Synthesis gas - fuel of the future

Not all countries are rich in natural resources.And if the lack of its own gold mines and diamond mines can only disappoint, the presence of hydrocarbon deposits is often a question of the viability of the state, especially in wartime.Extensive experience in the production of ersatz (substitute) acquired in the first half of the twentieth century Germany.

Already in 1915, German submarines put Britain in a very difficult position, preventing the supply of "blood war" on the island.During the Second World War, Germany was in a no less difficult situation, especially after the loss of the Romanian oilfields.It seemed a little more, and the capitulation was inevitable.Tanks, aircraft, ships and submarines will not take part in combat operations, there will be nothing to fill, but the war continued for many long months.Coal is mined in the Reich a lot, be suitable raw material for the production of synthetic hydrocarbons, most of which was the synthesis gas.

brilliantly trained and talented German scientists long before the war engaged in the development of this issue.Franz Fischer, head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, in 1926 published a scientific paper on the direct synthesis of hydrocarbons at atmospheric pressure, proving not only the opportunity, but also basing its technological accessibility.Synthesis gas is produced as a result of the hydrogen reduction reaction of CO in the presence of catalyzing substances, such as a mixture of zinc oxide and iron oxide or chromium-cobalt alloy, passing at a temperature of 270 degrees Celsius.This process allowed to seek gaseous, liquid and solid methane homologues.

In wartime newsreel can sometimes see a gas car that runs on ... wood.Yes, the generator supplying the motor fuel mixture, was relatively compact, and to drive the car, it was enough to take an ax and go to the nearest forest.

chemical compound of carbon monoxide and molecular hydrogen H2, ie synthesis gas, it is possible not only coal, but also from any carbon containing feedstock.The process is called Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, the names of the inventors.At the time of publication there were other ways of getting organic fuel from coal, bypassing the synthesis gas.In the same Germany Bergius got petrol from coal in 1911, but the technology of the process was much more complicated.

Like the earlier work, this achievement was the result of solving the problem faced by industrialized and militarily countries without access to natural hydrocarbons.

In the postwar years the production of synthesis gas is temporarily lost its relevance.Interest in this technology was resumed in the early seventies of the twentieth century, when there was a so-called "oil crisis", which became the result of the agreed increase in oil prices by OPEC.

Without a doubt, the experience of producing hydrocarbons from the raw materials will become increasingly popular as the depletion of natural resources, especially oil and gas, whose significance as a raw material for the chemical industry today is still underestimated.Once DIMendeleev compared their use as sources of energy with the burning of banknotes.