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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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Here’s some CO2, can you make it into diesel please?

If you had never heard of the term Fischer Tropsch, you belong to the vast majority.

But if you are a scientist or an engineer, it is likely that you will hear of it more often in future.

Because the Fischer Tropsch process (FT for short) can enable the conversion of ordinary stuff like wood, waste, plastics into gasoline, diesel, kerosene, you name the liquid fuel and FT can get it for you.

Is this alchemy? Actually, no. It’s thermochemy.

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The FT process starts with what is called the synthesis gas or syngas (a mixture of CO and H2) and under certain combinations of temperature and pressure, and under the influence of select catalysts, the constituents undergo chemical reactions that convert them into a range of liquid fuels (and other chemicals).

You can produce synthesis gas from a very wide range of organic feedstock – solid waste, industrial waste, biomass waste, and even CO2 emissions if you add hydrogen or water into the picture. The syngas production stage can be a bit tricky for some feedstock, but once you have syngas, you are there – Fischer and Tropsch are there to take you on a fairly smooth journey to the fuel or chemical of your choice.

Imagine. You today have the technology to convert what are considered waste, pollutants and greenhouse gases into products of value – transport fuel, industrial and consumer chemicals and more. FT can be a useful tool in a world craving for circularity.

By the way, who are Messrs Fischer & Tropsch – silicon valley gang? The inventors of this valuable process, Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch, worked at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Germany and invented the process in…1925 – that’s almost 100 years back.

I found the Wiki article on FT quite useful – 

See my LinkedIn post on this topic

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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