The usual candidates for renewable energy like wind and solar are facing stiff competition from cheap natural gas and then along comes this:
ARLINGTON – How would you like to buy gasoline made from $30 domestic coal versus $75 imported oil?
Researchers at the Unviersity of Texas at Arlington say they’ve found a practical way to make synthetic crude from inexpensive coal that’s common in Texas.
People have been turning coal into oil for 100 years or more, but researchers at UTA say they’ve invented a better way to do it.
It is so much better that they expect to sign a deal with an oil company within weeks.
"This is East Texas lignite coal. We go from that to this really nice liquid," said Professor Brian Dennis of a light synthetic crude, easily refined into gasoline.
Professor Dennis and a team of scientists have been working on the process for about a year-and-a-half.
"I had the idea for this while I was walking to my car," he said. "I ran back to the lab and I started drawing it out in my notebook."
March 19,2010 update: