Fischer-Tropsch, the Real Alternative Energy Solution for America


Wind and solar will never power much of the world’s economy. The energy density, variability, and unreliability of these sources simply aren’t practical. The real solution to America’s energy problem is to produce fuel using our abundant renewable biomass, natural gas, and coal resources. Believe it or not, that ability already exists in a commercially viable and proven method called the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Process. The FT Process first turns a carbon source into a “syn-gas,” and then recombines that short carbon chain into longer carbon chains like gasoline and diesel fuel.


Qatar has the largest F-T plant in existence called the Shell Pearl Gas-to-Liquid plant.

Developed in partnership with Qatar Petroleum, Pearl Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) is the world’s largest GTL plant and one of the world’s largest, most complex and challenging energy projects ever commissioned. From the origins of Shell GTL technology nearly 40 years ago, to its first commercial debut in Shell’s Bintulu GTL plant in Malaysia in the early 1990s, to the creation of the world’s GTL capital in Qatar today – the delivery of GTL on such a vast scale as Pearl GTL brought together almost every aspect of Shell’s technical and project management capabilities.

Here in American, the DOE found the economics of an F-T plant to be very favorable.

•Project viability depends heavily on crude oil price scenarios. The base case, tied to a crude oil price of $61/bbl, provides a 19.8% ROI. At crude oil prices greater than $37/bbl, the project would achieve ROIs greater than 10%, and a 15% ROI can be achieved at crude oil prices greater than $47/bbl.
• Policy actions impact expected ROIs. Federal loan guarantees have the largest ROI impact, increasing the ROI by more than 11 percentage points from the base case. F-T subsidies provide a 9 percentage point increase in ROI.

That report was produced in 2007, a year before President Obama became president. With such a convincing commercially viable and proven, job-creating energy solution being available, what did President Obama focus his 8 years on? The non-commercially viable and highly speculative wind and solar. Had American focused its efforts on building F-T plants instead of wasting all her money on climate “scientist’s” salaries and research, ineffective, expensive and inefficient wind and solar, it is likely we would be totally energy independent today. Instead, we spent 8 years making nothing but symbolic wasteful efforts that accomplished nothing and left us greater in debt.

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4 thoughts on “Fischer-Tropsch, the Real Alternative Energy Solution for America”

  1. Ah, the good old Fischer-Tropsch process, beloved of chemical engineers the world over, used extensively by Germany and Japan during WWII… that takes me back!

    There is a (somewhat controversial) technique to gasify coal in situ using modern steerable drilling technology and injecting oxygen and superheated steam into the seams to partially combust the coal and release the volatiles. The resulting product is similar to the old town gas that was produced in carbonising plants by distillation of coal, containing amongst other things carbon monoxide and hydrogen – AKA syngas.


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