United States Patent: 7985710

We've documented many times and from many sources that Carbon Dioxide can be efficiently recycled through conversion into Methane gas.

The apparent originator of the concept of, and technology for, converting Carbon Dioxide into Methane was one Paul Sabatier, of France, who, as seen in our report:

CO2 Solution Wins Nobel Prize - in 1912 | Research & Development, concerning the award of the 1912 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Sabatier, and the presentation speech of which includes the statement: "carbon dioxide (is) changed immediately into methane, which can therefore be synthesized with the greatest ease";

was widely recognized for his achievement, as was the fact that CO2 could be converted into Methane.

The reaction itself is fully described in:

Sabatier reaction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; which tells us, in part, that the "Sabatier reaction or Sabatier process involves the reaction of hydrogen with carbon dioxide at elevated temperatures and pressures in the presence of a nickel catalyst to produce methane and water".

The plain facts of the matter were later confirmed by our own United States Air Force, and their contractors, as they undertook, nearly half a century ago, to make improvements on that CO2-recycling technology, as seen in our report of:

US Air Force 1965 CO2 to Fuel Conversion | Research & Development | News; concerning the: "Catalytic Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methane and Water; This report summarizes the work accomplished under contract AF 3"(615)-1210, for research on catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to methane and water (which) was ... monitored by (the) Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; During a thirty-day duration test ... complete (>99%) single-pass conversion of CO2 (to Methane) was achieved".

Given that Carbon Dioxide can be so completely converted into Methane, we've also documented from many sources, as, for one instance, in:

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

that, once we have the Methane, as synthesized from Carbon Dioxide by the Sabatier process, or one of the later adaptations of the Sabatier process, we can react the Methane with even more Carbon Dioxide, recovered from whatever source, and thereby synthesize "liquid hydrocarbons".

Other variants of such Methane-Carbon Dioxide reactions are called "reforming" processes, and, with or without the addition of Water, H2O, in the form of Steam, to the initial mix of reactants, are intended to produce a "synthesis gas", or "syngas", a blend of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen, like that we can produce via a number of processes from Coal, and, which, like that Coal-derived syngas, can then be catalytically condensed, as via the Fischer-Tropsch process, into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

An example of such technology would include that about which we reported 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 ... (in which) methane (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. (The specified) 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'".

Herein, we see that scientists in Canada have been at work on technologies similar to that disclosed in the above-cited ""United States Patent 2.347.682 - Hydrocarbon Synthesis", and have improved the catalysis of such Methane-Carbon Dioxide reforming reactions, making them much more efficient.

Comment follows excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"United States Patent 7,985,710 - Catalyst for Production of Synthesis Gas

Date: July, 2011

Inventor: Hui Wang, Saskatoon, Canada

Assignee: University of Saskatchewan

Abstract: The present invention relates to a novel composite metal oxide catalyst, a method of making the catalyst, and a process for producing synthesis gas using the catalyst. The catalyst may be a nickel and cobalt based dual-active component composite metal oxide catalyst. The catalyst may be used to produce synthesis gas by the carbon dioxide reforming reaction of methane.

Claims: A nickel-cobalt bimetallic catalyst for production of synthesis gas by CO2 reformation of hydrocarbon, the catalyst comprising a reduction product of a composite metal oxide (and) active components comprising the metal form of Nickel, Cobalt, and/or their alloy (with specified) particle size (and specified) pore diameter.

A process for preparing a catalyst ... comprising the steps of: dissolving water soluble metal salts comprising inorganic or organic metal salts of Nickel, Cobalt, Magnesium, and Aluminum (and) adding a basic solution of a precipitation reagent into an acidic solution of the metal salts ... to generate a precipitate;  washing the precipitate; drying (and) calcining the precipitate; and activating the catalyst before reaction in a flow stream comprising H2.

(We seem to need  only a relatively little "H2", Hydrogen, to kick-start things; and, we can easily get it via a process, for just one example, such as that disclosed in our report of:

Germany Makes Economical Hydrogen from H2O | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20090026089 - System and Method for Splitting Water; 2009; Assignee: Hermsdorfer Institut, Germany; Abstract: The present invention relates to a system and a method for cleaving water by (a process whereby) it is possible to cleave the water economically into hydrogen and oxygen and obtain gases for technical purposes.")

A process ...  wherein the metal salts comprise nickel nitrate, cobalt nitrate, magnesium nitrate and aluminium nitrate.

(There is nothing rare or expensive needed to facilitate this process.) 

A process for producing synthesis gas using a catalyst (by) reforming a hydrocarbon ... with an oxidant. 

A process ... wherein the hydrocarbon is ... methane.

A process ... wherein the oxidant is ... steam, carbon dioxide, oxygen and their mixtures. 

A process ... wherein the oxidant is carbon dioxide and the hydrocarbon is methane.

Background and Field: The present invention relates generally to catalysts for producing synthesis gas, and more particularly to catalysts for producing synthesis gas by carbon dioxide reforming of hydrocarbons. 

Synthesis gas is a mixture of gases including varying amounts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Synthesis gas may be used, for example, as an intermediate in the production of synthetic natural gas, synthetic petroleum, ammonia and methanol.

Synthesis gas may be produced by carbon dioxide reforming reactions of hydrocarbons, particularly light hydrocarbons such as methane.

(The) present invention relates to a dual-active component composite metal oxide catalyst for reforming reactions of hydrocarbons, a method of preparing the catalyst, and a process for producing synthesis gas using the catalyst.

Preparation and use of the catalyst is inexpensive and simple."


Indeed, the catalytic metals specified, "Nickel, Cobalt, Magnesium, and Aluminum", are inexpensive, especially when you consider that they do act as catalysts, only serving to facilitate the reactions, and wouldn't, to any appreciable extent, get involved in or used up by those reactions.

And, to beat the horse to death, we can make the Methane, as seen in yet another example of yet another applicable technology, in our report of:

Chicago Recycles CO2 to Methane | Research & Development; concerning the: "United States Patent 4,609,440 - Electrochemical Synthesis of Methane; 1986; Assignee: Gas Research Institute, Chicago; Abstract: A method is described for electrochemically reducing carbon dioxide to form methane";

from Carbon Dioxide itself. Or, as seen in our report of:

GE Converts Coal to Methane and Recycles Carbon for USDOE | Research & Development; concerning the:

"United States Patent 4,558,027 - Catalysts for Carbon and Coal Gasification; 1985; Assignee: The United States of America; The invention relates to improved catalysts for carbon and coal gasification and improved processes for catalytic, coal gasification. The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC21-80MC14591 between the U.S. Department of Energy and General Electric Co.; Abstract: Catalyst for the production of methane from carbon and/or coal by means of catalytic gasification";

we can synthesize the Methane from Coal and any old "carbon", which GE does, in the full Disclosure, specify to include naturally CO2-recycling "charcoal", we might have lying around.

And, then, again, according to the "University of Saskatchewan", in Canada, and our own US Government's expert patent examiners, we can react that Methane with Carbon Dioxide, recovered from any old source, and through their simple process, and with their inexpensive catalysts, all as specified herein via Disclosure of "United States Patent 7,985,710", and through that reaction, convert the Methane and the Carbon Dioxide into a "synthesis gas" suitable for catalytic condensation into "synthetic petroleum ... and methanol".

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