United States Patent: 4609440

Last summer, as accessible via: Chicago Recycles CO2 to Methanol | Research & Development | News; we sent you information concerning: United States Patent: 4609441 - "Electrochemical Reduction of Aqueous Carbon Dioxide to Methanol; 1986; Karl Frese, et. al.; Assignee: Gas Research Institute, Chicago; Abstract: A method of producing methanol from carbon dioxide ...".

However, since we are, today, via separate dispatch, sending along yet more information documenting the fact that Carbon Dioxide, recovered from whatever source, can be reacted, "reformed", with Methane, CH4, and be made thereby to serve as a raw material for the synthesis of both Methanol and Gasoline, we wanted, herein, to confirm, as established by the same team of Chicago scientists noted above, that such useful Methane can itself, as well, be synthesized from Carbon Dioxide.

 

Further, such conversion of CO2 into CH4, can be accomplished in a process very similar to that disclosed by United States Patent: 4609441, again as above.

Thus, it is different in approach to other CO2-to-CH4 conversion technologies we have already documented for you many times, such as the Nobel-winning Sabatier process, which is now being improved by NASA, as we've documented, for use in making rocket fuel out of Carbon Dioxide on the planet Mars.

As seen in our excerpts from:

 

"United States Patent 4,609,440 - Electrochemical Synthesis of Methane

 

Date: September, 1986

 

Inventor: Karl Frese, et. al., CA

 

Assignee: Gas Research Institute, Chicago

 

Abstract: A method is described for electrochemically reducing carbon dioxide to form methane by electrolyzing an aqueous solution containing carbon dioxide utilizing a cathode which comprises ruthenium. If desired, solar energy can be utilized to provide the potential for the electrolyzing. In such an instance, solar energy is, in essence, stored as chemical energy which can later be recovered from the methane.

(The above use of "solar energy" is very similar in general concept to that disclosed in several other of our earlier reports, such as, for example:

Penn State Solar CO2 + H2O = Methane | Research & Development | News; and:

USDOE CO2 to Methanol via Solar Power | Research & Development | News;

wherein it has been demonstrated by multiple, and credible, sources that Solar energy can be harnessed to convert Carbon Dioxide, reclaimed from whatever source, in combination with H2O, i.e., plain old Water, into either Methanol or Methane. In this Chicago technology, however, light energy is first being converted, through photovoltaic cells one presumes, into electrical energy. Keep in mind that we do have sources of environmental energy, i.e., Hydro and Wind, that we can convert into electricity in the often cloudy environs of US Coal Country.)

Claims: A method for electrochemically reducing carbon dioxide to form methane.

Disclosure: In accordance with the present invention, a method is set forth for electrochemically reducing carbon dioxide to form methane.

The method comprises electrolyzing an aqueous solution containing carbon dioxide ... .

Utilizing a ruthenium cathode in accordance with the present invention allows the production of methane by the aqueous electrolysis of a carbon dioxide solution at reasonably high faradaic efficiency.

In this manner, electrical energy can be converted into chemical energy, effectively storing the chemical energy in the methane fuel."

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Note that "an aqueous solution containing carbon dioxide" might be just what we would get from a Coal-fired power plant smoke stack scrubber; although there are, as we have documented, and as we will further document, better ways to obtain much purer Carbon Dioxide, using renewable energy to drive the processes, by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere itself.

The above passages should suffice to motivate anyone who genuinely has interest to follow up through the link, and learn more about how we can - - instead of victimizing our vital Coal-use industries, and our US citizens who depend upon those industries for their livelihoods, with exploitive concepts like Cap & Trade taxation or Geologic Sequestration oil industry subsidies - - harness the environmental energy we have available to us, and use it to convert the Carbon Dioxide, which emerges in only a very small way, relative to natural sources of emission, such as volcanoes, from our varied and productive uses of Coal, into the versatile and valuable Methane.


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