In a recent report to the West Virginia Coal Association, which they have made available on their web site via the link: France, China, CoalTL & CO2 Recycling | Research & Development | News; we detailed, in the context of Coal conversion activities in China, the United States Patent Application, Number 20050169835; - "The Treatment of Methane/Carbon Dioxide Mixtures"; 2005; Assignee: TOTAL France".

We refer you to that report for more details of the oil company TOTAL's process for converting Carbon Dioxide into liquid hydrocarbon fuels; but, herein, we present more information, from France, concerning the technical details of such conversion of CO2, as we might obtain by sucking it back out of a leaky old Texas oil well where it had been, at the expense of customers of Coal-based electrical power, "sequestered", into the nearly-precious Methanol.

Comment follows excerpts from the enclosed link to, and attached file of, a doctoral thesis from France's famed university at Lausanne:


"Presentee Au Department De Chimie; Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne


Pour L'obtention Du Grade De Docteur Es Sciences; Par: Alain Bill; Lausanne, 1998


Abstract: The measurements obtained were used to investigate the methanol synthesis reaction from pure carbon dioxide and hydrogen over binary (CuO/ZrO2) and ternary supported catalysts (CuO/ZnO/Al2O3).

(Those chemical formulae, by the way, look to us like zeolite-type compositions, similar perhaps to the "ZSM5" zeolite specified by ExxonMobil in their "MTG"(r), methanol-to-gasoline, technology, wherein they posit the methanol to be made from Coal. Herein, we find revealed the fact that Methanol can, in the first place, be made from Carbon Dioxide via the same, or similar, catalytic intermediaries.)

A comparison of different catalysts is presented. The influence of the most important reaction parameters, i.e., temperature, pressure ... is examined.

The influence of the partial pressures of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water and methanol are studied in detail with the most efficient catalyst.

According to the results, water has a decisive effect on the catalyst activity and perfornance.

The conversion of CO2 with hydrogen to methanol is investigated in dielectric-barrier discharges with an without catalyst at low temperature.

The combination of discharges and catalysts lower the activation energy of the reaction, resulting in a decrease in the catalyst optimum temperature.

The presence of the catalyst in the discharge increases the methanol yield and selectivity by more than a factor of 10."



We keep our excerpts from this commendably-detailed exposition brief.

In essence, Alain Bill describes and builds on some Swiss, Israeli and Taiwanese developments, about which we have earlier, and to some length, reported, wherein "dielectric barrier discharges", a low-energy electrical phenomenon that can be generated by microwave radiation and relatively simple diode tubes, is, when properly catalyzed, effective in disassociating the atomic constituents of Carbon Dioxide and Water, and in making the Hydrogen and Carbon available for controlled catalytic recombination into hydrocarbons; in this specific case, Methanol.

In those specifics, it is also similar to some USDOE Carbon Dioxide recycling work at the Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, about which we have also reported, wherein solar light energy is sufficient, when the reaction is properly catalyzed, to split CO2 and H2O into the reactive products H2 and CO, which can then be recombined, via multiple known catalytic processes, into liquid hydrocarbons.

Again gratuitously, we must note: Once we have the Methanol, as herein synthesized from Carbon Dioxide, it can, via, for just one example, ExxonMobil's "MTG"(r), methanol-to gasoline, technology, be further processed into more familiar types of liquid fuel.

In any case, once more: Carbon Dioxide, as herein, is a valuable raw material resource.

We can recycle it in the synthesis of liquid hydrocarbon fuels, among other things; and, we shouldn't, all at the expense of consumers of Coal-based electricity, be forced to collect all of it that comes out of our Coal Country smoke stacks and ship it to West Texas, for stuffing down leaky old oil wells.

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