The complete exposition of the United States Patent we enclose herein is so full of convoluted mechanical process descriptions that it's easy to forget, or not even realize, what it's really all about. For clarity, we submit one passage, as a foreword, taken from deep within it's bowels, that we won't repeat in our very abbreviated excerpts:
"The water gas reaction is one of reacting 1 mole of carbon with 1 mole of water to produce 1 mole of carbon monoxide and 1 mole of hydrogen. This reaction is endothermic and in this invention the heat required is provided by the sensible heat of the particulate material. Substantially any carbon source can be employed so that the invention is applicable to carbonaceous material ... . Generally, it is preferred to employ subdivided coal, coke, coal char, and the like. The water reactant is normally provided in the form of steam although mixtures of steam and liquid water can be employed if desired."

Very nearly forty years ago, in 1973, our US Government affirmed the 1912 assessment by Europe's Nobel Committee, in the award of their Prize in Chemistry to Paul Sabatier, that Carbon Dioxide can be directly and efficiently converted into Methane.
Unfortunately, that affirmation could easily have been lost, and gone unnoticed, since, in what appears to be the official US Government record of the event, a critical piece of information in the title was apparently misspelled.
There are a few interesting "takes" to be made on this United States Patent for Coal conversion technology.
First, we remind you, without citing the reference, that we at one time reported on a serious proposal which had been made, to "stockpile" off-peak electric power that was being generated by continuously-operating fossil fuel power plants, by using the spare electricity to convert some of the Coal, and some of the off-gasses, into Methanol, which could be stored and then later burned for extra generating capacity during periods of high demand.
Here, we see a somewhat related concept from Hawaii, wherein it's described how to convert some of the excess energy they already have, in this case sunshine, into the valuable liquid fuel, Methanol, through a similar technology for converting Coal.
We are, in truth, only guessing at the accuracy of our headline concerning WVU, and we regret if it should prove inaccurate.
No assignment of rights, to another entity, is published in this United States Patent for the gasification of wastes. However, the named inventor is one "Richard Bailie", of Morgantown, WV. And, there is, or was, according to various web-based sources, a Richard C. Bailie, Professor Emeritus at WVU, who taught Chemical Engineering there for more than 20 years.
And, concerning Coal, it is, oddly, in this, an invention for Carbon conversion technology emerging from West Virginia, mentioned only once, as in this preliminary excerpt:

"The fluidized bed was first used as a unit operation to gasify solid fuels (brown coal) by Fritz Winkler in Germany in 1926 ... ."

Among our recent dispatches, to the West Virginia Coal Association and others, was one concerning the report by USDOD contractors United Technologies, "Development of an Improved Sabatier Reactor", made all the way back in 1979, wherein was revealed the fact, that, in an exothermic process, "carbon dioxide and hydrogen" can be reacted "in the presence of a catalyst ... to form water, methane, and heat".
We present herein, via a number of links, excerpts, and attached documents, more evidence that Methane, once so produced from Carbon Dioxide, or, as we have documented, and as we will further document, from Coal, via processes of Steam gasification, can be directly converted into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

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