As we documented not long ago, in our report of:


USDOE Coal to Gasoline, Diesel and Electricity Profitable | Research & Development | News; concerning: "'Baseline Technical and Economic Assessment of a Commercial Scale Fischer-Tropsch Liquids Facility'; DOE/NETL-2007/1260; Final Report for Subtask 41817.401.01.08.001; April 9, 2007; NETL Contact: Michael Reed; Senior Systems Analyst, Office of Systems Analyses and Planning; National Energy Technology Laboratory; Economic and national security concerns related to liquid fuels have revived national interest in alternative liquid fuel sources. Coal to Fischer-Tropsch fuels production has emerged as a major technology option for many states and the Department of Energy. This report summarizes the preliminary results of an NETL study to assess the feasibility of commercial scale, coal-to-liquids production using a high Btu Midwestern Coal. Conclusions: The conceptual design evaluated is technically feasible using equipment that has been demonstrated at commercial scale, although no commercial CTL plants are currently operating in the U.S. The conceptual design uses high sulfur bituminous coal to produce distillate and naphtha liquid pools via indirect coal liquefaction (F-T process). With the addition of additives, the distillate can be converted to a saleable diesel fuel. The naphtha liquids can be shipped to a refinery for upgrading into gasoline ... . This plant produces 22,173 bbls/day of liquid naphtha that is shipped to a refinery for further upgrading to commercial grade products or for use as a chemical feedstock. The plant also produces 27,819 bbls/day of diesel product. The total coal input requirements are 24,533 tons/day of Illinois #6 coal. All production figures are calculated at 100% of design capacity. The plant produces a net power output of 124 MWe which can be exported to the grid. Total sulfur production is 612 tons per day and total carbon dioxide capture is 32,481 tons per day. The total plant cost is $3.65 billion. ... Adding allowances for financing costs results in a total project cost of $4.53 billion. Commercial-scale CTL plants using Midwestern bituminous coal represent promising economic opportunities. Based on the specific plant configuration evaluated, the financial analysis projects a nearly 20% return on investment, a net present value of more than $1.5 billion, and a payback period of 5 years. 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";

our United States Government as embodied in the United States Department of Energy determined, that: not only does the technology exist to enable us to convert our abundant United States Coal into Gasoline and Diesel fuels, with a commercial amount of electricity as a byproduct, but, given the current price of OPEC petroleum, we could make a pretty good straight profit by doing so. And, that isn't even taking into account how much money we would save, for instance, by not having to maintain a military presence, and take the occasional military action, in the Persian Gulf region to defend our right to blow our national treasure on more toe rings for the oil sheiks' harem girls.

That also didn't take into account direct economic benefits devolving from such a Coal-to-Oil industry, such as, pretty obviously, more good-paying jobs for more Americans who would mine the Coal, work in the factory converting that Coal into Gasoline, and, everyone who would work in the industries supporting and surrounding that effort.

We note that the above USDOE/NETL study centered on the use of typical Illinois Basin Coal, specifically Illinois #6. And, we have to note here that the Illinois Basin Coal field, as can be learned via:

Illinois coal production pushes Illinois Basin production above five-year range - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Ad; and:; " Characterization of Indiana’s Coal Resource: Availability of the Reserves, Physical and Chemical Properties of the Coal, and the Present and Potential Uses; Maria Mastalerz, et. al., Indiana Geological Survey; Indiana University; Center for Coal Technology Research; Indiana Department of Commerce";

is a very significant Coal measure, or reserve, that underlies, and is mined in, southern Illinois, southern Indiana and western Kentucky.

Herein, we learn that, almost concurrently, the United States Department of Labor had contracted with some knowledgeable folks in that area of the country to take a look at the same type of project, in the same locale, in order to see just what the employment effects of such a modest-size Coal-to-Oil, with by-product electricty, facility in the Illinois Basin would actually be.

Here's a spoiler, but not really a surprise: Pretty darned good.

Comment follows and is inserted within excerpts - - and we caution, that, since we thought it necessary to extract information from both the executive summaries and the full text, there will be some repetition - - from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"A report prepared for Crane Technology Incorporated under the sponsorship of the United States Department of Labor

A Feasibility Study for the Construction of a Fischer-Tropsch Liquid Fuels Production Plant with Power Co-Production at NSA Crane (Naval Support Activity Crane)

(The Crane Naval Support facility in rural southern Indiana is a little-known but massive Navy, and Army by the way, depot. It is, in terms geographic size, the US Navy's third largest base. A very large regional employer, since active military personnel comprise only a small percentage of it's workforce, Crane is, almost counter-intuitively, but deliberately, for security reasons, landlocked. A lot of R&D goes on there, and more can be learned via:

NSA Crane - A State of Defense; "Some 6,000 professionals drive every business day from 40 counties in Indiana to work at the Naval Surface Activity (NSA) near Crane. The base, which is officially designated as a national federal laboratory, represents Indiana's largest military base in terms of geographic size and employment, and the U.S. navy's third-largest physical base"; and:

Naval Support Activity Crane; "The base includes over 3,000 buildings and more than 98 square miles (64,000 acres). NSA Crane has the most roadway in DoD at 109 miles and over 190 miles of utility piping. More than 5,000 DoD civilian and contractor personnel work at Naval Support Activity Crane. With a military population of less than 50 personnel, NSA Crane is predominately a civilian installation"; and:

Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; "Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division is the principal tenant command located at Naval Support Activity Crane. NSA Crane is a United States Navy installation located approximately 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Bloomington, Indiana (and) originally established in 1941 under the Bureau of Ordnance as the Naval Ammunition Depot for production, testing, and storage of ordnance under the first supplemental Defense Appropriation Act.)

May 31, 2007

Marty W. Irwin, et. al.; Purdue University, Indiana Geological Survey (and) Indiana University

This feasibility assessment, coordinated through the Center for Coal Technology Research (CCTR, Energy Center at Discovery Park, Purdue University) has been a joint project including experts from the State Utility Forecasting Group (SUFG, Energy Center at Discovery Park, Purdue University), and the Indiana Geological Survey (IGS, Indiana University). The complete list of team members is shown on the cover page. This short
six-week feasibility study, forms part of a larger Clean Coal Technology (CCT) project supported by the CCTR, started April 12, 2007. Mr. George Mankowski, Sr. GIS Analyst of LJT & Associates, Inc., Mr. Brent Storey, NSA Crane’s Energy Director, and Ms. Christine Freeman, from NSA Crane’s Environmental Management team, have actively provided essential data related to NSA Crane. Their assistance has facilitated this research substantially. Funding to produce this feasibility study was provided by Crane
Technology Inc. (CTI, Crane) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Indiana Office of Energy and Defense Development (OEDD, Indianapolis). Purdue’s Energy Center at Discovery Park and the Center for Coal Technology Research (CCTR) value this constructive, collaborative partnership with CTI and OEDD.

This study indicates there are generally good technical grounds to consider construction of a FT facility at Crane and that an in-depth technical and financial evaluation is not contra-indicated by any insurmountable problems.

Reasons for this conclusion are as follows.

- Proven reserves of coal are within easy transportation range of the Crane site.

- CO2 sequestration potential remains a large issue for all fossil fuel development. CO2 needs to be viewed as a potential energy development resource rather than as an environmental hazard. CO2 could be used to produce additional energy via advanced coal bed methane or oil shale methane production.

(Well, nuts to using byproduct CO2  for "oil shale methane production". Since this is a Navy installation, keep in mind, that, as seen for only one out of quite a few examples in our report of:

US Navy May 7, 2013, CO2 to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,436,457 - Synthesis of Hydrocarbons Via Catalytic Reduction of CO2; 2013; Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy";

the Navy has established an extensive technology for converting Carbon Dioxide into liquid hydrocarbon fuels. But, if "methane production" really is desired, then, as seen in:

NASA 2014 CO2 to Methane | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,710,106 - Sabatier Process and Apparatus for Controlling Exothermic Reaction; 2014; Inventors: Christian Junaedi, et. al., CT; Assignee: Precision Combustion, Inc., CT; Abstract: A Sabatier process involving contacting carbon dioxide and hydrogen ... so as to produce a product stream comprising water and methane. ... Government Support: This invention was made with support from the U.S. government under U.S. Contract No. NNX10CF25P sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The U.S. Government holds certain rights in this invention" 

another branch of our government knows how to make Methane out of byproduct Carbon Dioxide, as well. And, either of those options sounds more sensible than providing more subsidies to the very questionable "shale" energy industry.)

- Land/real estate requirements are estimated to be approximately 120 acres of land with no more than 75 acres needed at any one site for fuel production and materials handling. Crane has more than adequate land for these facilities and has adequate topography for the estimated less than 1,000 acres that will be needed
for waste landfill.

(As explained further on, and which we won't repeat in our excerpts, the "waste landfill" would primarily be Coal Ash, and there are better options for that, which could add even more value to the CoalTL project. See, for example, our reports of:

US EPA Recommends Coal Ash for Road Construction | Research & Development | News; concerning: "'Using Coal Ash in Highway Construction; A Guide to Benefits and Impacts'; EPA-530-K-05-002; 2005. In Washington, DC, both the metropolitan area subway system (Metro) and the new Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center were built with concrete containing coal fly ash. Other significant structures utilizing coal fly ash in concrete include the “Big Dig” in Boston and the decks and piers of Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages the use of coal combustion products (CCPs) in highway construction projects such as in concrete, road base, embankments, flowable fill, and other beneficial applications"; and:

Illinois Converts Coal Conversion Ash into Cement | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 4,396,432 - Process for Converting Coal to Gaseous Fuel with Production of Portland Cement as a By-product; 1983; Inventor: William Rostoker, IL; Assignee: University of Illinois Foundation, Chicago; Abstract: Continuous process for converting coal to gaseous fuel with production of Portland cement as a by-product comprises the step of pelletizing a mixture of finely divided coal and limestone, heating (coking) the pellets in a reducing gas atmosphere to liberate volatile fuel products, and converting a substantial proportion of the residual carbon in the pellets to CO and hydrogen by the water-gas reaction, the inorganic constituents of the coal being simultaneously converted to Portland cement clinkers";

wherein Coal Ash, including, as in "United States Patent 4,396,432 - Process for Converting Coal to Gaseous Fuel with Production of Portland Cement as a By-product", Coal Ash arising from a process of gasification, as would be used in the indirect Coal-to-Liquid process envisioned by the US Department of Labor contractors herein, can be treated instead as a raw material resource of some value, thus increasing the value of the overall "Fischer-Tropsch Liquid Fuels Production Plant with Power Co-Production" being assessed herein.)

- Transportation infrastructure appears to be sufficient to meet the needs of a FT plant of the proposed size. Rail lines are adequate for import of coal and export of final products. Crane is served by class 1 rail lines and has within its borders excellent rail mobility. The rail system allows for movements of raw materials
into the facility and the movement of product out.

- Transmission lines and power availability appear to be adequate since the site is connected to the grid through 2 substations: one owned by Duke Energy/Indiana the other by Hoosier Energy System. Crane also has access to a 345kv line that passes through the site. Crane is also close to Duke Energy’s proposed 625MW IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Coal-fired power) plant at Edwardsport.

 - Oil pipelines are not in close proximity, but they are not an essential resource. In the future, it may prove advantageous to build a pipeline for exporting the final product ... .

- Water requirements and resources are a major concern for the development of coal derived (as well as biomass-based) synthetic fuels. The coal to liquid process requires approximately 15 barrels of water per barrel of final product. The volume is large but does not pose an insurmountable problem. On-site sources
are likely not sufficient to sustain the plant, but adequate resources are available from the East Fork of the White River only 2 miles to the south of Crane.

(Could the Ohio River, and/or its major tributaries, easily handle the demand? If the creeks cited by this study can do it, then, yes, of course.)

- Waste disposal and environmental issues are a direct reflection of the technology chosen for the process. In general, the waste stream will consist of sour water from the treatment plant. Crane already has a history of environmental compliance and the ability to work with the State of Indiana to develop the needed

- Labor force requirements for the production of the fuel once the plant is built will be relatively small, less than 150 people. (But, there) will be a need for more coal miners than there will be for CTL workers.

- Economic impact of this plant comes in the form of the value of the coal produced and the value added via the products produced. The value of the coal produced (2 million tons per year) and the ancillary jobs created would be about $120 million annually.

The transportation fuel and the naphtha, plus elemental sulfur and electricity come to about $80 per barrel of product, or $266 million per year, for a value added amount of $146 million per year.

(As indicated in the full text, and as we've documented in previous reports, the "naphtha" is a basic feed or blend stock for making Gasoline.)

No significant problem area was identified that would make further pursuit of this project unjustified. There are challenges but no insurmountable problems.

Introduction: The Center for Coal Technology Research (CCTR) and the State Utility Forecasting Group (SUFG) at Purdue University, together with the Indiana Geology Survey (IGS) at Indiana University, have contracted with Crane Technology Inc. (CTI) to conduct a preliminary feasibility study to determine whether it would be possible to build a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) plant for producing synthetic fuels at the Naval Support Activity Crane (NSA Crane or simply Crane). Crane is located in Martin County, in southwestern Indiana ...

The plant will co-produce diesel, jet fuel and naphtha, as well as electrical power, and use coal as its primary feedstock.

(We've documented a number of times the potentials for co-producing both liquid fuels and electrical power in the same Coal gasification/conversion facility. See, for one example, our report of:

Eastman Chemical Coal to Liquid Fuel, Chemicals and Electricity | Research & Development | News; concerning, in part: "United States Patent Application 20060149423 - Method for Satisfying Variable Power Demand; 2006; Inventors: Scott Barnicki, et. al., TN; Correspondence (and presumed eventual Assignee of Rights): Eastman Chemical Company, TN; Abstract: A process for satisfying variable power demand and a method for maximizing the monetary value of a synthesis gas stream are disclosed. One or more synthesis gas streams are produced by gasification of carbonaceous materials and passed to a power producing zone to produce electrical power during a period of peak power demand or to a chemical producing zone to produce chemicals such as, for example, methanol, during a period of off-peak power demand".

And, again, "naphtha" is gasoline blending stock.)

The FT process (Fischer-Tropsch process) was developed by the two German scientists Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in 1923. The process is an indirect coal liquefaction (ICL) process. ICL, including the FT process, is a mature technology.

In the past, commercialization of the ICL technology was not widespread, for the simple reason that oil prices did not remain high enough for long periods of time. However, due to the high crude oil prices of the past few years and concerns about energy security, many countries have been considering the development of ICL plants for producing synthetic fuels.

The current leader in plant construction and development is China, with a few large commercial projects under development, and many more at the planning stage.

ICL and the FT process have been developed and used successfully for some time. At the end of World War II Germany was operating nine indirect and 18 direct coal liquefaction plants. Direct coal liquefaction, or DCL, plants involve a somewhat different technology from ICL, but have the same ultimate goal to create liquid fuels from coal.

Since the early 1950s, South Africa has been the world leader in production of ICL liquids, with three large commercial plants. The Sasol Company is the major force in ICL research, development, and operation. They have achieved substantial improvements over the original FT synthesis process, including the use of iron-based catalysts, the high temperature FT (HTFT) fluidized circulating bed technology, and the Sasol Advanced Synthol (SAS) technology. The fuels, which have been the primary products, meet up to 60% of South Africa’s oil demand. The plants also yield a substantial amount of various chemical feedstocks.

The U.S. has conducted significant research in the ICL area with sponsorship from both industry and government. ExxonMobil, Rentech and Syntroleum have independently developed ICL processes. One commercial plant using ICL technology, the Eastman Kingsport methanol plant, has been operating successfully for the past 10 years, with cosponsorship from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

This report makes an initial assessment of the feasibility of locating a FT plant at Crane, specifically addressing the following criteria agreed upon with CTI personnel:
- Coal availability
- CO2 sequestration potential
- Land/real estate requirements
- Transportation infrastructure
- Transmission lines and power availability
- Gas and oil pipelines
- Water requirements and resources
- Waste disposal and environmental issues
- Labor force/availability
- Economic impact

(Our) primary conclusion is that adequate natural and human resources are located at or near Crane to build a FT plant generating a modest net amount of electrical power.

(The report goes into a fairly comprehensive review of various factors, including the human resources available and how large pieces of prefabricated Coal conversion plant equipment could be hauled in over the roads, which is, of course, something that wouldn't even be a question if something like this were to be built where it should be, along the Ohio, Monongahela, Allegheny or Kanawha River barge routes with the rail lines that run beside them.)

Transportation of coal to Crane: The Indiana coal mines are scattered across the southwestern part of the state. Coal from these mines can be transported to Crane via rail, roads, or both.

Transportation of finished products: Primary finished products are likely to be FT diesel or military jet fuels, plus naphtha.

Sulfur is a byproduct that can be sold or given away for use in fertilizer production.

These products can be shipped via rail. ... State highways can also be used for small quantities of product shipment.

In general, however, waterways are the most cost-effective mode of product shipment. There is no oil pipeline near Crane, but oil is not required for the FT plant. There are however refined fuels pipelines nearby. The FT diesel and jet fuel can be transported via rail to many parts of the country; so oil pipelines are not required for the potential FT fuel plant at Crane. Pipelines can of course be constructed for the distribution of the FT fuels if this proves to be a more economical way of distribution.

Water Requirements and Resources: Producing one barrel of FT fuels requires about 15 barrels of raw water if power coproduction is included, depending on the design and choice of the facilities and the type of coal. There is insufficient water on the Crane site itself for a large capacity FT plant. However, the East and West Forks of the White River are close by, and both appear to have sufficient water to support the project. Some water could also be drawn from the West Boggs Lake near the southwest corner of Crane.

(We, in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc., again, would have major waterways, like the Ohio River, to draw the needed water from.)

Air Emissions: Currently, there is only one operating CTL-FT plant in the world, the Sasol Secunda
Plant in South Africa. The Great Plains Synfuel Plant in North Dakota mainly produces SNG (substitute natural gas), with liquids being produced only as byproducts ... . Since the composition of the emissions from the Secunda Plant have not been made public, the likely air emissions from a U.S. FT plant are not precisely known. However, if the FT plant includes co-production of power with an integrated gas turbine
combined cycle generator, air emissions can be estimated based on current IGCC performance, plus some allowance for the FT unit.

Greenhouse gases such as CO2 may be regulated by the U.S. Government in the future. Fortunately, Synfuel and IGCC power plants with coal gasification can capture CO2 because they use existing technologies such as the two-stage Rectisol, and because the syngas stream is under high pressure with concentrated CO2 content. ... Rectisol can capture 90-95% of the CO2 in the syngas stream.

(And, as seen for only one out of many examples in our report of:

California Power Plant CO2 to Hydrocarbon Syngas | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 7,704,369 - Electrolysis of Carbon Dioxide in Aqueous Media to Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen for Production of Methanol; 2010; Inventors: George Olah and Surya Prakash, California; Assignee: University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Abstract: An environmentally beneficial method of producing methanol from varied sources of carbon dioxide including flue gases of fossil fuel burning power plants, industrial exhaust gases or the atmosphere itself. Converting carbon dioxide by an electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide in a divided electrochemical cell that includes an anode in one cell compartment and a metal cathode electrode in another cell compartment that also contains an aqueous solution comprising methanol and an electrolyte of one or more alkyl ammonium halides, alkali carbonates or combinations thereof to produce therein a reaction mixture containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen which can be subsequently used to produce methanol";

as another option, in addition to the Navy's own technologies for Carbon Dioxide utilization, as exemplified above in our cited report concerning: "United States Patent 8,436,457 - Synthesis of Hydrocarbons Via Catalytic Reduction of CO2; 2013; Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy", the captured CO2 can be used and consumed in the making of even more Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen syngas, which can be used in the same Fischer-Tropsch synthesis making hydrocarbon fuels from the syngas derived from the Coal gasification.)

Sulfur, nitrogen oxides (NOX), mercury (Hg), and particulate matter (PM) are removed from syngas before it is fed to the FT plant; so, these emissions do not present problems in the downstream FT process. Traces of methane, which could be regarded as a greenhouse gas, may be released from the FT process in addition to the methane traces in the syngas. We do not know how much methane would be released from the FT plant, and further studies would be needed to assess this issue. However, we do not think it will be a serious problem, because the tail gas from the FT plant can be fed to the gas turbine in order to burn the methane.

The primary solid waste is slag from coal gasification when very high temperature, high pressure gasifiers are used. In this case, ash is minimal. In 2003, EPA issued a regulatory document on the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), in which Subpart Da sets Standards of Performance for Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (OMB Control Number 2060-0023, EPA ICR No. 1053.07). In this document, slag from coal gasification is covered as a “mineral processing waste” if coal feed is greater than 50% of the feedstock. This classification means that permission to dispose of slag as landfill is not too difficult to obtain. Slag is inert, and the landfill can be beautified and used for other purposes. In Crane’s case, if slag is deposited in valleys, level areas can be created after landfill.

In addition, slag can be sold or given away for making cement, asphalt fillers and roofing shingles, as well as for building sports fields and roads. Thus, some extra revenue could be generated by selling the slag byproduct.

Sulfur: Using current technologies, more than 99% of the sulfur in coal can be recovered in the FT and power plants. If 6,000 tons of coal, with a sulfur content of 3%, are used each day, approximately 180 tons of pure sulfur would be produced. Sulfur is recovered from a Scott/Clause system, and can be sold for fertilizer production and industrial processes.

Labor Force Requirements and Availability: The National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) estimates that a 50,000 B/D facility requires 144 direct operations people. Increases in the capacity of a coal to liquids facility
do not correspond with an equal increase in employees needed; thus the manpower savings in scaling down from 50,000 B/D to 10,000 is far less than a factor of 5.

(Why, in the world, would we want to cut back on creating high-paying jobs in this indusrty by "scaling down"?)

Thus, for the purpose of this study, CCTR will assume that 144 people, including administrative personnel, are necessary to operate the Crane 10,000 barrel per day Coal to Liquids facility. The level of expertise and training will be varied but, ... as ... coal and biomass (conversion of biomass to liquid fuels via gasification
involves many of the same processes as coal gasification), rather than imported oil and gas, become the fuels of choice, we envision (an increase in available training as was seen in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields).

None of this can happen, however, without a trained workforce ready to meet the demands of this emerging industry. To put the problem in perspective, just the mining of the coal required to support a Coal to Liquids Plant will require about 150 new miners. The coal conversion processes require a higher level of skills. Coal gasification plants and Fischer-Tropsch units, the two technologies that set Coal to Liquids Technology
apart from conventional plants, are massive chemical plants, thus requiring a more sophisticated work force than ordinary power plants. The same is true for the downstream processes that gather, condense and transport CO2. Thus, the training task is a formidable one.

However, the challenge is one that Indiana is ready to meet. The region is primed to become an educational and training center and to create programs in Coal Conversion Technology, producing individuals who will run clean coal technology and other such plants as they are introduced into the region and the nation.

Sustainability is very important insofar as the ultimate goal of clean coal technology is to build a facility that
can be replicated throughout the U.S. Multiple sites mean an increased demand for a new type of energy operations professionals.

Economic Impact: The economic impacts of this project for this region of Indiana could be quite large. The
area is depressed with relatively high unemployment and low labor force skill levels. The proposed project would create a large number of high-skills, high-paying jobs in the area. When combined with an economic multiplier effect, the result will be a substantial economic development thrust.

A 10,000 B/D coal to liquid plant will have a big impact “outside the fence” of Crane, creating new and desirable jobs and having significant economic multiplier effects. The major reason this facility can work at this site is because the infrastructure and capability to do the project is already in place. Production of 10,000 B/D of liquid fuel from coal requires about 5,000 tons of coal per day, or about 1.8 million tons of coal per year.

Mining this additional 1.8 million tons of coal per year will require about 150 new jobs in mining itself and about 760 secondary and ancillary jobs. The income from these jobs will be around $62 million annually. The overall economic impact of 1.8 million tons of coal is over $108 million annually and represents new money into the region.

The 10,000 B/D facility will create products of value for direct use and for sale on the open market. The 10,000 B/D is the total amount of FT liquids – it is not all one fuel. A 10,000 B/D plant will produce 5,563.8 barrels of diesel equivalent military type fuel, and 4,434.6 barrels of naphtha, the feedstock for gasoline.

The facility would also produce about 1,200 MWh of electricity for export and 180 tons of elemental sulfur on a daily basis.

The estimated value of the 10,000 B/D production is as follows:
5,563.8 barrels of diesel @ $82.32/barrel $458,012.02
4434.6 barrels of naphtha @$63.00 /barrel $279,379.80
1,200 MWh of electricity @ $.06 / KWh $ 72,000.00
180 tons of elemental sulfur @ $10.00/ton $ 1,800.00
Daily production value $811,191.82

Average value per barrel of FT production $81.12

Annual values based on 90% capacity $266,659,031.03".


In other words, a modestly-sized indirect Coal-to-Liquid Fuel factory, producing a modest amount of byproduct electricity, could bring more than 260 million dollars of value, if not direct revenue, per year, into the immediate area in which that modest Coal-to-Oil factory was built.

And, that's not counting the potential value of Coal Ash utilization, as discussed further above, and the potentials for utilizing byproduct Carbon Dioxide in the synthesis of even more hydrocarbons, as per the US Navy's and the University of Southern California's technologies, as also cited. 

In the United States Department of Energy's "Baseline Technical and Economic Assessment of a Commercial Scale Fischer-Tropsch Liquids Facility" and, as herein, the United States Department of Labor's "A Feasibility Study for the Construction of a Fischer-Tropsch Liquid Fuels Production Plant with Power Co-Production at NSA Crane (Naval Support Activity Crane)", we would seem to have ample economic justification for building a factory that, via the indirect, "Fischer-Tropsch"-type process, converted some of our abundant domestic United States Coal into, in the same facility, both hydrocarbon fuels and electric power.

Further, those studies were conducted on a general site not really in the heart of United States Coal Country, where supplies of Coal and access to water for both transportation and use in the Coal conversion process would arguably be much more ample.

We wonder how much more compelling the results would be if a site somewhere along the Ohio River between Pittsburgh, PA, and Cincinnati, OH, had been selected for assessment.

There is one negative caveat, however: Though not stated, our suspicion is that a military reservation, the Naval Support Facility Crane, was selected for this assessment since, if some decision were made to actually move ahead with construction of a Coal conversion facility there, the project could move forward without the additional costs that would be imposed on a civilian facility by the required environmental impact statements and unrelenting scrutiny that would be imposed by the US EPA and individual state government Departments of Natural Resources; those in addition to the barrage of protests and legal challenges that would no doubt be mounted by citizen groups ideologically opposed to all things related to Coal.

Still, the arguments - - especially in light of our crippling reliance on oil imported from nations opposed to our United States ways of government and life - - in favor of pursuing development of such commercial Coal conversion factories would seem compelling.

Someone needs to start making and presenting those arguments.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw