United States Patent: 4113446

Since, yesterday, we sent you report of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, Thesis: "Synthetic Fuels for Naval Applications Produced Using Shipboard Nuclear Power"; which details how synthetic liquid fuels can be manufactured starting with nothing but Carbon Dioxide and Water, we wanted to send along today revelation of the fact that MIT also knows how to convert Coal into liquid hydrocarbons, again using only Water as the agent of hydrogenation.

The information enclosed herein shouldn't be too surprising, if you have followed our posts thus far.

We have previously reported and documented that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, has been at work developing technologies for the conversion of both Coal and Carbon Dioxide into liquid hydrocarbon, we presume rocket, fuel.

Further, we have many times confirmed that Water can be utilized as the source of the Hydrogen needed to hydrogenate the primarily Carbon content of Coal, in order to synthesize both liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons.

All of that is brought together in the patented technology disclosed herein by MIT.


Comment follows excerpts from:


"United States Patent 4,113,446 - Gasification Process


Date: September, 1978


Inventor: Michael Modell, et. al., MA and MI


Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Government Interests: This invention was made in the course of work performed under a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Abstract: Solid or liquid organic materials are converted to high BTU gas with little or no undesirable char formation by reaction with water at or above the critical temperature of water and at or above the critical pressure of water to achieve the critical density of water. The reaction can be conducted either in the presence or in the absence of a catalyst.


Claims: The process for forming a gas composition having a high heating value which comprises reacting a liquid or solid organic material with water wherein the water is at least at its critical temperature and wherein the water pressure is at least at its critical pressure such as to achieve the critical density of water and recovering a gas product from the reaction without significant char formation.


(And) wherein the organic material is coal particles (and/or) a cellulose-containing solid.


Background: At the present time, there are available processes for converting solid or liquid organic material to high BTU gas such as methane. However, most of the commercially available processes require a two step procedure which in turn requires high heat input to obtain the desired results. For example, in the well known steam-iron process, steam is contacted with iron in a first step to produce hydrogen and to oxidize the iron to FeO. When the reaction is conducted in the presence of organic material, and the appropriate conditions of temperature and pressure are maintained, some hydrogen reacts with carbon to form primarily methane ... .

It would be highly desirable to provide a process for forming high BTU gas from high molecular weight organic materials, including solids, such as organic waste material or coal to provide good conversions to high BTU gas. Furthermore, it would be desirable to provide such a process which gives little or no conversion to waste solid organic material such as char or coke. In addition, it would be desirable to provide such a process which permits the conversion to high BTU gas relatively quickly so that the need for either large reactors or long residence times in the reactor is not required so that commercially attractive throughput rates can be obtained.

Summary: This invention is based upon the discovery that liquid or solid organic materials can be converted to high BTU gas with little or no formation of undesirable char or coke when the organic material is reacted with water ... ."


In sum, NASA and MIT know that we can make "primarily methane" starting with only Water and Coal.

Further, there is very little wastage, as in "little or no formation of undesirable char or coke", of the Carbon content in the Coal.

We remind you: Once we have that Methane, made as herein so efficiently from Coal, we can catalytically condense that Methane directly into liquid hydrocarbons; or, we can utilize it in processes that hydrogenate more Coal to form higher hydrocarbons; or, we can react such Methane with reclaimed Carbon Dioxide, in bi-reforming and tri-reforming reactions, such as have been, and as are now being, further developed by, as we have documented for you, and as recorded in the West Virginia Coal Association web site, public entities such as Penn State University and WVU.

Moreover, again as recorded by the Coal Association, such reforming technologies, wherein Carbon Dioxide is reacted with Methane to synthesize higher hydrocarbons, have been known to the petroleum industry and, through the Patent Office at least, to our US Government since the years immediately following WWII.

As a bonus, herein, Carbon-recycling "cellulose-containing" materials, as in other, similar technologies we have previously reported, can be utilized herein as a co-feed raw material.

And, again, all of it can start with nothing but Water and Coal.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw