I don't like the wording in Slate's headline for this great story on the Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquid process (is it really "one of the world's most exciting new fuel sources"? Is it really even new if it was developed in the 1920s?), but I still encourage you to read the story. The world is a complicated place, and Daniel Gross' investigation of how Fischer-Tropsch moved from Nazi synthfuel to the fuel of choice for South Africa's state run energy company emphasizes this. The company, Sasol, is now privatized and has expanded to Qatar and is eyeing the United States. But history comes with it. Aside from the Nazi and apartheid legacy of Fischer-Tropsch, Sasol has had problems with worker deaths in the past. I've never seen how coal-to-liquid is all that great, and this article just turns me off of the process even further. Your thoughts?

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[Source: Daniel Gross/Slate via Metafilter]


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