The production of liquid fuels (gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) from hydrocarbons or biomass is energy intensive. For example, the thermal energy input into U.S. refineries is approximately equal to the thermal energy output of the nation’s nuclear power plants. The yield of liquid fuels per barrel of oil or ton of biomass can be increased if nuclear energy provides the thermal heat necessary for conversion of such feedstocks into liquid fuels. This allows the hydrocarbons and biomass that would have been burnt for the production of heat to be used as additional feedstocks for production of additional liquid fuels. Simultaneously, the carbon dioxide emissions from production facilities are reduced. The use of heat from high-temperature reactors would increase liquid fuels production by 10 to 30% per ton of hydrocarbon or biomass feedstock with corresponding reductions in greenhouse gas releases. The maximum temperature of heat to be supplied is generally less than 700°C to avoid thermal decomposition of the hydrocarbons or biomass. The temperature requirements, heat requirements, and the ultimate market size for these different applications of high-temperature heat are described.

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