Think coal gasification and coal-to-liquid is the same? Not even close

Following a conversation with Washington Congressman Jay Inslee, Grist blogger David Roberts set out to distinguish between coal gasification and coal-to-liquid (CTL) production. Inslee believes CTL supporters are engaging in a plot to confuse legislators by positioning CTL under a "clean coal" blanket along with gasification. Roberts admitted he confused the two terms in previous writings, and I'll confess I never realized the dramatic differences. So take a look at the Gristmill and follow some of the links to familiarize yourself with the two methods and the carbon impact of CTL. Bottom line, according to Roberts, is a choice between subsidizing the outrageously expensive carbon sequestration during the production process (and still end up with a diesel fuel that is no cleaner than what we get from crude), or we allow all that production-based CO2 to escape (and contribute to the increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) to keep the fuel cost down. Not much of a choice, so perhaps conservation is a better direction.

[Source: David Roberts / Grist]

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