Our headline does not really do justice to this pre-merger Mobil technology for Coal conversion.
As we have reported to be feasible and practical in other, similar, Coal technologies we have documented for you, Mobil are herein obtaining not only Gasoline from Coal, but, in addition, a synthetic "natural" gas consisting primarily of Methane.
We remind you that, In an earlier dispatch, we reported "United States Patent 4,046,830 - Upgrading Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Products", which was awarded to Mobil Oil Corporation, in September of 1977, for an improvement on technology that converts Coal into Gasoline.
In this report, we begin to see, and as we will see in reports to follow in coming days, with advance apologies for any repetition that might occur relative to other, earlier dispatches, that the year 1977, and the month of September specifically, should have been hallmarked by headlines of hope on all of the newspapers throughout United States Coal Country.
Certainly, it proved to be a banner month for the companies that became ExxonMobil, in their apparent effort to sequester advanced Coal liquefaction technologies up their old oil well.
Additional, we think important, comment, concerning especially the synthetic gas production, follows excerpts from the plainly, but incompletely, titled:
"United States Patent 4,049,734 - Conversion of Coal to High Octane Gasoline
Date: September, 1977
Inventor: William Garwood, et. al., NJ and PA
Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation, NY
Abstract: An integrated process for converting coal to high octane gasoline by gasifying the coal in such manner as to form a gas comprising carbon oxides, hydrogen and methane; contacting this gas in one or a series of steps with one or a series of catalysts, respectively comprising a special high silica to alumina ratio zeolite; converting the carbon oxides and hydrogen by such contact to a product comprising water, high octane aromatic gasoline and light hydrocarbon gases; alkylating the C3 and C4 olefins with the isobutane in the light gases to produce alkylate gasoline; admixing the aromatic and alkylate gasolines; and subjecting the C2 portion of the product to catalytic methanation via a nickel catalyst to produce synthetic natural gas.
Claims: A process of converting coal to aromatic gasoline (by) reacting coal with oxygen and steam ... to produce a synthesis gas product comprising carbon oxides, hydrogen and methane; (then) catalyzing the conversion of said carbon oxides and hydrogen to a product comprising water, C4 gas and C5+ `aromatic gasoline by a catalyst comprising a crystalline aluminosilicate zeolite (and) contacting at least the C2 portion of said C4 gas with a methanation catalyst ...  to convert such to synthetic natural gas; and recovering synthetic natural gas, aromatic gasoline and LPG.
Description: This invention relates to the upgrading of coal. It more particularly refers to the efficient conversion of coal into high octane, liquid, hydrocarbon gasoline.
In accord with and fulfilling these objects, one aspect of this invention resides in a process comprising gasifying coal to a gas comprising carbon oxides, hydrogen and methane ... . Such coal gasification processes are presently available commercial technology which are well documented and commercially practiced.
According to this invention, the synthesis gas produced from coal contains methane. This material passes through the methanol synthesis process substantially unaltered. When the organic portion of the methanol synthesis product is converted to hydrocarbons as aforesaid, some additional methane and ethane are formed. Alternatively, in the one step direct conversion of synthesis gas to aromatic gasoline, the methane passes through the reaction substantially unchanged and there are made substantial quantities of methane and ethane.
The product gasoline is an excellent lead-free motor fuel. In fact, it has such high quality that it can be blended with substantial volumes of lower octane materials such as straight run naphtha to increase its volume while still maintaining excellent quality."
There is much more of what should be of technical interest to concerned Coal partisans, but we close our excerpts here to emphasize the points important to us that have been made, and to extrapolate a little on those points, as follows:
First, it's clear that there exists, as confirmed herein by our United States Government, a "presently available commercial technology which (is) well documented and commercially practiced" which can be combined with other technology to enable "the efficient conversion of coal into high octane ... gasoline", and, such Coal-derived Gasoline "is an excellent lead-free motor fuel".
Second, such "efficient conversion" of Coal into "excellent" Gasoline results in the co-production of "substantial quantities of methane".
The other virtues of Methane aside, we have clearly documented, in substantive reports from Penn State University, and others, that Methane can be reacted, "tri-reformed", with reclaimed Carbon Dioxide and, through those Carbon Dioxide recycling reactions, thereby made to synthesize higher hydrocarbons; which hydrocarbons, again as we've documented, include Methanol - a versatile liquid fuel in it's own right that can also be used in the synthesis of plastics, wherein the CO2 consumed by the Methane in it's manufacture would be permanently and productively sequestered; and, through ExxonMobil's own "MTG"(r) process, into Gasoline.

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