Patent US1023567
Methane is a substance of great, though as yet not-fully appreciated, utility. As we have reported, it can be converted directly into liquid fuels; or, it can be added to processes of indirect Coal liquefaction to enhance the production of liquid fuels; or, it can, in bi-reforming and tri-reforming processes, be reacted with Carbon Dioxide to recycle that supposed pollutant and synthesize higher, valuable, hydrocarbons.
Paul Sabatier was awarded the Nobel Prize early in the last century for demonstrating that Methane could be synthesized from Carbon Dioxide.
At the same time, as we record herein, our United States Government acknowledged that Methane could also be made via the steam gasification of Coal.
Although Methane isn't named specifically in this artifact, accessible via the above link, it should be clear from our excerpts what is being generated in:
"United States Patent 1,023,567 - Gas Producer
Date: April 16, 1912
Inventor: Wilhelm Huttinger
Abstract: This invention relates to gas-producers ... . The solid fuel usually employed is anthracite, pea coal or coke and the combustion of this solid fuel in the presence of steam produces the desired steam-enriched gas."
Processes for the steam-gasification of Coal have, of course, become more efficient and sophisticated; but, yet again:
If we want and need Methane, whether to convert it directly into liquid fuels; or, to improve the hydrocarbon productivity of indirect Coal conversion processes; or, to bi-reform and tri-reform Carbon Dioxide to synthesize valuable hydrocarbons, we can make that needed Methane from Coal.

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