|Mobil Oil Coal to Methanol to Gasoline|
|Wednesday - August 04, 2010|
We frequently make reference in our posts to ExxonMobil's "MTG"(r), methanol-to-gasoline, process, wherein, as we are always careful to note, the methanol is posited to be made from Coal.
We thought it timely now to submit definitive documentation of that persistent assertion, and we do so herein.
The first statement of this US Patent's Abstract should capture the attention of anyone truly interested in Coal's potential to free us from OPEC bondage; the full Disclosure should instruct them on the means to fulfill that potential and obtain that freedom.
We note that we have many times cited the lead named inventor, Frank Derbyshire, who, as we have documented, subsequent to teaching ExxonMobil how to convert Coal into Gasoline, went on to further develop Carbon conversion technologies at the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research.
Brief comment follows excerpts from the enclosed link to:
"United States Patent 4,447,310 - Production of Distillates through Methanol to Gasoline
Date: May, 1984
Inventors: Frank Derbyshire and Darrell Whitehurst, NJ
Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation, NY
Abstract: A process for producing a wide slate of fuel products from coal is provided by integrating a methanol-to-gasoline conversion process with coal liquefaction and coal gasification. The coal liquefaction comprises contacting the coal with a solvent under supercritical conditions whereby a dense-gas phase solvent extracts from the coal a hydrogen-rich extract which can be upgraded to produce a distillate stream. The remaining coal is gasified under oxidation conditions to produce a synthesis gas which is converted to methanol. The methanol is converted to gasoline by contact with a zeolite catalyst. Solvent for coal extraction is process derived from the upgraded distillate fraction or gasoline fraction of the methanol-to-gasoline conversion.
Claims: An integrated process for the conversion of solid coal to a wide slate of fuel products comprising: extracting a portion of said coal by contacting said coal with an extraction solvent under supercritical conditions of temperature and pressure whereby said solvent is converted to a dense-gas phase capable of dissolving the coal, separating said solvent and a hydrogen-rich liquid coal extract, said coal extract having a hydrogen concentration greater than said solid coal, a portion of said solid coal remaining an unsolvated, solid coal residue, upgrading at least a portion of said coal extract in the presence of hydrogen to produce a plurality of upgraded fuel products, gasifying said residue under oxidizing conditions to produce a synthesis gas comprising hydrogen and carbon monoxide, shifting the hydrogen to carbon monoxide ratio of a portion of said synthesis gas to produce a hydrogen-enriched gas, combining said hydrogen-enriched gas with said synthesis gas, converting said combined gas to methanol, passing at least a portion of said methanol in contact with a catalyst capable of converting said methanol to gasoline products and recycling at least a portion of said gasoline products for use as said extraction solvent.
2. The process of claim 1 wherein said extraction solvent is additionally obtained from process-derived solvents, external solvents or mixtures thereof.
Background: This invention relates to processes for obtaining valuable fuel products from coal, and more particularly, relates to the integration of coal liquefaction and coal gasification so as to obtain a wide range of selected fuel products. Specifically, the invention relates to the processing of coal or other solid fuel products by solvent extraction of coal under supercritical conditions of temperature and pressure and coal gasification which are combined with a methanol-to-gasoline conversion process to produce a wide product slate of fuels.
Coal is becoming an increasingly attractive source for gaseous and liquid fuel inasmuch as coal is available in abundant supply and can be liquefied by a variety of techniques to produce a range of gaseous, distillate and nondistillate liquid coal products. It is recognized that the coal products may furnish a substitute for petroleum-based fuels and for petroleum-based feedstocks for the chemical industry.
It has also been well established that coal can be converted to gasoline by gasification of the coal and the subsequent production of methanol from the synthesis gas which is produced and the catalytic conversion of the methanol to gasoline."
There is much more to the full Disclosure, of course. But, if the above US Government-certified statements we have excerpted don't spur Coal Country interest into finding out how we can integrate "coal liquefaction and coal gasification so as to obtain a wide range of selected fuel products" and produce, from our abundant domestic Coal, substitutes "for petroleum-based fuels and for petroleum-based feedstocks for the chemical industry", then our time spent writing this, and yours reading it, has all been wasted.
And, all the public press hand-wringing and political posturing over OPEC extortions and Big Oil economic and environmental devastations are just that: hand-wringing and posturing.
Far past time, if we're serious, to get real:
Coal can, economically and cleanly, as herein, be converted into the Gasoline, and into the necessary "feedstocks for the chemical industry", which we now derive from Petroleum.
We have known that, officially, as herein, to be true for at least the last quarter of a century.