they've done at AFRL/PRTG has been exceptional. I got to see the introductory part of this back in February as part of a technical interchange meeting. They basically told us what the article said--basically money makes the world go round, and makes people replace old fuels with new ones.

/Gotta love peak oil!
 
2006-05-15 09:14:19 PM  
It strikes me as cool that an F-16 on afterburners only burns 28 gallons a minute. I would have guessed much more.

I guess there really is a shiatload of energy in fossil fuels and that's why most alternatives are unfortunately not viable until oil gets really, really expensive.
 
2006-05-15 09:18:26 PM  
this would be great for civil aviation. Jet A right now is around $4.00 in many places
 
2006-05-15 09:18:32 PM  
yeah...thats stealthy...contrails from coal power...
 
2006-05-15 09:20:27 PM  
The Nazis made synthetic petroleum from coal during WW2, since they had no natural oil reserves.

I recall reading that it is roughly 1/6 as efficient to turn coal into synthetic fuel as to burn natural petroleum.

Such wisdom, looking 150+ years into the past for a 'revolutionary' new fuel source
 
2006-05-15 09:30:33 PM  
Hooray! Just what we need! A new way to procure hydrocarbons!

Let's burn shiat forever!
 
2006-05-15 09:30:36 PM  
Bah...had pictures of a person shoveling coal in the underbelly of a B-52...any photoshoppers out there?
 
2006-05-15 09:34:30 PM  
Is anyone else more suprised that the government doesn't OVERPAY for fuel than the fact that it gets it so cheaply? $1.47.
 
2006-05-15 09:42:21 PM  
So the Air Farce is getting all the jp5....crap. Hate trapping on the boat on bingo fuel cause the Navy can't get enuf avgas. Nothing worse that landing at night, in foul weather, on a pitching deck, hoping for the 3 wire....knowing if you have to go around again you're gonna get wet. I ready to start burning leaves if that works. Buzzy.
 
2006-05-15 09:48:14 PM  
Fear_and_Loathing: I'm just cranky tonight and gas sticker shock has hit my family. My wife drives 90+ to 200 miles a day for work. She is paid reasonably, but not well by any stretch of the imagination. It has just gotten frightfully expensive.

I'm by no means dissing you, old man, but I find your comment interesting. Only in North America would we see nothing wrong with driving 200 miles per day as part of our commute. Even in our old friend Britain, you would be hard pressed to find anyone that would think that a sane thing. I met people in Britain who had never been 200 miles from their home, let alone drive it to work.

What I'm thinking is that our attitude towards the auto is partly responsible for our current problem. HEre in Tampa, we spend a billion or so on a new highway into the downtown rahter than on rapid transit. When I suggested to a native that the money would be better spent on a mass transit light rail system, he thought I was loopy. No one ever takes the train! But they do in other areas. When I lived in Calgary, I took their LRT to work daily. Of course, after 5 years of that, I thought that it was exactly how Hitler moved the Jews to the death camps, but that had more to do with job satisfaction.

I feel your pain, old bean. I suppose one of those mini, super high efficient cars isn't a great idea on the highways either?
 
2006-05-15 10:03:12 PM  
My wife drives 90+ to 200 miles a day for work. She is paid reasonably, but not well by any stretch of the imagination. It has just gotten frightfully expensive.

Most cheap four cylinders get 30+ mpg highway. So she is looking at $9 to $18 dollars per day for he convenience of being able to drive a 3000lb car hundreds of miles per day, departing at will (no waiting for the bus ect..).

Overall, it seems cheap for such a luxury, and yes, it is a luxury most people on earth could not imagine.
 
2006-05-15 10:17:03 PM  
Hitler had this great idea for a peoples car. Why produce a cheap commuter for people.
 
2006-05-15 10:19:28 PM  
I like eating parmesan cheese straight from the container.
 
2006-05-15 10:24:51 PM  
So they finally found someone who can read Opa Karl's spidery German handwriting?
 
2006-05-15 10:35:30 PM  
...waiting for screencap from Airplane II where the guy is shoveling coal into the Lunar Shuttle.....
 
2006-05-15 10:46:16 PM  
www.futureenergy.org
GLORIOUS COAL WILL SAVE US ALL!
 
2006-05-15 11:29:40 PM  
media.monstersandcritics.com
"Your claims are as so much farte gasse!"
 
2006-05-15 11:39:29 PM  
simpsonfan: So now, besides pilot and copilot, they'll need a third crewmaqn to shovel the coal.


When I was a kid, on Armed Forces day the KC-135 and KC-97 (yes, I'm old) were just about my favorite planes to climb around in, and I was convinced that boomer was obviously the best job in the AF, if not the universe. But now I've got a picture stuck in my head of some sweaty guy with his shirt off, shoveling coal down a 30 foot chute into a B-52's cellar.

I'd give a lot for even mediocre Photoshop skills right now.
 
2006-05-15 11:41:09 PM  
raiderchop: Bah...had pictures of a person shoveling coal in the underbelly of a B-52...any photoshoppers out there?


Goddamnit I gotta learn to read the whole thread first.
 
2006-05-15 11:53:24 PM  
coal into diesel/kero is nothing new, the Germans did it in WWII (someone gonna say its a bad idea just because the Nazis invented it?) it just takes more time/effort than pumping oil out of ground, but it can be done
 
2006-05-16 12:42:17 AM  
Pilot, Co-pilot and some Stoker shoveling coal.
 
2006-05-16 02:07:37 AM  
so we can look forward to more of this?
www.ohvec.org
 
2006-05-16 08:47:03 AM  
I read somewhere that they used to make a gas, like natural gas, for use in heating and lighting homes. One of the problems with it was it was to dangerous to produce. They kept blowing up the plants that made it.
 
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