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California Recycles Coal Power Plant Carbon Dioxide

United States Patent Application: 0090285739


We've submitted numerous reports concerning the Carbon Dioxide recycling technology that has been established by a team of University of Southern California scientists, a team led by USC's resident Nobel Laureate, George Olah.

The CO2 utilization technologies developed by Olah and his colleagues enable the efficient transformation of Carbon Dioxide into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, most especially the incredibly valuable alcohol, Methanol; which can itself be used as the basic feedstock for manufacturing nearly any other organic or hydrocarbon compound, including various types of plastics normally derived from petrochemicals and, via, for one example, ExxonMobil's MTG(r) technology, Gasoline.

A compilation linking to some of those past reports, as well as some new information, can be accessed via:

West Virginia Coal Association | California Recycles More and More Carbon Dioxide | Research & Development; which includes documentation of, among others related:

"United States Patent 7,704,369 - Electrolysis of Carbon Dioxide ... for Production of Methanol; 2010; Inventors: George Olah and Surya Prakash; Assignee: University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Abstract: An environmentally beneficial method of producing methanol from varied sources of carbon dioxide including flue gases of fossil fuel burning power plants".

We consistently make note of the fact that George Olah is a past, 1994, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry; and, it might be worthwhile considering what his Nobel-winning work actually centered on.

As can be learned via:

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1994; "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1994 was awarded to George A. Olah 'for his contributions to carbocation chemistry".

And, as far as what a "carbocation" - a noun, by the way, not an adjective; and the announcement of Olah's award might have been better phrased as "contributions to the chemistry of carbocations" -  might be, we suggest you consult, among others:

George A. Olah, Carbocation and Hydrocarbon Chemistry; and,

Carbocation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;

wherein you'll learn that they are actually highly-reactive forms of the Carbon atom, which can be chemically generated, and then recombined in various productive ways that can result in the formation of useful hydrocarbon, and other compounds.

As one of the references states:

"Olah ... devised a way to keep the transient carbocations around ... leading to new discoveries and improvements in the production of gasoline, plastics and pharmaceuticals, to name a few."

And, as we will document more fully in the future, but as we previously reported in:

West Virginia Coal Association | USDOE Pays California to Liquefy Coal | Research & Development; concerning: "Superacid Catalyzed Coal Conversion Chemistry; Final Technical Report; USDOE Contract Number: DE-FG22-83PC60810; 1986; Author: George Olah; Organization: University of Southern California; The basis of our studies was a novel, low temperature, mild coal conversion process developed in our laboratory";

Olah's Carbon chemistry expertise is so widely-acknowledged that our USDOE engaged his services to help improve, or broaden, the technical bases for converting Coal into liquid hydrocarbons.

In any case, Olah's Carbon Dioxide recycling technologies are so efficient, that, as we've documented in several reports, including, from back in November of 2010:

West Virginia Coal Association | Iceland Methanol from CO2 in 2010 | Research & Development; concerning: "CRI breaks ground for the first CO2 to Renewable Methanol Industrial Scale Plant in the world: Carbon Recycling International (CRI) captures carbon dioxide from industrial emissions and converts carbon dioxide into clean Renewable Methanol (RM) fuel. RM can be blended with different grades of gasoline for existing automobiles and hybrid flexible vehicles. The capture of carbon dioxide results in a net reduction of carbon dioxide from power generation. It is a cost effective method and sustainable production of renewable fuel.RM fuel can be utilized in existing automobiles and distributed by the current gasoline stations. RM can potentially be a sustainable source of renewable fuel for Iceland and Europe. The production of RM and the harnessing of renewable energy are feasible in Iceland and in many other similar locations in the world. CRI plans to construct larger plants for export to other European countries. The ground-breaking of the George Olah Plant took place on October 17 2009 in Svartsengi, Iceland. CRI will construct an Industrial Scale Plant to capture carbon dioxide from emissions and produce Renewable Methanol (RM) which can be used to power existing automobiles without requiring new gasoline station infrastructure. Consumers will be able to fill up their tanks at OLIS, one of the leading gasoline companies in Iceland, at the end of 2010";

an Icelandic-American company, "Carbon Recycling International", had begun construction of a factory designed around Olah's technologies that would capture CO2 from environmental sources and convert it into the valuable Methanol.

More information is accessible via:

First Commercial Plant; which informs, that: "K-C Tran, CEO of Carbon Recycling International said 'building the George Olah plant is establishing the keystone for a fleet of carbon recycling plants in the future'. The name of the plant honors George Olah, Nobel Prize Laureate in chemistry and co-author of the Methanol Economy. The plant which will produce around 2 million liters of Renewable Methanol(RM) fuel per annum shall be completed by the end of 2011. CRI plans to expand the plant to more than 5 million liters a year by 2012 and to reduce 4.5 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere. The production process is clean and the byproduct is oxygen. RM will be blended with gasoline and sold at N1 gasoline stations throughout the greater Reykjavik area by the end of 2011. The company will hire new employees and the work force will grow to 25 people during the construction phase and will level to 15 people in Svartsengi and Reykjavík during operation."

That Carbon Dioxide recycling plant is now up and running, by the way, as can be learned via:

World’s first green methanol production could end up in most Icelandic cars | IceNews - Daily News; wherein it's related, that:

"Roughly a year after construction began on Iceland’s new methanol fuel factory, it has now opened and is at full production capacity. Its environmentally-friendlier renewable fuel may well be used in almost every car in the country. The factory is the first of its kind in the world. 'The methanol here is made by taking carbon dioxide (and) hydrogen and these two are mixed together to create methanol,' says plant chief Benedikt Stefansson".

More about the internationally-based company that is now harvesting Carbon Dioxide and converting it into such "renewable fuel", including the fact that George Olah is one of it's head honchos, can be accessed via:

Carbon Recycling International; wherein we're told:

"Carbon Recycling International (CRI) captures carbon dioxide from industrial emissions and converts carbon dioxide into Renewable Methanol (RM). RM is a clean fuel and can be blended at different levels with gasoline to meet renewable energy directives. The capture of carbon dioxide minimizes emissions from energy intensive industries. It is compatible to the existing energy and fuel infrastructure. RM is a blend fuel for existing automobiles and hybrid flexible vehicles and can be purchased at existing gasoline stations. The production of RM is feasible in many locations in the world with geothermal, wind, and solar energy sources. CRI plans to build commercial plants for domestic consumption and for export to other European countries."

Now, lest you think that George Olah's Carbon Dioxide recycling technologies apply only to far away and exotic places, where happy confluences of abundant geothermal energy and copious amounts of volcanic Carbon Dioxide can be accessed, be assured that they will work, as well, at Coal-fired power plants.

As Nobel Laureate Olah himself tells us, in excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch, and, via an additional link, with excerpts, appended, we can install technologies that could, in essence, make our abundant Coal an essentially Carbon-neutral fuel:

"United States Patent Application 20090285739 - Eliminating the Carbon Footprint of Human Activities

Date: November, 2009

Inventors: George Olah and Surya Prakash, CA

(The Assignee, not yet published, will presumably be the University of Southern California.)

Abstract: A method for neutralizing or reducing the carbon footprint from carbon dioxide emissions due to human activities related to the combustion or use of carbon containing fuels. This method includes an initial step of capturing carbon dioxide and then chemically recycling it to form and provide a permanent inexhaustible supply of carbon containing fuels or products, which subsequently can be combusted or used without increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Thus, the current lifestyles that rely extensively on conventional carbon containing fuels and products can continue indefinitely without harming the environment to preserve and even improve the earth's atmosphere for the benefit of future generations.

Claims: A method for neutralizing or reducing carbon dioxide emissions due to human activities related to the combustion or use of carbon containing fuels, which comprises capturing carbon dioxide and chemically recycling it to form carbon containing compounds or products which can be combusted or used without increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. 

The method ... wherein the carbon dioxide is captured from flue or off-gases of coal or other fossil fuel burning plants, geothermal power facilities, cement, aluminum or other industrial plants or factories, industrial or agricultural wastes or byproducts of natural gas production. 

The method ... wherein the carbon dioxide is captured and removed from the air or atmosphere.

(Well, basically anywhere we can get CO2 is fine, but, we do like that "coal ... burning plants" bit, and the implications it has for establishing new industries, and new prosperities, for US Coal Country.)

The method ... wherein the carbon containing compounds are carbon containing fuels or synthetic hydrocarbons (including) methanol (and) dimethyl ether. 

The method .... which further comprises converting the methanol or dimethyl ether in the presence of an acidic-basic or zeolitic catalysts to form ethylene or propylene. 

The method ... which further comprises converting the ethylene or propylene either to higher olefins, synthetic hydrocarbons or aromatics, or their products for use as feedstocks for chemicals or as transportation fuels. 

The method ... which further comprises hydrating the ethylene or propylene to form ethanol, propanol or isopropanol. 

The method ... wherein the dimethyl ether is used as a substitute for diesel fuel, natural gas or LPG for heating purposes for households or industrial use.

(Basically, no matter what sort of hydrocarbon we want, we can make it, through Methanol and Dimethyl Ether, from Carbon Dioxide.)

Summary: The invention relates to a method for neutralizing or reducing the carbon footprint from carbon dioxide emissions due to human activities related to the combustion or use of conventional carbon containing fuels. This method includes an initial step of capturing carbon dioxide and then chemically recycling it to form and provide a new and permanently inexhaustible supply of carbon containing compounds in the form of fuels, synthetic hydrocarbons or other products, which fuels and products subsequently can be combusted or used without increasing the overall carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. The invention also relates to the use of captured or recycled carbon dioxide to form such new carbon containing compounds or products to thus control and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions which result in the overall carbon footprint of the planet. Thus, the current lifestyles that rely extensively on conventional carbon containing fuels and products can continue indefinitely by substituting the new carbon containing compounds or products obtained by recycling of carbon dioxide without harming the environment to preserve and hopefully improve the earth's atmosphere for the benefit of future generations.

The present invention offers a feasible way to mitigate the carbon footprint caused by human activities by not limiting or prohibiting the use of carbon containing fuels for energy generation, production of transportation fuels and varied derived materials and products, but instead by preparing such fuels and related carbon containing products from carbon dioxide that is captured from plants that generate it or by the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By capturing and chemically recycling CO2 emissions, a neutral or in some case a negative carbon footprint is achieved. This is feasible by recycling preferentially higher concentrations of industrial and natural CO2 sources and emissions but also by capturing and recycling an equivalent amount, or on occasion even greater amounts, of CO2 directly from atmosphere or air itself."

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We'll end our excerpts there, since the full Disclosure is as much philosophical as technical, and centers on the thesis that it is perfectly feasible and acceptable to continue on in our "use of carbon containing fuels for energy generation" since, by, as herein, "capturing and chemically recycling CO2 emissions, a neutral or in some case a negative carbon footprint is achieved".

Olah and Prakash bolstered that refreshing argument less than one year ago, in their additional, and almost identical:

"United States Patent Application: 0110086928 - Eliminating the Carbon Footprint of Human Activities

Date: April, 2011

Inventors: George Olah and Surya Prakash, CA

(Again, USC is/will be the presumed Assignee of Rights.)

Abstract: A method for neutralizing or reducing the carbon footprint from carbon dioxide emissions due to human activities related to the combustion or use of carbon containing fuels. This method includes an initial step of capturing carbon dioxide and then chemically recycling it to form and provide a permanent inexhaustible supply of carbon containing fuels or products, which subsequently can be combusted or used without increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Thus, the current lifestyles that rely extensively on conventional carbon containing fuels and products can continue indefinitely without harming the environment to preserve and even improve the earth's atmosphere for the benefit of future generations.

Claims: A method for neutralizing or reducing carbon dioxide emissions due to human activities related to the combustion or use of carbon containing fuels, which comprises capturing carbon dioxide and chemically recycling it to form carbon containing compounds or products which can be combusted or used without increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. 

The method ... wherein the carbon dioxide is captured from flue or off-gases of coal ... burning plants, geothermal power facilities, cement, aluminum or other industrial plants or factories, industrial or agricultural wastes or byproducts of natural gas production (or) wherein the carbon dioxide is captured and removed from the air or atmosphere. 

The method ... wherein the carbon containing compounds are carbon containing fuels or synthetic hydrocarbons (which can be used) as feedstocks for chemicals or as transportation fuels.

The present invention offers a feasible way to mitigate the carbon footprint caused by human activities by not limiting or prohibiting the use of carbon containing fuels for energy generation, production of transportation fuels and varied derived materials and products, but instead by preparing such fuels and related carbon containing products from carbon dioxide that is captured from plants that generate it or by the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By capturing and chemically recycling CO2 emissions, a neutral or in some case a negative carbon footprint is achieved. This is feasible by recycling preferentially higher concentrations of industrial and natural CO2 sources and emissions but also by capturing and recycling an equivalent amount, or on occasion even greater amounts, of CO2 directly from atmosphere or air itself."

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In point of fact, the above, recent "United States Patent Application 0110086928", in it's full Disclosure, makes reference to, and "incorporates", the earlier "United States Patent Application 20090285739", so, if and when US Patents issue, there might be only one, which will incorporate and consolidate the Disclosures of both the Applications we document herein.

Another point of fact is this:

We can, as herein affirmed by a Nobel-certified genius, and as is being now practiced industrially and commercially in the nation of Iceland, capture Carbon Dioxide, whether from the "flue or off-gases of coal" or from the "atmosphere or air itself", as perhaps in our earlier reports of:

Efficient Power Plant CO2 Capture for CO2-to-Fuel Conversion | Research & Development; concerning: "Development of an Economic Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Process; 2008; Siemens develops an improved CO2 capture process with minimized energy demand, optimized for integration in conventional coal-fired power plants"; and:

Efficient Capture of Atmospheric CO2 | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,993,432 - Air Collector ... for Capturing Ambient CO2; 2011; Kilimanjaro Energy, Inc., WI; An apparatus (and) process for removing CO2 from atmospheric air at a location remote from where the CO2 was generated";

and, then, efficiently and directly convert that Carbon Dioxide into "synthetic hydrocarbons (which can be used) as feedstocks for chemicals or as transportation fuels".

Carbon Dioxide, as is emitted in only a small way, relative to natural sources such as volcanoes, from our productive and essential use of our abundant Coal in the generation of electrical power, is a valuable raw material resource.

We can, as herein affirmed by a Nobel Prize-winning US scientist, collect Carbon Dioxide, from any source, and, then, efficiently convert that Carbon Dioxide into "transportation fuels (and) ethanol, propanol or isopropanol (and) substitute(s) for diesel fuel, natural gas or LPG".