United States Patent: 4713234


We have, in the course of our reportage, regularly documented the fact that plain old Steam, i.e., H2O, can be made to serve as a source and contributor of Hydrogen in processes intended to hydrogenate, and thus to transform into gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons, our abundant Coal.

Herein, from Germany, where their military, during WWII, fought in large part on liquid fuels made from Coal, all as historically and indisputably recorded, we have further confirmation of the fact that all, or nearly all, of the Carbon content in Coal can be hydrogenated, and thus be converted into valuable hydrocarbons, through the appropriate and controlled use of Steam as a Hydrogen donor.

Comment follows excerpts from:


"United States Patent 4,713,234 - Conversion of Water Vapor with Coal into a Product Gas


Date: December, 1987


Inventor: Walter Weirich, et. al., Germany


Assignee: Kernforschungsanlage Julich Gesellschaft, Julich, DE


Abstract: A process and apparatus for conversion of steam and hydrocarbon, or steam and coal, into a product gas which contains hydrogen. The conversion rate is augmented by effective extraction and removal of hydrogen as and when hydrogen is generated. Within a reaction vessel wherein the conversion takes place, a chamber for collection of hydrogen is formed by the provision of a hydrogen-permeable membrane. The chamber is provided with a hydrogen extraction means and houses a support structure, for example, in the form of a mesh providing structural support to the membrane. The membrane may be of a pleated or corrugated construction, so as to provide an enlarged surface for the membrane to facilitate hydrogen extraction. Also, to further facilitate hydrogen extraction, a hydrogen partial pressure differential is maintained across the membrane, such as, for example, by the counter pressure of an inert gas. A preferred configuration for the apparatus of the invention is a tubular construction which houses generally tubular hydrogen extraction chambers.

Claims:  (A) process of generating a product gas containing hydrogen, by reacting under heat a mixture of steam and solid carbon in a reaction vessel, a method of improving the reaction in order to separate and isolate the hydrogen from the product gas comprising the steps of: introducing solid carbon into said reaction vessel; introducing steam into said reaction vessel; (and) reacting said solid carbon and said steam in said reaction vessel.

Apparatus for generating a product gas containing hydrogen, by reacting under external heat a mixture of steam and solid carbon ...  such as coal.

Background and Field: The invention relates generally to a process and an apparatus for the conversion of water vapor coal mixture ... to form a product gas containing hydrogen, and specifically to the production of water gas or synthesis gas by methane-steam splitting and steam-coal gasification.

Summary: The invention in its broad form comprises an apparatus and a process for generation of a product gas containing hydrogen, by reacting a mixture of water vapor and a carbon-containing substance ... ."



The full Disclosure is, in perhaps Germanic fashion, lengthy and detailed; but, it only confirms that Carbon, whether in Coal or in a Carbon-recycling material such as charcoal, can be reacted with plain old Steam, and made thereby to synthesize hydrocarbons.

The distilled essence is this:

We can, as herein confirmed by one, thankfully impartial, branch of the United States Government, make, "specifically", hydrocarbon "synthesis gas by ... steam-coal gasification"

Keeping in mind that the "synthesis gas" thus made by reacting Steam with Coal can be catalytically condensed, via multiple known and established industrial processes, into liquid hydrocarbons that can serve as direct replacements for conventional petroleum, the one question thus engendered is:

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