The Saratoga Sun -

By Liz Wood 

Putting the pressure on coal


Liz Wood

The coal and biomass gasification plant located at Western Research Institute in Laramie. This plant was built by Emery Energy, of Salt Lake City, Utah, with some funding from the State of Wyoming and the Department of Energy.

The Western Research Institute began its coal-to-liquids research 13 years ago when MTBE (Methyl tert-butyl ether), an additive in gasoline, was discovered to be causing contamination in ground water from leaky underground storage tanks at gasoline stations, and was going to be replaced with an alcohol made from corn.

“Our thinking at that time was, if we could make alcohol from coal instead of corn, we should be able to put coal in the gas tanks and save corn for food,” Vijay Sethi, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Energy Production and Generation of Western Research Institute (WRI), s...

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