We earlier submitted a report we headlined as "USDOE Hydrogasifies Coal, Recycles Carbon", in which we disclosed "United States Patent 3,988,123 - Gasification of Carbonaceous Solids; October, 1976", the revelation of a technology owned by the US Government, wherein Coal, and other "carbonaceous solids", could be gasified with Steam to produce an hydrogenated "fuel gas or synthesis gas".
 
Herein, we see that our Department of Energy was about half a century late in recognizing, developing - and then stuffing away into some sort of sealed lockbox, or rat hole - such technology. 
 
We have previously documented that the Steam gasification of Coal, to produce a synthetic "natural" gas, which includes a high percentage of Methane, which as you should by now know has some special potentials, through bi-reforming and tri-reforming technologies, related to the recycling of Carbon Dioxide, has been practiced for a long time, generating vaporous fuels known, among other names, as "Producer Gas" and "Town Gas".
 

We have documented many times that NASA has further developed and refined the 1912 Nobel-winning Sabatier technology, wherein Carbon Dioxide can be recycled into Methane, so that they can make rocket fuel from available resources in outer space. Their primary focus seems to be the planet Mars, where they intend to manufacture fuel, for return journeys to Earth, by first synthesizing Methane from the Carbon Dioxide in the Martian atmosphere, through combining it with Hydrogen extracted from water ice on the Martian surface.
 
Here on Earth, we have other options. If OPEC and Big Oil decide to start jacking us around for whatever petroleum-derived materials they provide for us to make jet fuel, we can, according to Penn State University, just as we can with Gasoline, start making it from Coal.
 
How real is the technology for converting Coal into Gasoline, and other liquid hydrocarbon fuels?
 
Well, it is so real that, more than half a century ago, the United States petroleum industry was already improving the technologies it had in hand to refine the Gasoline that it made from Coal.
 
And, our own United States Government had sufficient confidence in it's own knowledge of such technology to determine whether or not genuine improvements could, and had, been made in the processes for the further refining of Gasoline made from Coal.
 
Herein, we present further, early confirmation of the fact that Coal can be gasified with Steam in order to generate hydrocarbon gases suitable for catalytic condensation into liquid hydrocarbons.
 
And, interestingly, it comes from a company whose commercial interests don't lie in the production of fuels, but, in the manufacture of processing equipment primarily for oil refineries and energy generation industries.
 
From a variety of web-based sources, including their own web site, we learn that the Babcock & Wilcox Company is a US-based corporation devoted mainly to providing design, engineering, manufacturing, construction and facilities management services to a range of nuclear, renewable and fossil power industries, and government customers, in more than ninety countries. They have been around for awhile, since, during WWII, more than half of the US Navy fleet was powered by their boilers.
 
In any case, during the years after WWII, they, as did others, must have seen the potential, the promise, in manufacturing synthetic liquid fuels from Coal, and began making plans to supply and service what should have become, what these industry experts perceived would be, a growth industry, as witnessed by the following excerpts, with comment appended, from the enclosed link to, and attached file of:
 
"United States Patent 3,018,174 - High Pressure Pulverized Coal Gasifier
 
Date: January, 1962
 
Inventor: Andrew Steever, CT
 
Assignee: The Babcock & Wilcox Company, NY
 
Abstract: This invention relates to the production of synthesis gas by the reaction of pulverized carbonaceous fuel, gas, and steam and, more particularly, to a novel superatmospheric pressure gasifier, or reactor, for producing the synthesis gas, and associated pressurized fuel feeding and gas receiving components.
 

We have previously reported on the old Union Carbide, now part of Dow Chemical, Coal hydrogenation and liquefaction plant that operated for a time in South Charleston, WV. And, we have previously cited one or two of the inventors named in this dispatch.
 
But, this submission will, hopefully, not prove directly repetitive of information we've earlier submitted.
 
In this United States Patent, we see that a team of four West Virginia scientists, and, through issuance of this patent, our US Government, confirm what we have been reporting from other sources:
 
Coal can be hydrogenated, to synthesize gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons, by interaction with Steam.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw