The place to end oil dependence1 is at the oil refinery. The job of the oil refinery is to break-down the crude oil (chemical splitting) at the molecular level, by separating the molecules and then recombining them in such a way that they become useful fuels and chemicals. The refinery only needs a cheap source of hydrocarbon molecules. In the past, crude oil has always been the cheapest source.
When crude oil is selling above $50 per barrel, synthetic fuels made from coal or other non-petroleum sources of hydrocarbon molecules become economically competitive — but only if refineries have the technology to “refine” unconventional hydrocarbons and biomass, in addition to petroleum.Add a comment