In the technology for converting Coal into liquid fuel we document herein, Mobil Oil, prior to their merger with Exxon, clearly state that they are, simply, only improving an already well-established process for converting Coal, even low-grade Coal, into Gasoline.
 
A cut-and-spliced excerpt we present as a foreword serves to confirm that assertion:
 
"It is considered desirable to effectively and more efficiently convert synthesis gas, and thereby coal ... to highly valued hydrocarbons such as motor gasoline with high octane number, petrochemical feedstocks, liquefiable petroleum fuel gas, and aromatic hydrocarbons ... . ... This invention is concerned with improving the product distribution and yield of products obtained by a Fischer-Tropsch synthesis gas conversion process. In a particular aspect, the present invention is concerned with improving the product yield, product distribution, and operating economies of a synthesis gas conversion operation known in the industry as the Sasol process."
 
Our point is: In 1977, more than three decades ago, a major petroleum corporation, and our own United States Government, concerned themselves with an improvement on a technology already being industrially practiced, wherein Coal was being converted into "motor gasoline with high octane number" and  "petrochemical feedstocks".
 
Further comment follows additional excerpts from:
 
"United States Patent 4,046,830 - Upgrading Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Products
 
Date: September, 1977
 
Inventor: James C. Kuo, NJ
 
Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation, NY
 
Abstract: The total product effluent of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis separated from catalyst fines is passed in contact with a crystalline zeolite catalyst represented by ZSM-5 before separation into desired product fractions and C5 minus gaseous products are catalytically converted to gasoline boiling components.
 
Claims: A method for upgrading products of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis comprising normally gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons ... . ... (and recovering) a gasoline product of substantially improved octane rating
 
Processes for the conversion of coal ... to a gaseous mixture consisting essentially of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, or of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, or of hydrogen and carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, are well known.
 
This invention is concerned with a process for converting synthesis gas, i.e., mixtures of gaseous carbon oxides with hydrogen or hydrogen donors, to hydrocarbon mixtures and oxygenates. In one aspect, this invention is concerned with process for increasing the yield of hydrocarbon mixtures rich in aromatic hydrocarbons over that obtained in a known Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process.
 
The Sasol synthesis operation is known to produce a wide spectrum of products including fuel gas, light olefins, LPG, gasoline, light and heavy fuel oils, waxy oils and oxygenates identified as alcohols, acetone, ketones, and acids, particularly acetic and proprionic acid. The C2 and lower boiling components may be reformed to carbon monoxide and hydrogen or the C2 formed hydrocarbons and methane may be combined and blended for use in a fuel gas pipeline system.

In the Sasol operation, the water soluble chemicals are recovered as by steam stripping and separated into individual components with the formed organic acids remaining in the water phase separately treated. Propylene and butylene formed in the process are converted to gasoline boiling components as by polymerization in the presence of a phosphoric acid catalyst. Propane and butane on the other hand are used for LPG.
 
(All of that from Coal, mind you.)
 
Summary: This invention is concerned with improving the product distribution and yield of products obtained by a Fischer-Tropsch synthesis gas conversion process. In a particular aspect, the present invention is concerned with improving the product yield, product distribution, and operating economies of a synthesis gas conversion operation known in the industry as the Sasol process.

The Sasol process (is) located in South Africa and (was) built to convert an abundant supply of poor quality coal products to particularly hydrocarbons, oxygenates and chemical forming components ... ."

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