Environmentally Responsible Energy Solutions


Carbon Fuels, LLC has developed a breakthrough commercial process for the clean, efficient use of the United States’ most abundant natural resource: coal. The Charfuel® Coal Refining Process refines raw coal in conceptually the same manner as crude oil to cleanly and economically produce high-value liquid fuels, petrochemicals, and clean power plant feedstock. With the Charfuel® process, gasoline, jet fuel, clean diesel (ultra-low-sulfur), fuel oil, marine fuels, and boiler fuels, as well as essential petrochemicals, such as benzene, toluene, xylene, and methanol, are refined from raw coal—instead of crude oil. The Charfuel® Coal Refining Process is not simply a supplemental source of “alternative energy.” Rather, it is a true oil replacement which uses only air and abundant raw coal (bituminous, sub-bituminous or lignite) as refinery feedstock to economically produce a range of products traditionally associated with the refining of crude oil.

Moreover, the Charfuel® process is not a conventional “coal-to-liquids” process, such as the traditional Fischer-Tropsch process. Fisher-Tropsch involves a more complicated series of process steps, a far higher cost to build and operate, and is less environmentally friendly than the Charfuel® process.  Charfuel® Coal Refining Process is truly a breakthrough process in a category all its own, and has major competitive and environmental advantages relative to any other known methods for converting coal into liquid fuels and other co-products.


The refined products from the Charfuel® process, unlike alternatives, such as ethanol and hydrogen, can utilize today’s existing petroleum-based fuels distribution and retail infrastructure—thus avoiding the need to build the hundreds of billions of dollars of additional energy infrastructure that would be required to shift from petroleum fuels to other types of alternative fuels, and the many years of time that such a shift would require. Moreover, no engine modifications are required in order to use fuels produced with the Charfuel® process; the fuel quality and characteristics are exactly the same as those produced from crude oil. The same is true for the range of valuable petrochemical products derived from the Charfuel® process. As such, Charfuel®-derived products are direct replacements for petroleum-derived fuels and petrochemicals.


The Charfuel® Coal Refining Process is environmentally friendly, producing no emissions, including greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2). Therefore, the Charfuel® Coal Refining Process’ “carbon footprint” is substantially better than any of today’s conventional petroleum refining practices—even superior to many biofuels, like corn-based ethanol, which produces a significant amount of CO2. With the Charfuel® process, all potential pollutants (including sulfur, nitrogen, mercury and CO2) are captured before they ever reach the atmosphere, and are turned into valuable co-products for immediate sale into existing commodities markets.

Importantly, unlike other processes that convert coal into liquid fuels or synthetic gases (such as the Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquids process), as well as many biofuels (such as ethanol) manufacturing processes, the Charfuel® system uses substantially no process external water; and, therefore, does not rely on scarce groundwater or water from lakes and rivers. The process water used in Charfuel® coal refinery comes from the moisture in the coal itself.


Some of the most common alternative sources of energy (such as corn-based ethanol) produce only a modest gain of energy relative to the amount of energy required to produce them, resulting in a low process energy efficiency. Moreover, some alternative fuels, such as ethanol, must be blended with petroleum-based fuels and, therefore, cannot fully replace oil for conventional engines (or even for modified engines). Furthermore, ethanol has a lower energy density than petroleum-derived gasoline, resulting in lower fuel mileage per gallon. In contrast, Charfuel® products are identical to those refined from crude oil and have equal energy density. The Charfuel® Coal Refining Process also yields a high process energy efficiency of 85%.

Because of the tremendous continuous through-put of the Charfuel® Coal Refining Process (reaction times are less than one second), the plant capital costs for constructing a Charfuel® refinery are far less than capital costs for traditional coal-to liquids plants (e.g., Fischer-Tropsch plants) and hydrogen plants of comparable capacity.

Another critical advantage of the Charfuel® Coal Refining Process is that it is more versatile than petroleum refining and can easily adjust product output yields between chemicals, agricultural fertilizers, transportation fuels, and boiler fuels by simply changing process parameters. This allows a Charfuel® refinery to react quickly to the ever-changing commodities markets for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals; and, thus, achieve superior economic performance and a greater return on assets.


One of the United States’ greatest vulnerabilities has been our increasing reliance on foreign sources of oil, often from regions that are politically unstable or hostile to U.S. interests. The Charfuel® process can contribute greatly to U.S. energy independence and national security. With the Charfuel® process, the U.S. no longer has to rely on an unstable foreign oil supply—or be vulnerable to the volatility of prices associated with it. There is more coal in the U.S. than all the oil and gas reserves in the world—at least a 300 year supply. Utilizing this abundant domestic resource as a refinery feedstock, not only enhances national security, but also improves the economy by expanding domestic industry, creating stable, well-paying jobs, and dramatically reducing the U.S. trade deficit—approximately 1/3 of which is due to oil imports.  It is even conceivable that the U.S. could again become an energy exporter.  Moreover, with large reserves of coal meeting the energy demands traditionally met by petroleum, fuel prices, as well as petrochemical prices, will stabilize.


The Charfuel® Coal Refining Process can provide the U.S. with a clean replacement for foreign oil at a substantially lower cost. In addition to the inherent manufacturing efficiencies of the Charfuel® process, the fact that coal feedstock is far less expensive than crude oil means that Charfuel® derived fuels can always compete with fuels and petrochemicals derived from petroleum—even at a $20-per-barrel crude oil price.

Carbon Fuels, LLC
3600 S. Yosemite St. Ste 360, Denver, Colorado 80237, USA | PH: 303-468-5700 FAX: 303-468-5705 | EMAIL: info@carbonfuels.com
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