The synthesis of hydrocarbons has long been an accomplished fact, but in Great Britain such processes have not yet made much headway commercially, due to their relatively high cost when compared with petroleum products. In Germany, on the other hand, synthetic oil plants were in operation for several years before the second world war started; these plants were eventually brought to a standstill by Allied air‐raids. The interest in synthetic oils is always strong in this country, not because a really economic method has been found for their production, but because it is realized that there is far more coal than petroleum in the world and that if petroleum supplies become exhausted, coal is an alternative source of oil.
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