United States Patent: 5431855

 

There is, presuming you to have followed our posts thus far, little conceptually new in the US-patented technology, which was developed by scientists in the United Kingdom, we submit herein.

 

Simply put:

Carbon Dioxide, from whatever source, can be reacted, "reformed", with Methane, with or without the addition of Steam, and made thereby to synthesize valuable hydrocarbons.

Summary, and no doubt by now predictable, comment follows excerpts from:

 

"United States Patent 5,431,855 - Process for the Conversion of Methane to Synthesis Gas

 

Date: July, 1995

 

Inventor: Malcom Green, et. al., Great Britain

 

Assignee: British Gas, London

 

Abstract: A method of converting a reactant gas mixture of CO2, O2 and CH4 comprises contacting the reactant gas ... with a solid catalyst ... which selectively converts the reactant gas into a product gas mixture comprising H2 and CO.

Claims: A method of converting a reactant gas mixture comprising CO2, O2 and CH4 into a product gas mixture comprising H2 and CO by combined partial oxidation-dry reforming reaction ... .

Description and Background: In view of the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and the relative abundance of methane, there is considerable interest in processes which have greater efficiency and selectivity for the conversion of methane to synthesis gas.

There are also catalysts for the reforming of methane using carbon dioxide.

This patent application results from our discoveries of a class of catalysts that is capable of selectively reforming methane to carbon monoxide and hydrogen ... (which) ... can be combined under catalytic conditions to give useful chemicals such as methanol or, via Fischer-Tropsch catalysis, higher hydrocarbons ... and alcohols.

Thus, this invention is concerned with essentially two processes. Process 1 is the reaction of CO2 with methane giving synthesis gas ... . Process 2 is the reaction of oxygen and carbon dioxide mixtures with methane also giving synthesis gas. 

A potential application ... is to use energy such as solar energy to drive the reaction to form the synthesis gas, which could then be stored and transported. The reverse reaction, namely the reduction of CO to methane, for which there are well-known catalysts, is highly exothermic (and) heat stored by the first reaction can be released by the reverse methanation. 

Another aspect of the invention concerns the potential application for usage of CO2, which has environmental implications towards the general problem of the greenhouse effect."

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Thus, by reacting Carbon Dioxide and Methane, using one of the known "catalysts for the reforming of methane using carbon dioxide", we can generate a synthesis gas which is chemically suitable to "be combined under catalytic conditions to give useful chemicals such as methanol or, via Fischer-Tropsch catalysis, higher hydrocarbons ... and alcohols".

Such "methanol" can, we remind you, be further converted, via, for one example, ExxonMobil's "MTG"(r) technology, into Gasoline.

We further remind you:

As these European scientists would have certainly been aware, Europe's Nobel Committee awarded their 1912 Prize in Chemistry to Paul Sabatier, for demonstrating that the Methane, which can, as herein, be reacted with Carbon Dioxide to generate a "methanol" and "higher hydrocarbons" synthesis gas, can itself be synthesized from Carbon Dioxide.

Don't you think such combined "usage of CO2, which has environmental implications towards the general problem of the greenhouse effect", should become an issue of public policy, rather than exploitive schemes like Cap & Trade taxation, and Geologic Sequestration petroleum industry subsidies, with their extreme attendant costs, all of which would be borne by the Coal industry and the consumers of Coal-based electricity?

It won't become public policy until the fact, that: Carbon Dioxide, through, via the Sabatier process, and, as herein explained, with, Methane, can be, through the generation of synthesis gas, converted, as above, into "methanol ... (and) ... higher hydrocarbons"; becomes public knowledge.


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