Note that two links are enclosed in this dispatch, one above and another following; and, two documents corresponding to those links are attached.
Taken together, they document how the United States Bureau of Mines, through their Pittsburgh, PA, outpost, first developed a technology for the conversion of Coal into more versatile hydrocarbons that was based on a product easily made from Coal; and, then realized, with US Patent Office confirmation of the fact, that their Coal conversion technology could be applied to Carbon-recycling organic waste materials.
But, the Carbon-recycling implications reach well beyond just the employment of organic wastes, and/or even purpose-grown botanical materials, in a process based on Coal conversion technology.
First, we remind you of an earlier dispatch, posted on the WV Coal Association's web site on August 12, wherein we reported "United States Patent 3,923,634 - Liquefaction of Coal; December, 1975; Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation".
That report disclosed a technology developed by Mobil in which Carbon Monoxide was utilized as a reactive agent, in combination with Water, that served, when properly catalyzed, to assist in the de-polymerization of Coal and the disassociation of Water, in a combined and coordinated reaction process, so that both Carbon and Hydrogen could be made available for recombination into hydrocarbons. 
Carbon Monoxide is key, as well, to the technologies described by the US Bureau of Mines in the documents we cite herein, and that has what we see as potentially critical implications.
Keep this in mind: One accepted industrial practice for the commercial manufacture of Carbon Monoxide is by passing concentrated Carbon Dioxide over red-hot Coal.
That said, from the above link, we first present excerpts of an official US Bureau of Mines report published all the way back in 1968:
"The Hydrogenation of Coal with Carbon Monoxide and Water
Authors: Herbert Appell and Irving Wender
Affiliation: Pittsburgh Coal Research Center; US Bureau of Mines
(Note: We have cited Irving Wender previously, and believe him to have been, at one time or another, a Coal scientist on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. - JtM)
In 1921 Fischer (Yes, that Fischer. - JtM) reported the use of carbon monoxide and water in coal dehydrogenation. The yields of ether-soluble material recovered ... were actually higher than those obtained with hydrogen ... .
Although the early results looked promising ... the emphasis on a one-step process for converting coal to gasoline, and the impact of the Fischer-Tropsch reaction caused the carbon monoxide plus water approach to be ignored ... . 
The hydrogenation of coal with carbon monoxide and water was reinvestigated with the objective of preparing an oil which could then be converted to more volatile fuels by known hydrocracking techniques."
The results of experiments they report are technically dense and beyond our ability to accurately summarize for you. However, their efforts and work, in hydrogenating Coal through the use of CO and H2O, were apparently successful.
But, for whatever arcane reason, the USBM, in the person of one of the above-named authors, subsequently applied for, and was awarded, a United States Patent, not for Carbon Monoxide-based Coal conversion, but, for the use of such Coal-based hydrocarbon synthesis technology on other, renewable, Carbon-containing resources.
As witness: 
"United States Patent 3,733,255 - Conversion of ... Wastes to Heavy Oil
Date: May, 1973
Inventors: Herbert Appell, PA, et. al.
Assignee: The USA as represented by the Secretary of Interior
Abstract: Municipal sewage sludge, refuse and other wastes are converted to heavy oil or bitumen by heating under pressure, in the absence of air, in the presence of carbon monoxide and water."
First of all, the petroleum industry has known how to crack "heavy oil", and make Gasoline from it, since early in the last century. And, "bitumen" is precisely what everyone up in Canada is in such a dither about concerning their western province tar sands. It can be cracked into Gasoline, as well.
But, the point is: Carbon Monoxide serves in the dissociation of Water, so that Hydrogen can be made available to hydrogenate, and to convert into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels, virtually any Carbonaceous material; which would include Coal and nearly all Carbon-recycling, biologically-derived organic substances.
And, we can make all of the Carbon Monoxide we could ever want, for any purpose, by simply pumping reclaimed Carbon Dioxide through red-hot, incandescent Coal.

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