The engineering economics of an integrated coal-to-methanol conversion system and coal-in-methanol transportation system are examined, under the circumstances of the western coalfields, i.e., long distances from major markets and scarcity of water in the vicinity of the mines. The transportation economics are attractive, indicating tariffs of approximately 40 cents per million Btu per thousand miles for the coal-methanol pipeline vs 60 cents via coal-water pipelines and upwards of a dollar via rail. Energy consumption is also less in the coal-methanol pipeline than in the coal-water pipeline, and about equal to rail. It is also concluded that, by a proper marriage of the synthetic fuel (methanolization) plant to the slurrification plant, most, and in some cases all, of the water required by the synthetic fuel process can be supplied by the natural moisture of the coal itself. Thus, the only technology which presently exists and by which synthetic fuel from western coal can displace petroleum in the automotive fuel market is the integrated methanol conversion and tranportation system. The key element is the ability of the methanol slurry pipeline to accept and to deliver dry (1 to 5% moisture) coal, allowing the natural coal moisture to be used as synthesis feedstockmore » in satisfaction of the large water requirement of any synthetic fuel plant. By virtue of these unique properties, this integrated system is seen as the only means in the foreseeable future whereby western coal can be converted to synthetic fuel and moved to distant markets.« le
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