Written in 1989, this article gives an overview of the development of synthetic fuels in South Africa from the early 1900s through the 1980s. Historically, South Africa is highly dependent on foreign oil and dealt with this problem by establishing the largest oil-from-coal industry in the world. The use of synthetic fuels contributed substantially to South Africa’s industrial development and has been highly intertwined with political and international issues. This article looks at the history of the development of the synthetic fuels industry with the early arrangements between South Africa and Nazi Germany in World War II. In addition, the article traces the development of coal-based synfuels in the early 20th century, synfuels in Nazi Germany, synfuels in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, technology transfer, the Liquid Fuel and Oil Act of 1947, and Anglovaal.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/peter-hilsenrath/234/