Biodiesel Magazine | biodieselmagazine.com

Somewhat encouragingly, and, as well, indirectly, somewhat discouragingly, a flagship publication of the clean, green biofuels lobby is openly reporting on a topic, actually two topics, two facts, that hardly ever, if ever, see the light of day in the US Coal Country public press, which are:

Coal can, cleanly and efficiently, be converted into liquid hydrocarbon replacements for anything we now extract and derive from increasingly dear - in terms of: our money, our environment, and the lives of our young people fighting OPEC nation wars - natural petroleum;

and:

Carbon Dioxide, regardless of it's source, can, one way or another, be productively reclaimed and recycled.

Comment follows excerpts from the above link to a very current article in Biodiesel Magazine:

"China Coal-to-Liquid Plant Will Use Algae-based CO2 Capture

October 19, 2011

A partnership in China that will bring together a Houston-based coal-to-liquids company and a major Chinese coal and construction firm will utilize a CO2 capture system powered by algae. Accelergy Corporation will provide the Yankuang Group with its trademarked TerraSync terrestrial sequestration system to capture carbon from the future facility in Erdos, an area in China’s Inner Mongolia Province. Along with the TerraSync system, Accelergy will also create a hybrid configuration of a microcatalytic coal liquefaction system in conjunction with a Fischer Tropsch system provided by Yankuang.

The algae-based carbon system captures the CO2 produced from the CTL process and then passes the carbon to a series of photobioreactors that grow concentrated algae strains sourced from the region. When the algae growth cycle is complete, the algae is harvested and blended with other additives (proprietary) and used as a fertilizer. Accelergy states that for every ton of CO2 removed in the TerraSync process, many more tons are removed from the atmosphere due to the initial capture and use of the gas.

The early plan for production at the CTL plant in China will equal roughly 68,000 barrels per day, and the fuel will be used to fuel local fleets. Although the plant will be a first for Accelergy, the technology has already been put to the test at a pilot facility in China, located at the Bejing Research Institute for Coal Chemistry, the only testing facility, according to Accelergy, that can certify coals for Accelergy’s large-scale CTL projects.

'We aim to increase coal utilization efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and add to the development of an integrated circular economy,' said Zhang Minglin, vice general manager of Yankuang Group. 'This is in line with China’s high-tech coal chemical development trend, and complies with China’s energy saving and environmental protection policies as well.'

As the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, those goals seem important to China and Accelergy points out that output of coal-to-liquids is expected to jump from 1.5 million tons in 2010 to 30 million tons in 2020. 'As China’s economy continues to grow, so does the demand for high-quality synthetic fuels needed to power its fleets,' said Timothy Vail, CEO of Accelergy. 'Our partnership with Yankuang will provide domestically sourced fuels with a low-carbon footprint to meet this market need."'

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Gosh. What refreshing, open and honest, positive reportage about the realities of Coal conversion and Carbon Dioxide recycling.

And, it comes from a news organ of the clean, green bio-fuels industry.

But, none of it should be news to you, if you have followed our posts thus far.

We've made numerous reports concerning the reality of China's rather vast plans for the intensive industrialization of Coal conversion technology, including the fact that they now own the United States rights to at least one process for converting Coal into liquid hydrocarbon petroleum replacements, as in:

China Awarded 2010 US Liquefaction Patent | Research & Development; wherein we made report of: "United States Patent 7,763,167 - Process for Direct Coal Liquefaction; 2010; Shenua Coal Liquefaction Corporation, Beijing; Abstract: Process for direct coal liquefaction of coal, including: ... fractionating hydrogenation products into oil products and a hydrogen donor recycling solvent. The process can operate long periods, with higher reactor efficiency and utilization factor, increased liquid oil yield and can supply high-quality feedstock for further processing. Claims: A direct coal liquefaction process."

However, we do note that China's Erdos, Inner Mongolia, CoalTL project, as identified in our subject article, will, instead, utilize  an indirect Coal liquefaction technology based on the original Fischer-Tropsch Coal conversion process that helped to fuel Germany's military during WWII; a variant of which was known in both the seat of our own US Government and in one of the very hearts of US Coal Country, prior to our actual involvement in the war, as we've reported in:

Pittsburgh & Germany 1940 Coal & Steam to Hydrocarbons | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 2,220,357 - Synthetical Production of Liquid Hydrocarbons; 1940; Inventor: Michael Steinschlager, Germany; Assignee: Koppers Company, Pittsburgh, PA; Abstract: This invention relates to the synthetical production of liquid hydrocarbons by reacting gases containing hydrogen and carbon monoxide, in the presence of catalytic substances. A process for making liquid hydrocarbons by catalytically reacting (Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide in specified proportions, which are made by) alternate blows of air and ... steam through ... carbonaceous fuel".

And, which technology was founded on the seminal work of Fischer and Tropsch themselves, as seen in:

Fischer & Tropsch Awarded 1930 US CoalTL Patent | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 1,746,464 - Process for the Production of Paraffin-Hydrocarbons; 1930; Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch, Germany; (Abstract:) It is generally known that the oxides of carbon can be converted into methane by catalytic reduction (see Sabatier, Die Katalyse in der organischen Chemie, Leipzig, 1914) ... . ... (we) now have found that, instead of methane, its homologues (and) higher homologues which are easily liquefiable (or) liquid ... are obtained".

But, it will be a Twenty-first Century version of  that "United States Patent 1,746,464", a "microcatalytic coal liquefaction system in conjunction with a Fischer Tropsch system", which China will build and operate at a plant in Inner Mongolia; all with the help of a United States Corporation, based in Houston, Texas, who, on their web site, as accessible via:

Accelergy Corporation; proclaim, that:

"Accelergy is a global leader in producing direct replacement, low carbon synthetic transportation fuels at less cost both to the environment and to the consumer. Accelergy uses domestic resources such as natural gas, biomass and coal to produce cost-competitive fuels with a reduced CO2 footprint compared to traditional petroleum based fuels."

However, we must note that such Fischer-Tropsch, and related, indirect Coal conversion systems do generate a little Carbon Dioxide in the initial Coal gasification, and, some additional Carbon Dioxide might be generated in the catalytic processor wherein Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen are chemically condensed into hydrocarbons.

China and Accelergy, herein, plan to manage that Carbon Dioxide by routing it to "photobioreactors that grow concentrated algae strains sourced from the region. When the algae growth cycle is complete, the algae is harvested and blended with other additives (proprietary) and used as a fertilizer".

Now, we can't find a whole lot out there about Accelergy's "trademarked TerraSync terrestrial sequestration system" which uses Algae in "photobioreactors" to capture and transform Carbon Dioxide into "fertilizer".

But, if it's anything like our own United States Department of Energy's Algae-based CO2 recycling systems, about which we've reported, for just one example, in:

USDOE Algae Recycle CO2 into Liquid Fuels | Research & Development; wherein we made report of: "Liquid Fuels from Microalgae; 1987; National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); USDOE; Abstract: The goal of the DOE/SERI Aquatic Species Program is to develop the technology to produce gasoline and diesel fuels from microalgae";

then, "fertilzer" ain't the only danged thing, it certainly ain't the most glamorous thing, we can make, using Algae, out of Carbon Dioxide; whether we get that CO2 from an indirect Coal liquefaction process or a clean, green Corn Ethanol fermentation and distillation facility.

And, one final thing:

They know all of this good stuff about Coal and Carbon Dioxide in Houston, Texas, and, for Pete's sake, in the forlorn-sounding frontier outpost of Erdos, Inner Mongolia.

Why, in the name of all that's holy, don't we seem to publicly know anything about any of it in the various metabolic and intellectual centers of US Coal Country, such as Wheeling, WV, and Pittsburgh, PA?

Really: Why?


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