Patent US3842113

 

Recently, in: "Appalachian Gold Rush" should be a "Black Gold Rush"; we based our discussion on the public celebration of the perceived bounty to be someday wafting up out of the Marcellus Shale.

 

The focus of that piece was a newspaper column written by Bayer Corporation CEO, Mr. Greg Babe, in which, with some cautionary asides concerning drilling practices and "environmental responsibilities", he extolled the value of the Marcellus Shale Gas deposit, but only in somewhat general terms.

Our research suggested to us that much of the value of Shale Gas to major manufacturers, like Bayer Corporation, might lie in the fact that, through "Ethane Crackers", a number of which are already planned, or at least conjectured, including one near Bayer's WV Northern Panhandle site, a major component of Shale Gas, "Ethane", can be converted into an important plastics manufacturing raw material, "Ethylene".

 

In that dispatch, as counter to the Shale Gas euphoria, we presented information from other of our earlier reports documenting that both Ethane and Ethylene can be made, directly, and at relatively low cost, from our abundant Coal; for which the extraction, handling and transportation infrastructure is already in place, right where the Ethane and Ethylene would be needed.

 

We also cautioned against the, sometimes grotesque, environmental hazards that can arise from Shale Gas extraction procedures, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing; which cautionary note Mr. Babe, to his credit, also, but lightly, sounded.

 

Herein, via the initial link in this dispatch, we demonstrate that the Coal versus Shale Gas, as the better source of Ethane and/or Ethylene, debate could be made moot; and, the competing claims about either being better for the environment, as Ethane and Ethylene sources, made irrelevant.

 

We can synthesize both Ethane and Ethylene from King Coal's friendly ghost, Carbon Dioxide.

 

Comment follows excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

 

"United States Patent 3,842,113 - Catalyst for Reducing Carbon Dioxide

 

Date: October 15, 1974

 

Inventors: Masaru Ichikawa, et. al., Japan

 

Assignee: Sagami Chemical Research Center, Tokyo

 

Abstract: Catalyst capable of converting carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons and oxygen-containing hydrocarbons is disclosed (comprising) at least one alkali metal belonging to Group Ia of the Periodic Table, graphite and at least one halide of a transition metal selected from the group consisting of Groups VIB and VIII of the Periodic Table.

 

This invention relates to a catalyst for reducing carbon dioxide.

 

More particularly it relates to a catalyst capable of converting a mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide into various hydrocarbons and oxygen-containing hydrocarbons.

 

Said catalyst comprises at least one alkali metal, graphite and at least one halide of a transition metal ... .

 

Hereinbefore, there was no catalyst capable of directly reducing carbon dioxide into a hydrocarbon.

 

One possible process was to reduce carbon dioxide with hydrogen over a water-gas forming catalyst to convert it into carbon monoxide which was then contacted with Fischer-Tropsch catalyst to obtain liquid hydrocarbon.

 

The catalyst according to this invention is novel and its constituents are entirely different from those of the prior art. By use of the catalyst according to this invention, it is possible to carry out the reduction of carbon dioxide at a normal temperature and pressure, and to obtain various hydrocarbons and oxygen-containing hydrocarbons ... such as ethylene and ethane.

 

The catalyst is not adversely affected by the oxygen and sulfur compounds in the synthesis gas.

 

The graphite employed for ... the catalyst can be produced by pyrolysis of ... coal.

 

Claims:(A) process for reducing carbon dioxide wherein carbon dioxide is reacted with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst."

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And, again, the products of "reducing" Carbon Dioxide, as herein, include "ethylene and ethane".

 

First, the specified catalytic metals required, from Groups Ia, VIB and VIII of the Periodic Table, though not, with few exceptions, identified by name in the full Disclosure, are neither too uncommon nor too exotic.

 

The alkali, Group Ia, metals could be Sodium or Potassium; those from Group VIB could be Chromium or Molybdenum; and, those from Group VIII could be Iron or Cobalt.

 

There are pricier selections to be had, as well, such as, variously, Ruthenium and Rhodium; but, we'll trust that the "generics" could get the job done.

 

We'll note, as well, that rather broad operating conditions are outlined in the full Disclosure as being acceptable; and, high temperatures and high pressures might not be required, though there appear to be trade-offs between those conditions and, both, process efficiency and product selectivity.

 

But, importantly, note: The "catalyst is not adversely affected by the oxygen and sulfur compounds"; which suggests that a pretty crude mixture of Carbon Dioxide-containing gas can be utilized.

 

Any thoughts as to where we might find some crude, Carbon Dioxide-containing gas mixtures in the Ohio Valley, near Bayer Corporation's site north of New Martinsville?.

 

Finally, free, elemental Hydrogen is required to convert Carbon Dioxide, as herein, via the process of United States Patent 3,842,113, into Ethane and Ethylene.

 

And, we remind you, that, as in:

 

NASA Hydrogen from Water and Sunlight | Research & Development; concerning: "USP 4,045,315 - Solar Photolysis of Water; 1977; Inventors: James Fletcher, NASA, et. al.; Abstract: Hydrogen is produced by the solar photolysis of water";

 

we can make the needed Hydrogen from some of our Ohio Valley River water. Or, as in:

 

1910 Methane & Hydrogen from Coal | Research & Development; concerning: "USP 956,734 - Manufacturing Mixtures of Methane and Hydrogen; 1910; Inventor: Paul Sabatier, France; The present invention relates to a process for the manufacture of Methane or of mixtures of Methane and Hydrogen ... by passing water gas over heated nickel. ... The water gas is manufactured (by passing) super heated steam ... through coke (and/or) anthracite";

 

we can make that Hydrogen as the co-product of synthesizing Methane from our Ohio Valley Coal.


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