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".
Herein, via the enclosed link and attached document, we see that the US Government officially acknowledged all the way back in 1923 that both Coal and Carbon-recycling Cellulose could be gasified, together, with Steam, to generate an hydrogenated gas which, we submit and assert, would be ideally suited for further Fischer-Tropsch, and related, catalytic condensation into liquid hydrocarbon fuel.
Some further explanatory comment follows excerpts from the enclosed link to, and attached file of:
"United States Patent 1,467,957 - Method of Generating Gas
Date: September, 1923
Inventor: Frederick Snyder, Illinois
Abstract: The method of the invention enables the employment of a single generator that holds carbonaceous fuel and in the lower part of which a fixed gas is produced which is preferably a water gas or a mixture of water gas and producer gas. The heat of the ascending gas serves to distill carbonaceous fuel (and thus) produce other gases and attendant by-products.
(The) fuel to be reduced is ... bituminous, lignite or anthracite coals, ... or hard and soft woods, or any suitable combination of these ... .
Claims: The method of producing gas which consists in subjecting ... carbonaceous fuels to the action of gas and steam."
First, according to multiple, readily-available web-based sources we won't specifically cite, the above-noted "producer gas" is a fuel gas historically made from various grades of coal or other carbonaceous material, and is a relatively generic label which includes such things as "Town", or "Manufactured" gas, which, as we have earlier documented, was at one time produced from Coal by and for municipalities as a substitute for natural gas; and, it also includes "Syngas", which, as you should by now know, is an intermediate in the production of other chemicals, including liquid fuel.
"Water gas", as above, is also known as a synthesis gas. But, since it is made by passing Steam through  red-hot Coal, or coke, or any carbon, it contains much more Hydrogen than "Producer Gas"; and, it can, as in earlier of our reports, be used as a gasifying agent for more raw Coal, or blended with Producer Gas, to generate a Synthesis Gas wherein the Hydrogen and Carbon contents are more favorably balanced in terms of suitability for further catalytic condensation into liquid hydrocarbons.
As we read the full Disclosure, which is inordinately complicated and concerned primarily with the mechanics of the thing, we find that, first, heat and energy generated in some steps of the process is utilized, "recycled", to drive other reactions within the total system. It is another example of "heat-balanced" or "auto-thermal" Coal conversion processes, multiple examples of which we have previously documented, wherein all of the energy needed to drive the total system of producing hydrocarbons from Coal is generated by Coal.
This is, in sum, an early example of technology wherein a fully-hydrogenated synthesis gas, suitable for catalytic condensation, as in the Fischer-Tropsch process, into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, can be generated, through the hydrogenating action of Steam, both from all types of Coal and from Carbon-recycling botanical Cellulose.

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