Synthetic Fuels: Alternate Energy Sources for the 21st Century

CIM Montreal 2007
Ying Li, Samuel Frimpong,
Abstract Synthetic fuel is a liquid hydrocarbon fuel synthesized from unconventional resources such as tar sands, coal, heavy oil and oil shale. The reserves of these unconventional resources are immense and will be a major energy source for the 21st Century as the availability of conventional oil declines. In this paper, the authors review the available global resource distributions, production data, research frontiers, and current research organizations involved in these frontiers for tar sands, coal, heavy oil and oil shale. Results show that heavy oil and natural bitumen are deposited in Canada, Venezuela, and Russia. Oil shale reserves are found in United States, Jordan, China and Australia. Coal occurs in United States, Russia, China, Canada, and Australia. Production from these unconventional resources will grow from current levels. Review results also show that major research and development effort will be focused on identification of reserves, transportation technologies, estimating production costs, improvement of the processes of bitumen extraction, development of technologies for coal liquefaction, elimination of pollutants, greenhouse gases, and safeguarding human health and the environment. This review forms a major source for educating the public about these important energy sources, and the need to develop environmentally sound technologies and policies for their extraction.
Keywords: Unconventional Resource, Oil shale, Coal, Synthetic fuels, Liquid Hydrocarbons, Oil sands
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