United States Patent: 3950369


There isn't much conceptually new to be found in this dispatch.

It just reveals further, authoritative confirmation of the fact, that, if we are so darned worried about Carbon Dioxide, then, we can just collect it and convert it into the versatile and nearly-precious Methanol.

Comments, and some additional links, follow excerpts from the initial link to:


"United States Patent 3,950,369 - Methanol Production


Date: April, 1976


Inventor: Alan Edward Gent, England


Assignee: Imperial Chemical Industries Limited, London


Abstract: In a methanol production process synthesis gas containing carbon dioxide is passed over a methanol synthesis catalyst, cooled to remove part of the methanol and water contained in the gas, scrubbed with a liquid to remove substantially the remainder of the methanol contained in the gas, then recycled to the methanol synthesis catalyst. The process affords an economically significant increase in the rate of methanol recovery ... .

Claims: (A) process for the production of methanol by passing a gas comprising hydrogen and carbon dioxide over a methanol synthesis catalyst which consists essentially of copper, zinc and a third component which is chromium (or other specified) metal oxide.

Background: (Referenced prior art describes) methanol production processes in which the synthesis of methanol involves passing a synthesis gas containing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and hydrogen over a copper-containing catalyst (but)  the efficiency with which methanol can be condensed out of the gas tends to be rather low unless cooling water is available at a low temperature or special cooling arrangements are adopted.

We have now realised that conditions encountered in such processes can be exploited to make possible a simple procedure for increasing the efficiency of recovery of methanol.

The proportion of carbon dioxide in the synthesis gas should be at least sufficient to afford the higher conversion which is characteristic of the copper-catalysed methanol synthesis using carbon dioxide-containing gas as compared with such a synthesis in which substantially the only carbon oxide is the monoxide.

If it is not objectionable to produce a crude methanol containing a substantial proportion of water, ... the synthesis gas can contain carbon dioxide but substantially no carbon monoxide.

(So, if we can stand and deal with a little extra Water in our wood Alcohol, which a moonshine still could expeditiously remove, then all we need, in addition to Hydrogen, to manufacture Methanol, is CO2.)

Usually however the percentage by volume of carbon dioxide in the synthesis gas is ... between half and double the carbon monoxide content.

(Fine, if we do want to utilize some Carbon Monoxide, CO, remember: We can make all of the CO we might need, as we have several times documented for you, by blowing CO2 over red-hot Coal.)

The proportion of carbon dioxide in the synthesis gas should be at least sufficient to afford the higher conversion which is characteristic of the copper-catalysed methanol synthesis ... ."


So, the addition of CO2 to the synthesis gas can, as immediately above,  result in "higher conversion" of the syngas into Methanol.

As in other, similar, technologies we have cited for you, free Hydrogen is needed to react with the Carbon Dioxide and/or Carbon Monoxide.

And, we remind you, as in just a few examples, as in our reports of:

Solar-Powered Hydrogen Generation | Research & Development | News; wherein is detailed:

"United States Patent: 7726127 - Solar Power for Thermochemical Production of Hydrogen"; and,

Consol 1953 Coal to Hydrogen & Methane with No CO2 | Research & Development | News; wherein is detailed:

"Gasification of carbonaceous solid fuels - United States Patent 2,654,661"; and, the identically labeled:

"Gasification of carbonaceous solid fuels - United States Patent 2,654,663"; that:

If we do want and need Hydrogen, to recycle Carbon Dioxide in the synthesis of Methanol, as in ICI's "United States Patent 3,950,369", for "Methanol Production", we can make all of the Hydrogen we might need, either via the Solar-powered decomposition of Water; or, via the Steam-gasification of Coal.

We must again note, that, in the two Consol patents immediately above, Methane, CH4, is co-produced, along with Hydrogen, via the gasification of Coal with Steam.

That co-produced Methane, consequently, we further remind you, can, in for one instance out of many, as in our report of: Great Britain Recycles CO2 | Research & Development | News - which details:

"United States Patent: 5431855 - Process for the Conversion of Methane to Synthesis Gas", in which is described yet another "reforming" technology, wherein a "gas mixture of CO2, O2 and CH4" is converted "into a product gas mixture comprising H2 and CO";

be further reacted with even more Carbon Dioxide, in various "reforming" reactions, and the two gases made thereby to generate even more synthesis gas which, as in ICI's process of: United States Patent: 3950369; can be catalytically condensed into liquid hydrocarbons.

And yet again: The Methanol produced by ICI's process can itself be further converted, as in ExxonMobil's "MTG"(r) technology, into Gasoline.

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