United States Patent Application: 0110186441

We remind you that we have, for going on some few years now, been reporting that the petroleum industry knows full well that Carbon Dioxide is a valuable raw material resource that can be converted, through a number of different processes, into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons; that is, into virtually anything we now obtain from natural petroleum sources.

And, the petroleum industry has known that to be true since World War II, as seen, for just one example, in:

More Standard Oil 1944 CO2 + CH4 = Hydrocarbons | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 2.347.682 - Hydrocarbon Synthesis; 1944; Assignee: Standard Oil Company of Indiana; Abstract: This invention relates to an improved method and means for effecting the synthesis of hydrocarbons from carbon monoxide and hydrogen. (To make the carbon monoxide and hydrogen, I) employ... methane (which is) mixed with such proportion of carbon dioxide and steam as to give a gas mixture having an atomic hydrogen:carbon:oxygen ratio of about 4:1:1.

(My) reforming operation converts the methane-carbon dioxide-steam mixture into a gas consisting chiefly of hydrogen and carbon monoxide ... hereinafter referred to as ... 'synthesis' gas'."

And, which "synthesis gas", you should by now know, can then be catalytically condensed, as via the now almost generic "Fischer-Tropsch" process, into hydrocarbons.

Methane is required for such Carbon Dioxide "reforming operations”, to make the "synthesis gas".

But, since the oil industry would have known that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, as seen in:

CO2 Solution Wins Nobel Prize - in 1912 | Research & Development; wherein it's said that "carbon dioxide (is) changed immediately into methane, which can therefore be synthesized with the greatest ease"; and, in:

Sabatier reaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; wherein it's explained that the "Sabatier reaction or Sabatier process involves the reaction of hydrogen with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water";

had been awarded, even before World War I, for a process that converts Carbon Dioxide into Methane, we doubt that they would have seen the need for Methane in such Carbon Dioxide reforming processes as being all that much of a problem.

However, Big Oil has continued to work on their Carbon Dioxide transmutation technologies, presumably to make them more efficient, as seen, for one example, in:

Exxon 2010 CO2 + Methane = Liquid Hydrocarbons | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,772,447 - Production of Liquid Hydrocarbons from Methane; 2010; ExxonMobil; Abstract: (A) process for converting methane to liquid hydrocarbons ... comprising: (a) contacting a feed containing methane and ...  H2O (and) CO2 with a (specified) catalyst under conditions effective to convert said methane to aromatic hydrocarbons".

But, other methods, as well, are known to the petroleum industry for the transmutation of Carbon Dioxide into hydrocarbons, wherein the initial step of forming, or otherwise acquiring, Methane can be bypassed, as seen in:

Conoco Converts CO2 to Methanol and Dimethyl Ether | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 6,664,207 - Catalyst for Converting Carbon Dioxide to Oxygenates; 2003; Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company; Abstract: A catalyst and process for converting carbon dioxide into ... methanol and dimethyl ether".

And, ConocoPhillips is apparently so encouraged by their development of such technology, that, rather than waiting for the Coal and the Coal-use industries to figure out how to capture Carbon Dioxide efficiently and cleanly from their smokestacks themselves, so that it can, under proposed Cap & Trade and mandated Geologic Sequestration laws, be shipped cleanly, free and post-paid, to Big Oil's depleted natural petroleum reservoirs, for such specious Geologic Sequestration, they have taken the bull by the horns and developed a technology that would enable not only the efficient capture of Carbon Dioxide from effluent industrial gasses, but, the subsequent production of clean and relatively uncontaminated Carbon Dioxide from the Carbon Dioxide capturing medium.

As seen, with comment and additional links appended, in our excerpts from the initial link to the very recent:

"United States Patent Application 20110186441 - Electrolytic Recovery of Retained Carbon Dioxide

Date: August, 2011

Inventors: Christopher LaFrancois, OK, and Steven Schlasner, MN

Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company, TX

Abstract: Methods and apparatus relate to capturing carbon dioxide. A solution formed from metal ions combined with an amine reagent absorbs carbon dioxide from gas introduced into the solution. Subsequent electrolysis of the solution results in dissociation of complexes formed upon the carbon dioxide being absorbed.

The electrolysis thus liberates the carbon dioxide for capture and regenerates the solution for reuse.

Claims: A method comprising: contacting an aqueous solution formed from amine and metal ions with a gas mixture containing carbon dioxide, wherein the contacting forms metallocarbamate complexes from the amine, the metal ions and the carbon dioxide; separating the aqueous solution from unabsorbed constituents of the gas mixture after the contacting; and applying an electric potential to the aqueous solution recovered by the separating, wherein the electric potential causes dissociation of the metallocarbamate complexes in order to liberate the carbon dioxide for capture.

A method comprising: forming an aqueous solution by mixing monoethanolamine and copper ions from copper sulfate; contacting the aqueous solution with a gas mixture containing carbon dioxide, wherein the contacting forms metallocarbamate complexes from the monoethanolamine, the copper ions and the carbon dioxide; separating the aqueous solution from unabsorbed constituents of the gas mixture after the contacting; pumping the aqueous solution recovered by the separating to increase pressure of the aqueous solution to above a first pressure associated with the contacting; and applying an electric potential to the aqueous solution to liberate from the aqueous solution the carbon dioxide at a second pressure above the first pressure due to the pumping.

Background and Field: Embodiments of the invention relate to methods and systems for electrolytic recovery of retained gasses from absorption liquid to regenerate the absorption liquid. 

One approach to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide gas includes recovery of the carbon dioxide from power plants and other point sources. Such recovery depends on ability to remove or capture the carbon dioxide from other gasses. By example, sequestration of the carbon dioxide once captured provides ability to dispose of the carbon dioxide without creating atmospheric environmental issues.

Summary: In one embodiment, a method of capturing carbon dioxide from a gas mixture includes contacting an aqueous solution formed from amine and metal ions with the gas mixture thereby forming metallocarbamate complexes from the amine, the metal ions and the carbon dioxide. Separating the aqueous solution from unabsorbed constituents of the gas mixture occurs after the contacting. Applying an electric potential to the aqueous solution recovered by the separating causes dissociation of the metallocarbamate complexes in order to liberate the carbon dioxide for capture."

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And, what do you suppose that ConocoPhillips really intend to do with that Carbon Dioxide, once it has been trapped by their absorbents, and then so efficiently "liberate"d, as above, in a relatively pure form?

Well, there is the issue of "United States Patent 6,664,207 - Catalyst for Converting Carbon Dioxide to Oxygenates", as cited in our introductory comments.

And, we remind you as well of another of their related technologies, as we reported via:

ConocoPhillips Recycles Even More CO2 | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,273,893 - Process for Converting Carbon Dioxide to Oxygenates; 2007; Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company, Houston; Abstract: A catalyst and process for converting carbon dioxide into ... into methanol and dimethyl ether";

wherein the ConocoPhillips technology for converting Carbon Dioxide into the substitute Diesel fuel, "dimethyl ether", and the versatile alcohol, "methanol", was even further improved.

And, we also remind you, that, as seen in:

Mobil Oil Coal to Methanol to Gasoline | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 4,447,310 - Production of Distillates through Methanol to Gasoline; 1984; Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation;

Abstract: A process for producing a wide slate of fuel products from coal is provided (wherein) coal is gasified under oxidation conditions to produce a synthesis gas which is converted to methanol. The methanol is converted to gasoline by contact with a zeolite catalyst";

Methanol, no matter which of our precious resources, Carbon Dioxide or Coal, we choose to make it from, can then be converted, through a straightforward catalytic reaction, into Gasoline.

So, what would ConocoPhillips do with the Carbon Dioxide harvested so cleanly and efficiently by their process of our subject herein, "United States Patent Application 20110186441"?

About time all of us backwoods folk in West Virginia and the rest of US Coal Country began to figure out the answer to that question, ain't it?


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