Synthetic Fuel Technology Development in the United States: A Retrospective Assessment

Hardcover | November 1, 1988

byMichael Crow

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Direct coal liquefaction, a synthetic liquid fuel process, is one of the major developmental alternatives for meeting the anticipated fuel demands for the twenty-first century. This work provides a retrospective assessment of past attempts in this century to develop synthetic liquid fuel and applies the findings to produce reliable and pertinent data for the future. Retrospective technology assessment, a recent methodological invention, is used by the authors to analyze the past synthetic liquid fuel programs and the reasons for their failures. Bringing to bear four different perspectives--economic, technological, policy, and historical--the authors draw broad conclusions that will help guide the next development effort in the United States.

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Direct coal liquefaction, a synthetic liquid fuel process, is one of the major developmental alternatives for meeting the anticipated fuel demands for the twenty-first century. This work provides a retrospective assessment of past attempts in this century to develop synthetic liquid fuel and applies the findings to produce reliable and...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:187 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 1988Publisher:Praeger Publishers

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275930831

ISBN - 13:9780275930837

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?It has been generally recognized that the demand for liquid fuels (petroleum) will sooner or later outstrip the recoverable earthly resources. It is also well known that liquid fuels can be obtained from coal and that coal resources are more abundant than petroleum reserves. Hence it is obvious to try to obtain commercial quantities of liquid fuel from coal. Although billions of dollars have been spent in the US and elsewhere on this effort, success is lacking. Why? If we were about to embark upon such a development endeavor, we might attempt some formal prospective technology assessment' research to ascertain the prospects of success. If we wish to learn from apparent failures, such as that of coal liquefaction, we should try a retrospective technology assessment' (RTA). Such is the goal of this book. It summarizes the requirements and method of prospective and retrospective technology assessment and applies the latter to the US effort to directly liquify coal, examining economic, policy, and scientific-technological models. In the process, a great deal of technical, economic, and policy history is presented. An attempt is then made to draw conclusions that will have implications for public policy, particularly in the area of large-scale public technology.' The book ends with long appendixes detailing the questions directed to experts in the field, which were the data for the RTA, and with ample notes.?-Choice