United States Patent: 4756806

 

We first explain that the named assignee of the US patent we report herein, the Gas Research Institute, subsequent to issuance of the patent, merged, in the year 2000, with the Institute of Gas Technology, created originally in 1941 at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the new entity, and subsequently the owner of the patent rights, is the Gas Technology Institute, "GTI", which is located in Des Plaines, Illinois, and which bills itself as a non-profit research and development organization in the business of developing new energy technologies, with a particular focus on the natural gas industry.

Presuming you to have followed our posts over the past few years, we remind you that we have previously cited the GTI, and it's precedent organizations, a few times in the course of our reportage on Coal conversion and related technologies.

Herein, we see that, more than two decades ago, GTI scientists developed a technology very similar to others now being further refined, as we have been reporting, by various corporate contractors for NASA and the United States Department of Defense:

Chemically reacting Carbon Dioxide with Water to synthesize hydrocarbons.

There are similarities to other technologies, as well, as we point out in comments followiing excerpts from:

"United States Patent 4,756,806 - Synthesis of Gaseous Fuels from Water and Carbon Dioxide

Date: July, 1988

Inventor: Francis Krist and Robert Serauskas, IL

Assignee: Gas Research Institute, Chicago

Abstract: A hybrid thermoelectrochemical process cycle for production of gaseous fuels from cycle inputs of water and carbon dioxide combines thermochemical methane reforming and electrochemical carbon monoxide reduction providing a cycle which may be driven by energy from solar or nuclear sources.

Claims: A two step hybrid process cycle for production of gaseous fuels from inorganic compounds comprising: reforming methane ... by reacting (it) with an inorganic oxidizer selected from the group consisting of water, carbon dioxide, and mixtures thereof producing carbon monoxide and hydrogen; electrochemically reducing said carbon monoxide in an electrochemical zone producing oxygen, gaseous fuel selected from the group consisting of methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and mixtures thereof, and methane for recycle; withdrawing said oxygen and said gaseous fuel from said cycle ... .

A two step hybrid process cycle ... wherein said inorganic oxidizer comprises principally water and said gaseous fuel comprises principally methane.

(And) A two step hybrid process cycle ... wherein said inorganic oxidizer comprises principally carbon dioxide and said gaseous fuel comprises principally methane.

 

A hybrid thermoelectrochemical cycle providing net production of gaseous fuel from water and carbon dioxide.

The hybrid thermoelectrochemical cycles of this invention require a major portion of the energy input in the form of thermal energy which is more efficiently derived than electrical energy, providing an energy efficient closed cycle process."

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Basically, it is a technology for combining Carbon Dioxide with Water to produce Methane - a concept which should not, by now, be unfamiliar, presuming you to have followed our posts thus far.

However, note that, in it's specifics, the invention actually uses some of the Methane generated by the process to react with the original CO2 and H2O; but, enough Methane is synthesized so that there is a "net production of gaseous fuel from water and carbon dioxide".

We submit that the Methane needed for the initial reaction could itself be synthesized more directly from Carbon Dioxide, via the 1912 Nobel-winning Sabatier process now being further developed by NASA.

The disclosed process could thus synthesize an even greater amount of "net ... gaseous fuel from water and carbon dioxide".

The Disclosure also speculates about the use of solar power to drive the reactions, much as Rich Diver, and colleagues, at the USDOE's Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, as we've documented, specify in their procedures for converting Carbon Dioxide into hydrocarbons.

We submit that US Coal Country has plenty of wind and hydro power it could harness to the task, as well as potentially-recoverable waste heat from Coal-fired power plants.

And, we point out that, in the aspect of GTI's specified initial reaction between CO2, H2O and Methane, the technology seems, to us, very similar to "tri-reforming" technologies, such as more lately expounded by scientists such as Chunsan Song and Craig Grimes, at Penn State University.

In the end, though, and in sum, as confirmed herein by our United States Government, we can produce "fuel from" nothing but "water and carbon dioxide".


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