United States Patent: 8658561

Our headline on this dispatch might be seen as a bit of an extrapolation; but, not too much of one, we think.

Our apologies to anyone who might take exception.

To explain, we first remind you of technology developed by WVU scientists, as in our report of: 

 

WVU Battery Converts CO2 + H2O into Hydrocarbon Syngas | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20130122381 - High Temperature Rechargeable Battery For Greenhouse Gas Decomposition And Oxygen Generation; May 16, 2013; Inventors: Bruce S. Kang and Huang Guo, Morgantown, WV; Abstract: This invention shows a high temperature rechargeable battery system for energy storage, oxygen generation, and decomposition of oxygen-containing gases (e.g. CO2/H2O, NOx, SOx, in particular greenhouse gas (GHG)) ... . With carbon capture and sequestration becoming a key element in worldwide efforts to control/minimize CO2 emission, it can be anticipated that large amount of CO2 will become available for use as feedstock for innovative conversions into synthetic fuels. This invention shows a high temperature rechargeable battery system for decomposition of oxygen containing gases (in particular greenhouse gas (GHG)), oxygen generation, and energy storage ... . During battery discharge, GHG such as CO2/H2O, NOx and SOx can be decomposed into syngas (CO+H2) or solid carbon. Whereas, solar, wind or other renewable energy can be used to charge the battery and generate oxygen. The energy consumption for GHG decomposition is self-sustainable with the integrated system and the byproducts (i.e. solid carbon, syngas (CO+H2), O2) have good market values. Syngas can ... be further processed into hydrocarbon and carbonaceous fuels, such as Diesel, Methanol, Ammonia, and so on. ... Renewable energy sources such as solar or wind energy can be utilized to charge the battery ... . In the battery discharge mode, at elevated temperatures, CO2 or a combination of CO2/H2O can be fed into the cathode side, generating syngas (CO + H2) and/or solid carbon while simultaneously generating electricity";

wherein a "battery", which perhaps could also be thought of as a fuel cell operated in reverse, is disclosed which, when fed electricity generated by renewable sources, is capable of breaking a blend of Carbon Dioxide and Water vapor down into Oxygen, and a hydrocarbon "syngas" blend of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen, "CO+H2"; which syngas can then be catalytically, chemically condensed via long-known processes into liquid hydrocarbons and fuels, i.e., "Diesel" and "Methanol".

WVU scientists Bruce Kang's and Huang Guo's Carbon Dioxide recycling and conversion process, we remind you, is conceptually similar to, if not derived from, the United States Department of Energy's and it's contractor's process for converting Carbon Dioxide and H2O into hydrocarbon synthesis gas, which process is sometimes referred to as "syntrolysis", as described for two examples in our reports of:

More USDOE CO2 "Syntrolysis" | Research & Development | News; concerning: "Co-Electrolysis of Steam and Carbon Dioxide for Production of Syngas; Fifth International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference; 2007; Idaho National Laboratory, USDOE; and Ceramatec, Inc., Utah; An experimental study has been completed to assess the performance of single-oxide electrolysis cells ... simultaneously electrolyzing steam and carbon dioxide for the direct production of syngas. Syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, can be used for the production of synthetic liquid fuels via Fischer-Tropsch processes"; and:

Utah 2011 CO2 + H2O = Hydrocarbon Syngas | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 8,075,746 - Electrochemical Cell for Production of Synthesis Gas Using Atmospheric Air and Water; 2011; Assignee: Ceramatec, Inc., (Utah); Abstract: A method is provided for synthesizing synthesis gas from carbon dioxide obtained from atmospheric air or other available carbon dioxide source and water using a sodium-conducting electrochemical cell. Synthesis gas is also produced by the coelectrolysis of carbon dioxide and steam in a solid oxide fuel cell or solid oxide electrolytic cell. The synthesis gas produced may then be further processed and eventually converted into a liquid fuel suitable for transportation or other applications".

As far as where WVU scientists Bruce Kang and Huang Guo would get the Carbon Dioxide for processing into hydrocarbon synthesis gas, as per the process disclosed in their "United States Patent Application 20130122381 - High Temperature Rechargeable Battery For Greenhouse Gas Decomposition", we remind you of another West Virginia University innovation, disclosed in our report of:.

WVU March 28, 2013, Economical Harvesting of Flue Gas CO2 | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20130078172 - Layered Solid Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Capture; March 28, 2013; Inventors: Bingyun Li, et. al., West Virginia and Pennsylvania; Assignee: West Virginia University Research Corporation, Morgantown; Abstract: A solid sorbent for the capture and the transport of carbon dioxide gas is provided ... . Government Interests: Certain embodiments of this invention were made with Government support in conjunction with the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, Pa., under RES contract number DE-FE0004000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in the invention".

And, herein we see that our United States Government recently confirmed the practicability of the above "United States Patent Application 20130078172", through, as excerpted from the initial link in this dispatch, their issuance of:

"United States Patent 8,658,561 - Layered Solid Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Capture

Layered solid sorbents for carbon dioxide capture - West Virginia University

Patent US8658561 - Layered solid sorbents for carbon dioxide capture - Google Patents

Date: February 25, 2014

Inventors: Bingyun Li, et. al., West Virginia and Pennsylvania

Assignee: West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Abstract: A solid sorbent for the capture and the transport of carbon dioxide gas is provided having at least one first layer of a positively charged material that is polyethylenimine or poly(allylamine hydrochloride), that captures at least a portion of the gas, and at least one second layer of a negatively charged material that is polystyrenesulfonate or poly(acryclic acid), that transports the gas, wherein the second layer of material is in juxtaposition to, attached to, or crosslinked with the first layer for forming at least one bilayer, and a solid substrate support having a porous surface, wherein one or more of the bilayers is/are deposited on the surface of and/or within the solid substrate. A method of preparing and using the solid sorbent is provided.

Government Interests: Certain embodiments of this invention were made with Government support in conjunction with the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, Pa., under RES contract number DE-FE0004000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in the invention.

Claims: A solid sorbent comprising: at least one first layer of a material that captures at least a portion of a gas, wherein said first layer of said material is selected from the group consisting of polyethylenimine and poly(allylamine hydrochloride); and at least one second layer of a second material that transports said gas, wherein said second layer of material is selected from the group consisting of polystyrenesulfonate and poly(acryclic acid), or wherein said first and said second layers of materials are selected from the group of ionic liquid monomers and poly-ionic liquid polymers, said second layer of material is in juxtaposition to, attached to, or crosslinked with said first layer such that said first layer of material and said second layer of material form one bilayer; and a solid substrate support having a porous surface, wherein said bilayer is deposited on the surface of said substrate or deposited into said solid substrate. 

The solid sorbent ... having alternating layers of said first layer of material and said second layer of material forming more than one bilayer (and) wherein said first layer of said material is different than said second layer of said material (and) wherein said first layer of material is a positively charged material and wherein said second layer of material is an oppositely charged material relative to the first layer of material. 

The solid sorbent ...  wherein said first layer is a positively charged polymer and wherein said second layer is an oppositely charged polymer relative to the polymer of said first layer (and) wherein said solid substrate support is selected from the group consisting of polymethylmethacrylate, silica, silicone, glass, a metal, and a colloid of an inorganic and organic material. 

(Included claims that we're not reproducing specify pore sizes, etc.) 

The solid sorbent ... wherein said first layer of material is polyethylenimine and said second layer of material is polystyrenesulfonate. 

(Additional claims go on to further specify the chemical compositions in more technical detail.) 

A solid sorbent comprising: at least one first layer of a material that captures at least a portion of a gas, wherein said first layer of said material is selected from the group consisting of polyethylenimine and poly(allylamine hydrochloride); and at least one second layer of a second material that transports said gas, wherein said second layer of material is selected from the group consisting of polystyrenesulfonate and poly(acryclic acid), or wherein said first and said second layers of materials are selected from the group of ionic liquid monomers and poly-ionic liquid polymers, said first layer of material and said second layer of material form one bilayer; and a solid substrate support having a porous surface, wherein said bilayer is deposited on the surface of said substrate or deposited into said solid substrate. 

The solid sorbent ... having alternating layers of said first layer of material and said second layer of material forming more than one bilayer (and) wherein said first layer of material is a positively charged material and wherein said second layer of material is an oppositely charged material relative to the first layer of material. 

The solid sorbent ...  wherein said first layer is a positively charged polymer and wherein said second layer is an oppositely charged polymer relative to the polymer of said first layer (and) wherein said solid substrate support is selected from the group consisting of polymethylmethacrylate, silica, silicone, glass, a metal, and a colloid of an inorganic and organic material.

Background and Field: Current post-combustion CO2 capture and sequestration technologies require three main steps: (i) capture CO2 from the stack gas, (ii) compress the nearly pure CO2 to about 2,000 psi, and (iii) permanently "bury" or store the CO2 in certain geological structures deep in the earth.

These processes can require up to one-third of the produced power-plant energy, which would otherwise be used as electrical energy for customers.

Most of the energy cost of the three steps lies with step (i), i.e. CO.sub.2 capture. Monoethanolamine (MEA), used as a major aqueous wet scrubbing solvent, has high operating costs due to their heat of sorption plus the sensible and latent heating of the solution. The latent and sensible heating accounts for approximately 1/2 of the total regeneration energy for conventional liquid solvent systems. The presence of H2O, .about.70 wt. % in the MEA-based solvent, is a major cause of energy usage above that required for simple desorption of CO2. The energy penalty associated with solvent regeneration can be reduced by concentrating the amine solution, thereby reducing the sensible and latent energy needs connected with the water. However, highly concentrated MEA may lead to equipment-corrosion problems and unwanted foaming. Facing these facts and challenges researchers have recently proposed the concept of solid sorbents for CO2 capture. Compared to liquid amines dissolved in water, the solid sorbents may avoid much of the latent heat duty connected with aqueous solvent regeneration.

Studies have indicated that solid sorbents may have the potential to require substantially less energy (e.g. a reduction of 30-50%) for regeneration than the current MEA-based CO2 scrubbing processes.

Importantly, the developed solid sorbents had fast kinetics; the CO2 adsorption occurred within seconds and desorption of 90% of adsorbed CO2 within 30 min. Note that this desorption time was observed when regeneration was conducted by simply exchanging the gas atmosphere from CO2 to nitrogen--i.e., a "swing" in the partial pressure of CO2. Practical regeneration systems will likely include thermal swing, providing heat to increase the regeneration temperature. Raising the temperature would provide additional driving potential for CO2 release from the amine adsorbent and could provide accelerated regeneration. 

(The) fast CO2 desorption (exhibited by the materials and process of this invention) could make (these) sorbents a good option for CO2 removal from power plants and even the atmosphere".

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There is, of course, much more to the full Disclosure: many details of chemistry which would be meaningful only to the most technically astute in such matters.

Here's the thing, though: WVU has developed a Carbon Dioxide capture system that requires much less energy, at least a "reduction of 30-50%", than prior technology.

West Virginia University's CO2 capture process and technology is so efficient, in fact, that it could even make "CO2 removal from ... the atmosphere" a practical proposition, thus enabling CO2 recovery operations to be established in areas where they could be driven by environmental sources of energy, such as wind or solar, and thus making unnecessary parasitic CO2 capture loads on our essentially important Coal-fired power plants; and even making more practical other technologies, such as that disclosed for one example in our earlier report of:

USDOE Reaffirms CO2 to Gasoline Technical Viability | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20130281553 - Method of Producing Synthetic Fuels and Organic Chemicals from Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide; 2013; Inventors: William Kubic and Jeffrey Martin, Los Alamos, NM; Assignee: Los Alamos National Security, LLC, (USDOE Los Alamos National Laboratory); Abstract: The present invention is directed to providing a method of producing synthetic fuels and organic chemicals from atmospheric carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gas is extracted from the atmosphere, hydrogen gas is obtained by splitting water, a mixture of the carbon dioxide gas and the hydrogen gas (synthesis gas) is generated, and the synthesis gas is converted into synthetic fuels and/or organic products. Statement Regarding Federal Rights: Government Interests: This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention; A method for producing a chemical product comprising the steps of: extracting carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere; producing hydrogen gas; combining said carbon dioxide gas and said hydrogen gas to produce a synthesis gas; and converting said synthesis gas to said product. (And) wherein said method is powered by ... hydroelectric power, geothermal power, wind power, photovoltaic solar power, thermal solar power, and combinations thereof (and) wherein said product is selected from the group consisting of fuel, diesel fuel, jet fuel, gasoline, petrochemicals, plastics, butane, methanol, ethylene, propylene, aromatic compounds, petrochemical derivatives, derivatives thereof, and mixtures thereof";

wherein the United States Department of Energy itself, who financed West Virginia University's development of the efficient Carbon Dioxide capture technology disclosed by our subject, WVU's recently-awarded "United States Patent 8,658,561 - Layered Solid Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Capture", says that, once we have so efficiently captured Carbon Dioxide, whether "from power plants" or, as WVU indicates, "even the atmosphere", we can, in a process driven by environmental - - "hydroelectric power, geothermal power, wind power, photovoltaic solar power, thermal solar power, and combinations thereof" - - energy, convert that efficiently-captured Carbon Dioxide into "diesel fuel, jet fuel, gasoline" and a considerable number of other seemingly needful things.

Make no mistake: 

The Carbon Dioxide capture and recycling technologies established, as herein, by West Virginia University, the United States Department of Energy, and others, have us, all of us, all citizens of the United States of  America, now on the cusp of an invincible self-sufficiency in our supply liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels, and of what we can think of as petrochemicals.

We could put many more US citizens to work and put an end to our OPEC economic enslavement.

And, that, as we make progress on issues of concern to the environmentalists among our citizenry, some of whom are convicted that CO2 is accumulating in our atmosphere and is, or will be, causing us harm. 

Getting far past time some of that genuinely good news was being brought home to us here in West Virginia, and in the rest of United States Coal Country, ain't it?


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