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Can you get ethanol from coal?

And why on Earth would you want to? CNET, Greenbang’s former employer, has the details:

Ethanol from coal? If it works, it could solve three major problems for the energy industry.

Researchers at Louisiana State University, along with colleagues from Clemson University and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, are trying to develop catalysts and processes that would allow energy companies to convert coal into a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and then convert those gases into ethanol.

The ethanol could then be used as a liquid fuel additive or, alternatively, shipped as a liquid and then be converted into hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cells, said LSU’s James Spivey, who is heading up the project.

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