WV Coal Member Meeting 2024 1240x200 1 1

US Air Force 1965 CO2 to Methane


We have made previous report of the fact, that, one half of one century ago, the United States Air Force and it's contractors developed the technology whereby Carbon Dioxide, via various processes, could be directly converted into substitute natural gas Methane.

Records of that CO2-to-Methane technical development work, conducted in the early 1960's, weren't "declassified" until the 1970's.



But, we still haven't been told by our government that we have the technology in hand, have had it in hand for half a century, to make valuable use of the Carbon Dioxide byproduct arising from our economically essential use of Coal in the generation of abundant and affordable electric power, and, to thereby eliminate both the duplicitous imposition of "carbon taxes" on now-affordable Coal-based electric power and the environmentally disastrous practice of "fracking" the abyssal, radioactive shale beds to extract their tightly-held content of natural gas.

Were not linking to our past reports of those Air Force developments, since links we included in those reports to official US Government records of the research, held in the Defense Technical Information Center:

Defense Technical Information Center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; "The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) is the premier repository for research and engineering information for the United States Department of Defense";

no longer function; the DTIC having, apparently, reorganized their electronic library in the years subsequent to those original reports being posted by the West Virginia Coal Association.

Further, as seen in our report of:

US Air Force April 3, 2014, CO2 to Synthetic Fuels | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20140093799 - Devices and Processes for Carbon Dioxide Conversion into Useful Fuels and Chemicals; 2014; Inventors: Richard Masel, IL, Brian Rosen, DE, Wei Zhu, IL; Applicant (and presumed eventual Assignee of rights): Dioxide Materials, Inc., Champaign, IL; Abstract: Electrochemical devices for converting carbon dioxide to useful reaction products include a solid or a liquid with a specific pH and/or water content. Chemical processes using the devices are also disclosed, including processes to produce CO, ... CH3OH (Methanol), CH4 (Methane), ... acrylic acid, diphenyl carbonate, other carbonates, other organic acids and synthetic fuels. ... Government Interests: This invention was made, at least in part, with U.S. government support under U.S. Air Force contract No. FA8650-12-M-2249. The government has certain rights in the invention";

the Air Force has more lately continued, through contracted research, their development of electrochemical Carbon Dioxide utilization technologies, with the end products including not just substitute natural gas Methane, but other products, such as fuel alcohol Methanol, as well. And, we must suspect that their newer technologies for converting Carbon Dioxide into such valuable products are more efficient and more productive than those originally developed by and for the Air Force back in the 1960's.

In any case, in order to repair the deficiencies in our prior reports of that earlier United States Air Force technology, whereby Carbon Dioxide can be converted into Methane, we're including herein a new Defense Technical Information Center link to, and a downloaded file of:

"Catalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methane and Water

G. A. Remus, et. al.; General American Transportation Corporation

Technical Report AFFDL-TH-85-12; April, 1965

Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory; Research and Technology Division

Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base 

This report sunmarizes the work accomplished under contract AF 3"(615)-1210, for research on catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to methane and water. This work was performed under project 6146, "Atmosphere and Thermal Control",- and task 614622, "Oxygen Recovery From Carbon Dioxide." The effort was initiated on 6 January 1964 and completed 31 December 1964, by the NRD Division of the General American Transportation Corporation, 7501 Natchez Avenue Niles, Illinois 60648. The work was monitored by Lt. Terry W.Marshall, Environmental Control Branch (FDFE), Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Research and Technology Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433.

Abstract: A literature search was conducted to determine suitable candidate catalysts for the Sabatier reaction. A test system was designed and fabricated for evaluating the candidate catalysts material to select an optimum catalyst. The system included a reactor sized to handle 2.5 lbs of CO2 per day, equivalent to one-man output. Three smaller reactors were also used to test more accurately the effects of changes in temperature, flow and catalyst. configuration. (An) optimum catalyst as determined to be ruthenium metal powder (as described). 

The minimum temperature required with this catalyst to provide over 99% conversion of CO2 was 357 F, at one atmosphere. ... During a thirty-day duration test with ruthenium metal-powder CO2 conversion remained essentially at 99%, and the catalyst remained unchanged".


In the particular effort recorded in "Catalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methane and Water", the Air Force was further developing the 1912 Nobel Prize-winning Sabatier CO2-to-Methane process; and, their discovery that "ruthenium" is the optimum catalyst for conducting the conversion of CO2 into synthetic natural gas Methane was confirmed much later by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as in our report of:

NASA Converts 97% of CO2 to Substitute Natural Gas Methane | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20140178270 - Sabatier Process and Apparatus for Controlling Exothermic Reaction; 2014; Inventors: Christian Junaedi, et. al., CT; Assignee: Precision Combustion, Inc., Hartford, CT; Abstract: A Sabatier process involving contacting carbon dioxide and hydrogen ... so as to produce a product stream comprising water and methane. ... An apparatus for controlling temperature in an exothermic reaction, such as the Sabatier reaction, is disclosed. Government Interests: This invention was made with support from the U.S. government under U.S. Contract No. NNX10CF25P sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The U.S. Government holds certain rights in this invention. Claims: An apparatus for use in an exothermic reaction, the apparatus comprising: (a) a first reaction zone comprising a first catalyst bed comprising at least one layer of ultra-short-channel-length metal substrate; ... the first and second catalyst beds each individually comprising at least one layer of ultra-short-channel-length metal mesh substrate having one or more Group VIII metals deposited thereon (and) wherein the Group VIII metal comprises iron, cobalt, nickel, ruthenium".

So, in essence and in sum, our United States Government has known for more than half a century that Carbon Dioxide, as we might harvest from the exhaust gases co-produced by our economically essential use of Coal in the generation of abundant and affordable electric power, is a valuable raw material resource, the proper use of which could not only prevent the environmental damage being caused by the alarming practice of fracking for shale gas but could as well lead to the founding of new industries, and the creation of new  jobs, in United States Coal Country.

We, here, are compelled to wonder when someone will finally get around to telling us all, openly and publicly, the truth of that.