Fuels From The Crypt

Do the dusty notebooks of the Third Reich hold a solution to America's overdependence on imported oil? Researchers at Texas A&M University want to study Nazi war archives to find out. With pioneering technology, the Germans built a system of 26 plants to produce synthetic fuel from coal. Their output totaled 130 million bbl. between 1938 and 1945. The U.S. Bureau of Mines briefly experimented with processing synfuel at a plant in the early 1950s using techniques brought back from Europe by U.S. scientists. Although the plants produced fuel for 1.6 cents per gal., government apathy and the presence of plentiful...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!