EP2014064625 METHANATION METHOD AND POWER PLANT COMPRISING CO2 METHANATION OF POWER PLANT FLUE GAS

As we've documented many times, the Carbon Dioxide co-produced by our economically essential use of Coal in the generation of reliable, affordable and abundant electrical power can be seen and treated as a valuable raw material resource.

 

In our reports, for example, of:

USDOE 2012 Coal Power Plant CO2 to Gasoline | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,226,909 - Systems Including Catalysts in Porous Zeolite Materials Within a Reactor for Use In Synthesizing Hydrocarbons; 2012; Inventors: Harry Rollins, et. al., Idaho; Assignee: Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, Idaho Falls (USDOE Idaho National Laboratory); Abstract: Catalytic structures include a catalytic material disposed within a zeolite material. The catalytic material may be capable of catalyzing a formation of methanol from carbon monoxide and/or carbon dioxide, and the zeolite material may be capable of catalyzing a formation of hydrocarbon molecules from methanol. Government Interests: This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention. Claims: A system for synthesizing hydrocarbon molecules having two or more carbon atoms from hydrogen and at least one of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, ... The present invention relates to catalytic materials, structures, systems, and methods ... for synthesizing hydrocarbon molecules from hydrogen and at least one of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide ... . Carbon dioxide gas (CO2) may be converted into liquid fuels such as, for example, hydrocarbon molecules of between about 5 carbon atoms and about 12 carbon atoms per molecule (e.g., gasoline) through multi-step reactions. (The) catalytic structures, systems, and methods described herein may facilitate economic utilization of carbon dioxide from stationary carbon dioxide sources, such as coal-powered ... electricity generation plants"; and:

US Gov Confirms Coal Can Be A CO2-Neutral Source Of Power | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,461,215 - Rendering Coal As An Environmentally Carbon Dioxide Neutral Fuel And A Regenerative Carbon Source; 2013; Inventors: George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash; Assignee: The University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Abstract: The invention provides a method for rendering coal as an environmentally essentially carbon dioxide-neutral fuel. Carbon dioxide produced from coal combustion is captured, purified, combined with ... hydrogen, and reacted under reaction conditions sufficient to form methanol and/or dimethyl ether, which can be used as fuel or feedstock for derived synthetic hydrocarbons and products";

it is seen that both our United States Government and a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, among many others and just for example, have developed credible processes wherein the "Carbon Dioxide produced from Coal combustion" in "coal-powered ... electricity generation plants" can be economically "converted into liquid fuels", such as "gasoline", fuel alcohol "methanol" and a substitute for both Diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, "dimethyl ether".

As we've also seen in a number of reports, most recently in:

Texas Converts 100% of Captured CO2 to Methane | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,754,137 - Methanation Reaction Methods Utilizing Enhanced Catalyst Formulations; 2014; Assignee: Phillips 66 Company, Houston; Abstract: Enhanced mixed metal catalysts are provided which allow high conversions of carbon dioxide to methane, in some cases up to about 100% conversion";

it is also perfectly feasible to use and consume Carbon Dioxide as the key raw material in the synthesis of substitute natural gas Methane.

We remind you, that, as reported for only one out of many examples in:

CO2 + Iceland = New Kuwait | Research & Development; "Founded in 2006, Carbon Recycling International, Ehf, captures carbon dioxide from industrial emissions and converts carbon dioxide to renewable fuel, including renewable methanol and renewable Di-Methyl-Ether (DME). Other fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, can be derived from these feed stocks. CRI is a venture-backed Icelandic American company with headquarters in Iceland and operations in Iceland";

the company Carbon Recycling International, CRI, are already capturing industrial exhaust gas Carbon Dioxide in the nation of Iceland, and then converting that CO2 into fuel alcohol Methanol, which can then be further transformed, if desired, directly into Gasoline, or into a substitute for both Diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, "Di-Methyl-Ether (DME)".

And, as documented for one example in:

Japan Helps Iceland Convert CO2 into Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels | Research & Development | News; concerning, in part: "'Dimethyl Ether Production from Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen'; Pierre-Etienne Huot-Marchand; Trondheim; Norway; November 2010; Abstract: The chemical recycling of carbon dioxide to methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) provides a renewable, carbon-neutral, source for efficient transportation fuels. DME can be used in diesel engine, although some modifications of the engine are required. The Icelandic government has established a long term vision for zero percent hydrocarbon fuel emissions, and has been working to increase the use of renewable energy. So, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is planning to open a DME plant in 2014, in Iceland. A two step process is adopted to produce DME, via methanol, produced from carbon dioxide and hydrogen";

the well-known and very substantial Mitsubishi, of Japan, is participating in Iceland's CO2-to-Fuel revolution. Even more, as seen in our report of:

Mitsubishi Harvests CO2 for Hydrocarbon Synthesis | Research & Development | News; concerning both:

"United States Patent Application 20120255305 - Carbon Dioxide Recovery System and Method; 2012; Inventor: Masaki Iijima, Japan; Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Tokyo; Abstract: A carbon dioxide recovery system includes a high-pressure boiler, a carbon dioxide recovery unit that includes a carbon dioxide absorber that absorbs and reduces carbon dioxide in flue gas emitted from the boiler using a carbon dioxide absorbent and an absorbent regenerator that regenerates a carbon dioxide absorbent having absorbed the carbon dioxide using a regenerating super-heater to obtain a regenerated carbon dioxide absorbent, a high-temperature and high-pressure steam extraction line that extracts the high-temperature and high-pressure steam from the boiler before the steam is introduced into the high-pressure turbine, an auxiliary turbine that recovers power with the high-temperature and high-pressure steam, and a steam supply line that supplies emission steam emitted from the auxiliary turbine to the regenerating super-heater to be used as a heat source. The present invention relates to a carbon dioxide recovery system and a carbon dioxide recovery method that can reliably regenerate a carbon dioxide absorbent even when operation loads of a boiler or a steam turbine in a power generation system vary. ... (An) object of the present invention is to provide a carbon dioxide recovery system and a carbon dioxide recovery method that enable to reliably regenerate a carbon dioxide absorbent without imposing loads on a boiler and steam turbine facilities"; and:

"United States Patent Application 20120255306 - Carbon Dioxide Recovery System and Method; 2012; Inventor: Masaki Iijima, Japan; Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Tokyo; Abstract: A carbon dioxide recovery system includes a high-pressure turbine, an intermediate-pressure turbine, a low-pressure turbine, a main boiler that generates steam for driving these turbines, a carbon dioxide recovery unit including a carbon dioxide absorber that absorbs and reduces carbon dioxide in flue gas (emission gas) emitted from the main boiler using a carbon dioxide absorbent and an absorbent regenerator that regenerates a carbon dioxide absorbent having absorbed the carbon dioxide using a regenerating super-heater to obtain a regenerated carbon dioxide absorbent, an auxiliary boiler that generates saturated water vapor to be supplied to the regenerating super-heater in the absorbent regenerator, and a steam turbine that is driven by steam from the auxiliary boiler. The present invention relates to a carbon dioxide recovery system and a carbon dioxide recovery method that can reliably regenerate a carbon dioxide absorbent even when operation loads of a boiler or a steam turbine in a power generation system vary. (An) object of the present invention is to provide a carbon dioxide recovery system and a carbon dioxide recovery method that enable to reliably regenerate a carbon dioxide absorbent without imposing loads on a boiler and steam turbine facilities";

Mitsubishi has been improving the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of technical processes that extract Carbon Dioxide from industrial exhaust gas streams, presumably so that CO2 could then be made available for the synthesis of fuel alcohol Methanol and substitute Diesel fuel dimethyl ether, DME, as they are manufacturing from Carbon Dioxide in Iceland.

And, herein, we learn that Mitsubishi, through a global joint venture with the also well-known Hitachi, via their European subsidiary headquarters office, have, as well, developed technology like that disclosed in our above-cited report concerning  "United States Patent 8,754,137 - Methanation Reaction Methods Utilizing Enhanced Catalyst Formulations", wherein the Carbon Dioxide they efficiently capture from industrial exhaust gas streams can be efficiently consumed in the synthesis of substitute natural gas Methane.

Comment and additional links are inserted and follow excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to the very recent "World" patent application":

"Title: Methanation Method and Power Plant Comprising CO2 Methanation of Power Plant Flue Gas

Publication Number: WO/2015/004143; Publication Date: January 15, 2015

International Publication Number: PCT/EP2014/064625

(We aren't assured of the durability of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) internet links. Here's a backup, should the initial link fail:

http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2015004143&recNum=4&office=&queryString=FP%3A%28Methane%29&prevFilter=&sortOption=Pub+Date+Desc&maxRec=26156)

Applicants: Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe GMBH (Germany)

(Again, Mitsubishi and Hitachi, of Japan, have very recently joined forces to develop and promote fossil fuel power generation technologies and installations around the globe. More can be learned via:

https://www.mpshq.com/company.html; "Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS), a thermal power generation systems company jointly established by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Hitachi, Ltd., have launched business operations effective February 1, 2014.  The new venture, MHPS combines the global fossil business of both companies. This historic merger combines 150 years of technology leadership in power generation solutions"; and:

http://www.eu.mhps.com/en/company.html; "Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe GmbH (MHPSE), a subsidiary of globally operating Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd., designs and constructs fossil-fired power plants. The plant constructor also supplies key components such as utility steam generators, environmental engineering equipment, turbines and pulverizers. Including subsidiaries, approx. 2000 staff is on the company's payroll (as of February 2014). Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe GmbH is the successor to Hitachi Power Europe GmbH. MHPSE has been provided with all the relevant material and immaterial legally protected interests (e.g. patents, licenses, references)"; and:

http://www.eu.mhps.com/media/files/download/20140128_JV_GroupCompany.pdf.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems do, again, have interests around the world, including in the United States of America. Any technology, like that disclosed herein, developed by them must be viewed as very, very credible. It is serious business.)

Inventors: Christian Bergins, et. al., Germany

Abstract: The invention relates to a methanation method comprising the conversion into methane (CH4) of CO2, in particular CO2 gas, originating from, in particular diverted or obtained from, power plant flue gas from a power plant fired with carbon-containing fuel ... , said method being performed in a methanation plant. The intention is to create a solution that makes it possible to couple a power plant and a methanation plant to one another in an energetically favorable manner. This is achieved by decoupling, at least in part, the heat energy arising as waste heat in the conversion of CO2 to methane (CH4) in the methanation plant into at least one substance and/or heat energy stream, and feeding this stream at least in part to a medium flowing on the burner side into at least one of the combustion chambers of a steam generator of the power plant  and/or to the water/steam circuit of the power plant and/or to a CO2 waste gas treatment unit or CO2 waste gas processing unit upstream of the methanation plant, in particular to a power plant flue gas treatment plant, and/or to one or more process step(s) of a connected industrial plant.

(Note that this publication is available in multiple languages, and the Abstract is published right up front in English, German and French. For the bulk of the document, an electronic "machine translator" facility is available on the WIPO web site, enabling translation of the full document immediately into the language of your choice. The "machine" translation into English, though, from our perspective, isn't that good. And, this all will be more understandable when the corresponding US Patent Application is published. Note, following, that we are including multiple links which will appear identical, but which, hopefully, will connect with different segments of this European document, which was written by a Japanese company. Keep all of that in mind if the composition seems a little awkward.)

EP2014064625 METHANATION METHOD AND POWER PLANT COMPRISING CO2 METHANATION OF POWER PLANT FLUE GAS

Claims: Methanation process (for) converting from a power plant flue gas ... recovered, CO2 ... to methane.

(Note as well that there is extended discussion of claims which doesn't translate, via the web site utility, all that well from the original German, and/or Japanese, into English. In sum, the process allows for the inclusion of waste stream CO2 originating in other industrial processes, in addition to power plant combustion exhaust streams, although such power plant exhaust streams do seem integral to the process. Much will be made clear when the United States Patent Application for this technology, and we must suspect that there will be one forthcoming, is finally published.)

Methanation process ... characterized in that the power plant formed as an integral part of the connected industrial plant ... is supplied as a carbonaceous fuel.

Methanation process ... characterized in that at least part of the CO2 capture or CO2 treatment required heat demand of the CO2 capture or ... in particular the power plant flue gas treatment system, fed in the form of one of the waste heat of the methanation of the substance and / or thermal energy flow is supplied.

(Concerning the immediately above - once again we know it seems awkwardly worded due to the nature of the translation - and in some following additional claims we're not including in our excerpts, reference is made to the exothermic heat generated by the CO2-to-Methane reaction and the recovery and recycling of that thermal energy for use in the overall process, much as described by NASA in our report of:

NASA 2014 CO2 to Methane | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,710,106 - Sabatier Process and Apparatus for Controlling Exothermic Reaction; 2014; Inventors: Christian Junaedi, et. al., CT; Assignee: Precision Combustion, Inc., CT; Abstract: A Sabatier process involving contacting carbon dioxide and hydrogen in a first reaction zone with a first catalyst bed at a temperature greater than a first designated temperature; feeding the effluent from the first reaction zone into a second reaction zone, and contacting the effluent with a second catalyst bed at a temperature equal to or less than a second designated temperature, so as to produce a product stream comprising water and methane. The first and second catalyst beds each individually comprise an ultra-short-channel-length metal substrate. An apparatus for controlling temperature in an exothermic reaction, such as the Sabatier reaction, is disclosed. Government Support: This invention was made with support from the U.S. government under U.S. Contract No. NNX10CF25P sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The U.S. Government holds certain rights in this invention". 

Mitsubishi/Hitachi also prescribe the use of off-peak power that would otherwise be wasted, or otherwise stored as per some other technologies we've referenced in prior reports, which include the use of batteries, compressed air and/or pumped water for auxiliary hydro. There are a lot of such schemes "out there". Converting Carbon Dioxide into Methane via use of such excess power thus becomes one way in which off peak power, that is, baseline power in excess of current demand, can be utilized and/or stored. The following passages, which we've cleaned up from the machine translation as best we can, elaborate.)

Methanation process according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the methanation  and / or the CO2 ... preparation, in particular the power plant flue gas treatment system, in times of surplus power in public grid is at least partially or temporarily operated with this ....

Methanation process according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the methanation hydrogen supplied is generated at least partially or temporarily by one, especially in the industrial plant integrated electrolysis (and) characterized in that the electrolysis in times of surplus power is at least partially or temporarily operated in the public power grid ... .

(Mitsubishi/Hitachi also propose recovering Hydrogen from associated processes, such as blast furnace exhaust streams. Don't get lost in those excursions if you examine the full document. They also further suggest that Oxygen arising from the electrolysis of water, done to obtain Hydrogen, be fed to the combustion chamber of the power plant to improve and support that combustion.)

Methanation process according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that .. the methane (CH4) in whole or in part ... is fed into a natural gas system ... .

Power plant or incinerator ... in particular power plant flue gas treatment system, as CO2 gas scrub using an absorbent (for) post-combustion (carbon) Capture)... .

Power plant ... characterized in that the methanization or the methanator (is) in fluid line connection with a hydrogen source, in particular an electrolysis ... .

(There are now a number of efficient technologies available for extracting the needed Hydrogen from the abundant H2O, water, molecule in processes which can be powered by one form or another of "renewable" environmental energy. Since "Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems" specify "electrolysis", we remind you of one such electrolytic Hydrogen generation technology developed by our own USDOE, as seen in:

USDOE Renewable Energy Extracts Hydrogen from Water | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,444,846 - Method and System for Producing Hydrogen Using Sodium Ion Separation Membranes; 2013; Assignee: Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, Idaho Falls, ID (USDOE Idaho National Laboratory); Abstract: A method (and a) system of producing hydrogen is ... disclosed. Government Interests/Government Rights: This invention was made under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Alberta Limited and Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE- AC07-051D14517, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention. Claims: A method of producing hydrogen, comprising: feeding a first aqueous sodium hydroxide stream into an anolyte chamber of an electrolytic cell comprising the anolyte chamber, a catholyte chamber, and a membrane between the anolyte chamber and the catholyte chamber; feeding a substantially inert liquid compound into the catholyte chamber of the electrolytic cell; applying an electric potential to the electrolytic cell to form sodium cations, water, and oxygen in the anolyte chamber and to selectively transport the sodium cations from the anolyte chamber, across the membrane, and into the catholyte chamber; combining the sodium cations with electrons in the catholyte chamber to produce liquid-phase sodium; and combining the liquid-phase sodium with water to produce hydrogen ... .
The method ... wherein applying an electric potential to the electrochemical cell comprises supplying an electric potential to the electrochemical cell from at least one of solar power, geothermal power, hydroelectric power, wind power, and ... further comprising heating the electrochemical cell using heat produced from reacting the sodium and the water".)

EP2014064625 METHANATION METHOD AND POWER PLANT COMPRISING CO2 METHANATION OF POWER PLANT FLUE GAS

The invention is directed to a methanation process comprises converting from a power plant flue gas of a carbonaceous fuel ... recovered CO2 ... in a methanation to methane (CH4).

Finally, the invention also relates to a power plant ... wherein the flue gas line of the combustion chamber of the steam generator of the power plant or incinerator flue gas, in particular power plant flue gas, and ... in particular CO2 gas, leading line connection with a this to methane (CH4 ) converting methanation or methanator stands.

(There) are numerous environmental and technological endeavors ... to reduce emissions (of CO2). One of these concepts is concerned with the storage of CO2 by the conversion of CO2 into methane gas ... .

The reaction of carbon dioxide to methane is also referred to as a Sabatier reaction and was discovered in 1902 by Paul Sabatier ... . (The) reaction is exothermic, however, needs to be accelerated by a catalyst.

(The above is as per our earlier comments, and citation of our report concerning: "United States Patent 8,710,106 - Sabatier Process and Apparatus for Controlling Exothermic Reaction". See, as well, our much earlier report of: 

CO2 Solution Wins Nobel Prize - in 1912 | Research & Development | News; concerning award of the 1912 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Paul Sabatier, of France, who, in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, said that Carbon Dioxide can be transformed into substitute natural gas Methane "with the greatest ease".)

(Concerning storage of renewable electricity) the so-called "power to gas" concept has proved advantageous, in which the energy is converted chemically by methanation (of CO2) and methane (CH4 ) is stored. Here, the (hydrogen) necessary for the formation of methane...  is notably through electrolysis produced which receives the necessary power from a renewable energy source such as wind turbines or solar cells ... .

(As in our above citation of our report concerning: "United States Patent 8,444,846 - Method and System for Producing Hydrogen".)

(And, the) CO2 source is ... recycled flue gas streams from power plants or industrial plants ... .

The "Power to Gas" concept is a useful method for long-term energy storage ... since the ... artificially produced natural gas in existing infrastructure (pipelines, natural gas storage) can be stored long term ... .

The invention has for its object to provide a solution that allows energetically favorable to couple a power plant and a methanation together

The methane produced by the methanation process according to the invention can be used in a conventional manner ... ."

--------------------------

We'll close there, since the bulk of the remaining exposition refers to illustrations and examples. And the translation of the details of those illustrations and examples can seem even more obtuse.

The point of it all is this:

Carbon Dioxide can be efficiently recovered from flue and exhaust gas streams, and, in combination with Hydrogen electrolytically extracted from H2O using renewable energy, that Carbon Dioxide can be converted into substitute shale natural gas Methane, and, which "artificially produced natural gas ... can be used in" any "conventional manner".

Further, the process of converting CO2 extracted from the "flue gas streams from power plants" into Methane generates heat, which, if collected and combined with excess electricity generated by the power plant itself, and "power from a renewable energy source such as wind turbines or solar cells", makes the complete process of synthesizing substitute natural gas Methane from exhaust gas Carbon Dioxide sound like something that ought be very attractive, from both the economic and environmental points of view.

We look forward to publication of the United States Patent and Trademark Office version of this application, presuming there will be one. It should prove to be more easily understood.

But, the point of our subject herein, International Publication Number: PCT/EP2014/064625, "Power Plant Comprising CO2 Methanation of Power Plant Flue Gas", should in any case be clear:

We can efficiently recover Carbon Dioxide from the exhaust gases of our Coal-fired power plants, and, then, in a process powered at least in part by freely-available environmental energy, and/or by off-peak power, and/or by power plant waste heat, we can convert that Carbon Dioxide into substitute natural gas Methane, which synthetic Methane can then be added directly to the "existing infrastructure" for natural gas, such as "pipelines", and which CO2-based synthetic natural gas can, once again, be used in any "conventional manner".

Time we wised up, ain't it?

We could be establishing new industries in US Coal Country, new industries that actually employed residents of US Coal Country, and we could remove the "cloud" of Carbon Dioxide that some insist casts an unacceptable shadow on our economically essential Coal-fired power generation industries, all while we put a stop to the potentially disastrous environmental damage being caused by fracking for shale gas - - all by reclaiming Carbon Dioxide from whatever source most convenient to us, perhaps from our "Power Plant Flue Gas", and then converting that Carbon Dioxide, via the process of "Methanation" disclosed herein, into substitute natural gas Methane.


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