A US - Illinois - oil company reporting on the conversion of coal into liquid fuels at a FRENCH conference.
And, again, pretty-darned nitty-gritty observations, not pie-in-the-sky speculation. This stuff is real, and the sooner we put this apparently-offensive bit of offal on the table, where we can all see it and figure out, together, how to make the most profitable use of it, the better.
You want we should track down some Amoco contact info for you? Have you touched bases with Eastman or Exxon-Mobil? Or, better yet, SASOL?
Joe the Miner
Unusual reactions on a cobalt-based Fischer-Tropsch catalyst

Auteur(s) / Author(s)


Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

Amoco Chemical Co., res. development dep., Naperville IL 60563, ETATS-UNIS

Résumé / Abstract

A cobalt-based Fischer-Tropsch catalyst, after 125 days of continuous synthesis, was found to have retained excessive amounts of synthesis products and was not pyroforic in air. Upon resuming synthesis, unusual reactions were observed for about 20 h. Carbon monoxide conversion was quantitative. The major product was methane, with a fairly flat distribution of paraffins and isoparaffins. Excessive end gas volumes and the presence of isoparaffins suggest that hydrocracking of the waxes deposited in the catalyst pores may have been the major reaction. Later, «normal» synthesis occurred. Catalyst activity measurements indicated a successful regeneration by the events
M. Sudiro*, A. Bertucco, F. Ruggeri and M. Fontana§
Department of Chemical Engineering (DIPIC), University of Padova, Italy and Foster Wheeler Italiana Spa, Milan, Italy
"This paper is aimed at developing process alternatives of conventional coal gasification. A number of possibilities are presented, simulated, and discussed in order to improve the process performances, to avoid the use of pure oxygen, and to reduce the overall CO2 emissions. The different process configurations considered include both power production, by means of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant, and synfuel production, by means of Fischer−Tropsch (FT) synthesis."
Do you suppose that, if we have to, in the future, fuel our hillbilly pickups with gasoline made in Italy from Italian coal, that we will only be able to drive in reverse?
Not surprising, really, that a former Axis power is following in the tread tracks of coal-fueled German tanks.
Let us know if these links open for you, please. We don't want to be wasting anyone's time.

The following is NASA research, apparently, available from SAO/NASA ADSPhysics Abstract Service.


The production of methanol from coal using existing commercially available processing technology is examined for the example of a self-contained plant importing only coal, water and a small amount of power and located adjacent to a Wyoming mine site. Coal from the mine is crushed and dried to 8% moisture, then sent to a fluidized bed gasifier which produces H2, CO, CO2, methane and inert material from subbituminous coal. The hot gas is treated to ensure the proper H2 to CO ratio and remove sulfur and excess CO2, and is compressed in a methanol synthesis loop in order to produce a total of 7050 tons/day of methanol and 35 liquid tons/day of byproduct sulfur. The overall plant thermal efficiency is 46.5 %, and graphs of the cost of methanol as a function of the cost of coal are presented which indicate the greater sensitivity of methanol prices to capital costs than to plant efficiency.
Keep digging.

We'll presume you to be familiar with Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Why we didn't look into it further, earlier on, is unaccountable.
Since we remain uncertain of the functional transmission of links, we'll include a few, but suggest you/your reporter visit the site and look up:
and Karrick.
We're pretty certain you'll find the Coal Conversion to Liquid Fuel details, background, history and references to additional paths of discovery rewarding.
They are good summaries, but we remain hopeful you are pursuing the direct contacts we've provided you at SASOL, Eastman, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips (or is it PhillipsConoco), and the various universities (Dayton, WVU, U of ND, etc).
Here are the article links, just in case they do function (bear in mind the articles include valuable links themselves):
An excerpt:
"The Fischer-Tropsch process (or Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis) is a catalyzedchemical reaction in which synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is converted into liquid hydrocarbons of various forms. The most common catalysts are based on iron and cobalt, although nickel and ruthenium have also been used. The principal purpose of this process is to produce a synthetic petroleum substitute, typically from coal, natural gas or biomass, for use as synthetic lubrication oil or as synthetic fuel. This synthetic fuel runs trucks, cars, and some aircraft engines. (Refer to Sasol.) The use of diesel is increasing in recent years."
An excerpt:
"The Bergius Process is a method of production of liquid hydrocarbons for use as synthetic fuel by hydrogenation of high-volatile bituminous coal at high temperature and pressure. It was first developed by Friedrich Bergius in 1913."
"The Karrick process is a low-temperature carbonization (LTC) of coal, shale, lignite or any carbonaceous materials. These are heated at 680 °F (360 °C) to 1380 °F (360 °C to 749 °C) in the absence of air to distill out oil and gas. The process was the work of oil shale technologist Lewis C. Karrick at the U.S. Bureau of Mines in the 1920s."
In addition, Mike, there are Exxon-Mobil's MTG process, and the technology employed by Eastman in Tennessee. SASOL uses their own, highly-developed version of either the Fischer-Tropsch or Bergius processes, perhaps a hybrid of the two, depending on the source. If you've called one of the contacts there we provided you, you probably know for sure by now.
But, please, note especially our own, home-grown, USBM Karrick process, and it's ability to employ bituminous coal, lignite, shale "or any carbonaceous materials". That could, we think, mean sewer sludge, old tires, scrap wood and cellulosic crop waste - in addition to coal mine refuse.
Finally, it would be a kindness if you were to acknowledge receipt and let us know whether or not the links Melissa and I send function.

We've elaborated on China's plans previously, but you will perhaps see conflicting news reports that their massive CTL projects are slowing down, or even on hold. Perhaps, as with the old US coal-fed synfuel plants, of which there were several, including the one south of you on the river, "Big Oil" is again flexing it's muscle.
We have earlier provided you with info on SES. 

SES and Golden Concord Sign Joint Venture Contract to Build Coal Gasification, Methanol and DME Plant in Inner Mongolia, China

Plant to Optimize Coal Reserves to Meet China's Growing Need for Clean Transportation Fuels and Chemical Feedstocks


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