Hydrogenation liquefaction of coal employing zinc catalysts
 
As now recorded in the West Virginia Coal Association R&D archives, we have several times reported on Consolidation Coal Company's development of the "Zinc Chloride", or, variously, "Zinc Halide", technology for Coal liquefaction; now commemorated, as we also reported some time ago, in a United States Patent held by Consol's new parent company, Continental Oil, for "Hydrocracking Polynuclear Hydrocarbons".
 
We have discovered that, as with many Coal-to-Liquid technologies we've researched that are now in private, mostly oil industry, hands, Conoco's Zinc Halide cracking technology seems to have arisen from original research paid for by our US Federal Government; paid for by us, in other words.
 
Herein, via the enclosed link and attached file, we document that, before many of us had even learned how to talk, the Pittsburgh US Bureau of Mines Office had learned how to liquefy Coal using Zinc compounds.
 
Comment follows brief excerpts from:
 
"United States Patent 2,606,142 - Hydrogenation Liquefaction of Coal Employing Zinc Catalysts
 
Date: August 1952
 
Inventor: Harry Storch, et.al., Pittsburgh, PA
 
Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Interior
 
Abstract: The invention herein described and claimed may be used by or for the Government of the United States of America ... .
 
This invention relates to the liquefaction of coal ... by means of hydrogenation in the presence of catalysts.
 
In accordance with the present invention, finely divided zinc alloys or finely divided mixtures of zinc with other metals are employed as catalysts to effect in a positive manner the extent of coal liquefaction."
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We'll note that this USBM patent posits the use of Zinc metal, and Zinc alloys, as opposed to a Zinc Halide, which was likely a later refinement of the art now embodied in Conoco's patent.
 
However, in the full claims, we note, without quoting passages, that the USBM also specifies, as we have earlier documented to be practical, that a primary, traditional, Coal-derived oil, produced by long-known methods, can be blended with the raw Coal feed to improve yields.
 
In any case, at a time when some of us hadn't even learned how to walk, before some of us were even born, our own, United States Government had figured out a way "to effect in a positive manner the extent of coal liquefaction". And, now, when some of us who hadn't even learned how to walk, then, are contemplating retirement and investing in burial plots, now, there still isn't any "extent of coal liquefaction" to "effect in a positive manner".
 

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