One of the possible avenues for reducing our dependence on imported oil is to convert coal in to
fuel. The Fischer-Tropsch process, which is a nearly century old chemical technique for converting coal in to liquid fuels, has been significantly improved by researchers at Rutgers University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Even though standard Fischer-Tropsch is generally considered too expensive to compete with oil, the improved method produces a cleaner burning diesel fuel, making it a more competitive alternative, the
reports. Since the US has coal reserves that equal the worldwide oil reserves, this could become a crucial process for providing some of our future energy needs.
[Source: Technology Review]