United States Patent: 4047894

First, the headline on this dispatch is a bit of an extrapolation on our part.

But, we remind you of an earlier dispatch, now accessible on the West Virginia Coal Association's web site via the link:

August 2011, CO2-to-Gasoline US Patent Awarded | Research & Development; and, wherein is reported:

"United States Patent 7,989,507 - Production of Fuel Materials Utilizing Waste Carbon Dioxide; 2011; Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Germany; Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method for utilizing CO2 waste comprising recovering carbon dioxide from an industrial process that produces a waste stream comprising carbon dioxide in an amount greater than an amount of carbon dioxide present in starting materials for the industrial process. The method further includes producing hydrogen using a renewable energy resource and producing a hydrocarbon material utilizing the produced hydrogen and the recovered carbon dioxide.

The ... present invention provides a novel, efficient, and economical method and system for producing useful fuel materials, i.e. methane, methanol carbon monoxide, syngas, gasoline products, and/or other fuel materials, from carbon dioxide recovered from carbon dioxide-containing waste streams via hydrogen produced by renewable energy resources."

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So, we can assume that any old Carbon Dioxide Siemens AG, as above, might acquire could, via their technology of the above "United States Patent 7,989,507", be converted into "gasoline ... and/or other fuel materials".

You will note in the full Disclosure of USP 7,989.507 that Siemens are careful to reiterate that the Carbon Dioxide they use in the making of "methane, methanol", and etc., is to be recovered from a "waste stream comprising carbon dioxide".

Such "waste stream"s, as it happens, aren't the only source of Carbon Dioxide Siemens are able to utilize.

And, that has valuable implications for West Virginia and the rest of US Coal Country, as we attempt to emphasize, in comments inserted within and following excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch, to a United States Patent that discloses a process for reclaiming Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere itself, which is putatively to be done for a purpose that seems to us fraught with inherent, perhaps deliberately misdirecting, contradictions in logic.   :

"United States Patent 4,047,894 - Removing Carbon Dioxide from the Air

Date: September, 1977

Inventor: Dieter Kuhl, Germany

Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Munich

Abstract: An improved method and apparatus for removing carbon dioxide from the air in which the air is passed at a slightly elevated pressure over the surfaces of absorption elements impregnated with a carbon dioxide-absorbing liquid. The elements are corrugated plates, and the air flows transverse to the corrugations.

Claims: Apparatus for removing carbon dioxide from air comprising: a housing opened on two opposing sides, said opposing sides forming an inlet and outlet for the air from which carbon dioxide is to be removed; and: 

(A) plurality of corrugated porous sintered plates of polyvinyl chloride impregnated with a carbon dioxide absorbing liquid supported within said housing in parallel spaced relationship to each other with the peaks and valleys of the corrugations also in parallel relationship to define a plurality of spaces, one between each two adjacent plates which spaces are open between said inlet and outlet, the corrugations extending transverse to the direction of flow of air from said inlet to said outlet, whereby the air is conducted through said spaces from said inlet to said outlet between the plates at right angles to the corrugations to result in a longer reaction time and larger surface area to give better material transfer between the air and absorption liquid without appreciable pressure loss. 

A device ... wherein said carbon dioxide absorbing liquid is potassium hydroxide.

Background and Summary: This invention relates to the removing of carbon dioxide from the air in general, and more particularly for an apparatus and method for carrying out such removal, which apparatus and method is particularly useful in removing carbon dioxide from the air used in operating metal-air batteries.

(Therein, above, we begin the divergence into obfuscating speculation. Such "metal-air" batteries were known of, obviously, back in 1977. But, even today, in 2011, the only real commercial use of them we're aware of is in hearing aids. And, those aren't the sorts of batteries Siemens intends herein; since you wouldn't want a type of corrosive lye, i.e., "potassium hydroxide", gurgling around in your ear. The same is roughly true of other applications about which Siemens speculates immediately below.)

Because of the exhaust emissions of hydrocarbon fuels and also because of their recent shortage, there has been a great deal of interest in electric propulsion for motor vehicles. One of the primary problems associated with such propulsion is in the provision of suitable batteries. One type of battery suggested for such a use which type appears to be quite promising, is a metal-air battery. Because these batteries are operated using an alkaline electrolyte, it is necessary to remove the carbon dioxide from the air used before it is supplied to the air electrodes. Otherwise, the electrolytic liquid would become carbonatized. This, in turn, would result in the impairment or destruction of the metal and air electrodes. Similar problems occur in connection with other types of electrochemical cells which are operated with air such as fuel cells. 

Various methods and apparatus have been developed for removing carbon dioxide from the air. In one of these, the air is washed with an alkaline solution in tanks filled with what are referred to as Raschig rings. For the elimination of small amounts of CO2, gel absorbers have also been used. Although these methods are efficient in removing carbon dioxide, they have a serious disadvantage in that the air must be at a fairly high pressure, because relatively high pressure losses occur during the washing process. Furthermore, in order to obtain the increased pressure, compressing means of some nature are required and these means use up a certain amount of energy. This additional energy used in compressing the air can have a particularly unfavorable effect with regard to electro-traction since the energy required for increasing the air pressure would have to be taken from the electrochemical current source being used and this energy would be lost to the main purpose, i.e., the electric propulsion. 

Thus, it can be seen that there is a need for an improved method and apparatus for removing carbon dioxide from the air so that the resulting product may be used in the operation of electrochemical cells, which method and apparatus requires only a small increase of air pressure and an accordingly small amount of energy for operation. 

The present invention solves this problem by passing air at a slightly elevated pressure over the surfaces of absorption elements impregnated with a carbon dioxide absorbing liquid. With the method of the present invention, air with a pressure over atmospheric of about ... 0.1 to 10 mm water column) can be used. It is preferred that air with an excess pressure of approximately ... 1 mm water column be used. In the British system, this is equivalent to only about 0.0014 P.S.I.

(In other words, a little more than one thousandth of one pound over atmospheric pressure is required to operate this Carbon Dioxide air capture process. Thus, the slightest of almost imperceptible breezes could generate the needed pressure.)

As compared to the prior art methods of air cleaning requiring large amounts of energy due to the pressure increase or a lowered temperature, the present invention requires only a small amount of energy to bring out the air to the required pressure.

(With) the present invention, carbon dioxide will be removed if the air has only a small excess pressure (and, this) gives a further advantage to the present invention, since it operates at a very low noise level. 

In accordance with the method of the present invention, potassium hydroxide solution (as specified) can be used to advantage. This concentration of potassium hydroxide exhibits an optimum absorbing action with respect to absorption time. 

Disclosed is a device for carrying out the method of the present invention in which the absorption elements comprise porous sintered plates made of polyvinylchloride (PVC) arranged at a spacing from each other. This type of absorption element made of PVC has a high capacity for the absorption liquid, in particular when potassium hydroxide is used as such liquid. It should be noted, however, that the absorption elements can also consist of other materials such as carbon foam. 

As compared to prior art devices, the device of the present invention has as an additional advantage, a freedom from clogging. Such clogging can result when using the wet scrubbing method due to the formation of carbonate. Furthermore, the device of the present invention is operational even if the absorbing liquid is dried out, which drying out can happen if the moisture in the air is low. 

According to the present invention, a volume porosity of the absorption elements of more than 30% is desired. The size of the pores are selected so that the pores are only large enough so that the absorption liquid adheres well in the porous elements, and only so small that the diffusion processes in the absorption liquid are not affected. 

As illustrated, it is particularly advantageous to make the porous PVC plates corrugated with the plates arranged parallel to each other with the peaks and valleys of the corrugations also always in a parallel relationship. With this arrangement, the air is conducted through the spaces between the plates at right angles to the corrugation. A longer reaction time and larger surface area results to give better material transfer between the air and the absorption liquid. The corrugated plates, preferably are arranged at a mutual spacing which corresponds to the plate thickness. With a plate thickness of about 0.5 mm a small, very compact structural unit is obtained.

(Thus, above, the justification for supposedly using these "small, very compact",  "CO2 air filters", for want of a better label, on, especially in 1977, such futuristic and speculative things as electric "motor vehicles" powered by "metal-air batteries".)

Thus, an improved method and apparatus for removing carbon dioxide from the air has been shown. Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention ...".

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And, which "spirit of the invention" actually extends to the use of variants of this technology in the efficient collection of CO2 at fossil fuel-fired power generation facilities, as Siemens themselves confess in:

http://www.energy.siemens.com/mx/pool/hq/power-generation/power-plants/carbon-capture-solutions/post-combustion-carbon-capture; concerning:

"Siemens: Answers for Energy: Development of an Economic Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Process; Washington D.C.; 2008; Dr. Tobias Jockenhoevel (and) Dr. Ruediger Schneider, Siemens AG, Germany.

Siemens develops an improved CO2 capture process with minimized energy demand, optimized for integration in conventional coal-fired power plants (and) permitting an economic ... capture process."

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In essence, their "coal-fired power plant" CO2 capture scheme is founded on the basic technology of our subject, "United States Patent 4,047,894 - Removing Carbon Dioxide from the Air", as it is modified with the addition of certain amino acids to help increase the CO2-collecting power of the core absorbent, as in United States Patent 4,047,894, "potassium hydroxide".

Furthermore, both those basic technologies disclosed by Siemens have, by others, been taken a step further, as we've previously reported, in:

Efficient Capture of Atmospheric CO2 | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,993,432 - Air Collector ... for Capturing Ambient CO2; 2011; August, 2011; Assignee: Kilimanjaro Energy, Inc.; Abstract: An apparatus for capture of CO2 from the atmosphere comprising an anion exchange material formed in a matrix exposed to a flow of the air.Claims: A process for removing CO2 from atmospheric air at a location remote from where the CO2 was generated";

and used, since the above "United States Patent 7,993,432" specifically cites the process of our subject herein, Siemens' "United States Patent 4,047,894", as the basis of a technology wherein Carbon Dioxide can be extracted from the atmosphere itself, wherever, we surmise, a source of environmental energy, i.e., wind, hydro, solar or geothermal, might exist in enough abundance to power the atmospheric Carbon Dioxide collection process.

Finally, we'll note again that regeneration of the CO2 absorbents used in both the above "United States Patent 7,993,432" and "United States Patent 4,047,894" results in the production of a concentrated stream of Carbon Dioxide, which could then be directed into a process, as suggested above, like that of Siemens' own "United States Patent 7,989,507 - Production of Fuel Materials Utilizing Waste Carbon Dioxide", and be thereby converted into, among other things, "gasoline products".

Or, the Carbon Dioxide recovered by Siemens' technology could be directed into a competing process, such as that described in our report of:

Conoco Converts CO2 to Methanol and Dimethyl Ether | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 6,664,207 - Catalyst for Converting Carbon Dioxide to Oxygenates; 2003; Assignee: ConocoPhillips Company; Abstract: A catalyst and process for converting carbon dioxide into ... methanol and dimethyl ether";

and be converted thereby into valuable Alcohols and a substitute Diesel fuel.

Any way you want to cut it, it all sounds a lot more attractive than the Cap and Trade taxation of our vital Coal-use industries and/or their economic enslavement into Big Oil's secondary petroleum scrounging in nearly-depleted natural reservoirs, through the mandated "Geologic Sequestration" of Carbon Dioxide in leaky old oil wells.

All of which is to be performed at the expense of our vital Coal-use industries and their customers.

And, since we can efficiently extract Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere in an "economic ... capture process", and, then, convert that Carbon Dioxide into "methanol and dimethyl ether", and, "gasoline products"; it all sounds a whole lot smarter than our continued economic debilitation, through ongoing commercial and political enslavement to the inimical nations of OPEC.


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