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Old 03-08-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Synthetic Gas

I don't know much about this kind of stuff, but since we have fully synthetic oil, can't they make fully synthetic gas? Is any sort of petroleum needed to make synthetic oil, or is it just created from a chemical reaction?

I guess I'm hoping we will have a way some day to make our own gas, and not need to rely on pulling it out of the ground. Am I dreaming?
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: Synthetic Gas

The Role of Synthetic Fuel In World War II Germany

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Inasmuch as natural oil deposits in Germany were so few, long before the war efforts had been made to discover synthetic methods of producing gasoline and oil. In view of the country’s wealth of coal, it was logical to look in this direction for a solution. Both coal and petroleum are mixtures of hydrocarbons, and the problem was how best and most efficiently to isolate these elements from the coal and transmute them into oil. By the time Hitler became chancellor in 1933, four methods of achieving this were either available or in early stages of perfection.

The first process produced benzol, a byproduct of coking. Benzol was used as a fuel in admixture with gasoline. The drawback to increased production of benzol was the fact that it was tied to the quantities of coke that were needed at any given time, and these in turn were determined by the production limits of crude iron.

The second method produced a distillate from lignite coal. Brown or soft coal was gently heated, and the tars and oil were then extracted and distilled into fuel. The end product was of such low quality, however, that only 10 percent could be used as gasoline, with the remaining 90 percent useful only as heating oil and diesel fuel.

A third formula, the Fischer-Tropsch process, was, at that time, still in the research and testing stage. Under this system, coal is compressed into gas which is mixed with hydrogen. By placing this mixture in contact ovens and adding certain catalysts, oil molecules are formed. Further treatment of this primary substance generates fuel, chiefly diesel oil.

Coking and distillation extracted oils and tars from coal, and additional cracking refined them into gasoline. The Fischer-Tropsch process and a fourth method, the hydrogenation process, changed coal directly into gasoline. As coal is a hydrocarbon containing little hydrogen and gasoline is a hydrocarbon with a high hydrogen content, the problem consisted of attaching hydrogen molecules to coal, thereby liquefying it. This was the basis of the hydrogenation process, which required high temperatures and high pressures. By 1933, this method had been thoroughly tested and was ready for large-scale practical application. The advantage of the hydrogenation method was that as primary material it could use the tars from the distillation of both lignite and bituminous coal (although the distillation of the latter was not possible on a large scale until 1943) as well as lignite and bituminous coal directly.11
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: Synthetic Gas

Making your own may be a dream. But Flex Fuel is sort of synthetic. You will see more methanol and (maybe) less ethanol in gas in the future. Methanol, and a few other liquid fuels, can be made from natural gas. Natural gas prices are at something like 50 year lows. Natural gas extraction is not with out controversy, but seems the way we will be going in the near future. After that? ... hydrogen fuel cells.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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Re: Synthetic Gas

You can use Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) to make biodiesel, and you can use plant material to make Ethanol. Might just be an urban myth, but I've heard that the fuel involved in all the aspects of growing and processing corn to make Ethanol is more than is produced.


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Old 03-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: Synthetic Gas

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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
You can use Waster Vegetable Oil (WVO) to make biodiesel, and you can use plant material to make Ethanol. Might just be an urban myth, but I've heard that the fuel involved in all the aspects of growing and processing corn to make Ethanol is more than is produced.


Herb
I have seen some analysis that does suggest the economics of ethanol fuel are poor. It requires big subsidies to compete with alternatives and drives up corn prices.......which raises other costs.

I know and respect some experts in this area and they all assure me that I will be driving a natural gas powered vehicle in the near future.

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Old 03-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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Synthetic Gas

I've been making my own diesel for 6 years. Two tdi's and now a 7.3 to replace my gas suburban. It is the coolest feeling to drive down the road knowing you made the gas. It is pretty much perfect for backyard brewing given the economics of moving raw materials. I have it down to the equivalent of doing a load of laundry. Your mileage may vary.



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Old 03-08-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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Re: Synthetic Gas

Wow, from the picture it looks simple and easy.

And it looks like my wife would blow up the house trying do follow simple instructions to operate.

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Old 03-08-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Re: Synthetic Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by vandiesel
... road knowing you made the gas..

Brad
I make gas without any additional equipment. Just ask my wife.


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