Skip navigation to main content.
NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
About NRELEnergy AnalysisScience and TechnologyTechnology TransferTechnology DeploymentEnergy Systems Integration

Gas-to-Liquid Fuels

Photo showing a glass laboratory beaker or flask on the left containing a nearly clear liquid that is labeled as Fischer-Tropsch synthetic diesel fuel. Next to it is another glass flask containing a yellow liquid that is labeled as conventional number 2 diesel fuel.

On the left is a synthetic liquid diesel fuel developed from gases by using the Fischer-Tropsch process; on the right, conventional No. 2 diesel is shown.
Credit: Jim Yost

Natural gas can be converted into a liquid fuel that can then be refined into gasoline or diesel. These gas-to-liquid fuels are also known as Fischer-Tropsch fuels; they are named for the German researchers who invented the process. Researchers have found that engines running on gas-to-liquid diesel fuels have lower exhaust emissions than conventional diesel engines do.

Solid-fuel resources such as biomass and coal can also be converted to gas in a process known as gasification. The resulting gas can then be converted to a liquid Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuel.

Learn more about gas-to-liquid fuels.