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Assessment of Potential for Colloidal Fuels

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Technical rept.

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Colloidal fuels, consisting of a combination of residual fuel oils as the basic carrier with coal added in particulate form have been evaluated throughout the 20th century. They received considerable attention during World War I and II as potential fuel substitutes in the event petroleum sources were interrupted. The investigation of the potential of colloidal fuels reported herein was stimulated by the issue of a report by Battelle Columbus Laboratories BCL on the potential application of colloidal fuels by the DOD. The BCL report indicated that a complete conversion to colloidal fuels could provide DOD fuel savings of 200 to 400 million dollars per year. The primary conclusion of this reassessment is that the net savings potential of colloidal fuel appears too small and for too limited a market to indicate any significant economic advantage for either DOD or the nation. However, this conclusion should not preclude pursuing further research of colloidal fuel. Colloidal fuel would be a means of using vast U.S. coal resources to extend limited petroleum energy resources. Colloidal fuels could at least provide an alternate energy source for reducing residual fuel requirements should another fuel crisis occur. The technological base for colloidal fuels should be expanded so that the lag time required to develop the colloidal fuels will not interfere with the eventual or emergency implementation of these alternate fuels. Colloidal fuels should be researched and continually reconsidered for production as the economic environment changes in the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Fuels

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