United States Patent Application: 0060269471

 

Since, today, via separate dispatch, we are sending along report of: "United States Patent 4,113,446 - Gasification Process; September, 1978; Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology", wherein it's disclosed that NASA paid MIT to develop an efficient process for the complete conversion of Coal into Methane, using only Water as an additional raw material, we wanted to provide you with further confirmation of the fact, in addition to reports we've sent previously concerning similar work at WVU and Penn State, that Methane, once we have it from whatever source, can be reacted, through "bi-reforming" and/or "tri-reforming" processes, with reclaimed Carbon Dioxide; and, the two reactants made thereby to synthesize higher hydrocarbons.

Herein, from Japan, via the US Patent Office, we submit further demonstration of such Carbon Dioxide and Methane reforming technology.

And, we alert you: There is further, we think significant, revelation, concerning the utility of Carbon Dioxide reforming technology, aside from it's potential for the utilization of Methane, made in the Disclosure.

Which we attempt to point out, in comments following excerpts from the enclosed link to:


"United States Patent Application 20060269471 - Reforming Hydrocarbons with Carbon Dioxide

Date: November, 2006

Inventor: Akira Takahashi, et. al., Japan

Assignee: NGK Insulators, Ltd., Nagoya-city

Abstract: A process for reforming a hydrocarbon with carbon dioxide using a selectively permeable membrane reactor including a catalyst ... for accelerating a chemical reaction and a selectively permeable membrane ... exhibiting selective permeability, wherein a carbon dioxide reforming reaction of the hydrocarbon is accelerated by the catalyst ... and a specific component among reaction products produced by the reaction is selectively separated by allowing the specific component to pass through the selectively permeable membrane ..., the process including adding steam to a raw material gas containing the hydrocarbon and the carbon dioxide and supplying the mixture to the selectively permeable membrane reactor. According to the present invention, inactivation of the catalyst due to coking can be prevented when carrying out the carbon dioxide reforming reaction of the hydrocarbon using the permeable membrane reactor, whereby the reaction can be efficiently and stably carried out over a long time.

A process for reforming a hydrocarbon with carbon dioxide using a selectively permeable membrane reactor including a catalyst for accelerating a chemical reaction and a selectively permeable membrane exhibiting selective permeability, wherein a carbon dioxide reforming reaction of the hydrocarbon is accelerated by the catalyst and a specific component among reaction products produced by the reaction is selectively separated by allowing the specific component to pass through the selectively permeable membrane, the process comprising: adding steam to a raw material gas containing the hydrocarbon and the carbon dioxide and supplying the mixture to the selectively permeable membrane reactor. 

The process ... wherein the hydrocarbon is one or more hydrocarbons selected from the group consisting of methane, ethane, propane, butane, methanol, and dimethyl ether.

Background: A reaction between a hydrocarbon such as methane or propane and steam or carbon dioxide is called a reforming reaction, which has been industrially carried out as means for obtaining a synthesis gas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide) ... .

The present invention provides a process for reforming a hydrocarbon with carbon dioxide using a selectively permeable membrane reactor including a catalyst for accelerating a chemical reaction and a selectively permeable membrane exhibiting selective permeability, wherein a carbon dioxide reforming reaction of the hydrocarbon is accelerated by the catalyst and a specific component among reaction products produced by the reaction is selectively separated by allowing the specific component to pass through the selectively permeable membrane, the process comprising adding steam to a raw material gas containing the hydrocarbon and the carbon dioxide and supplying the mixture to the selectively permeable membrane reactor."

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We close our excerpts here, since we want to emphasize that this is, in one limited aspect, a variation of Carbon Dioxide and Methane tri-reforming technology, whereby, as above, and as affirmed by Swiss and Israeli researchers we've previously cited for you, "adding steam to a raw material gas containing the hydrocarbon (i.e., Methane, as one provided example) and the carbon dioxide" prevents deactivation "of the catalyst due to coking".

Furthermore, as we alerted you in our introductory comments: Methane isnot the only substance which can be productively reacted with Carbon Dioxide and made thereby to form a "synthesis gas" suitable for catalytic condensation into more complex, and more valuable, hydrocarbons.

As in "the hydrocarbon is one or more hydrocarbons selected from the group consisting of methane, ethane, propane, butane, methanol, and dimethyl ether", above, Carbon Dioxide can be so reacted with a range of materials, including, perhaps most especially, "methanol".

And, without citation, we remind you that, even now, Eastman Chemical is converting Coal into Methanol in Kingsport, Tennessee; and, through a variety of techniques, many now documented by the West Virginia Coal Association, with more reports to follow, Carbon Dioxide, as well, can be converted into Methanol.

But, we remind you further: Should we want to use only Methane, to convert Carbon Dioxide into higher hydrocarbons through this Japanese process, we can, in addition to making such Methane from Coal, via  technology like that disclosed in "United States Patent 4,113,446 - Gasification Process", as noted above, we can synthesize the Methane, too, from Carbon Dioxide itself, via the Nobel-winning Sabatier process now being, as we've elsewhere reported, further developed by NASA for use on the planet Mars.


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