Energy Citations Database (ECD) - - Document #6376201

Late last year, we made report concerning a United States Patent that had been awarded to scientists in the employ of the US Department of Energy, which disclosed how Solar energy could be harnessed to gasify Coal with Steam, to convert the Coal and H2O with high efficiency into a hydrocarbon synthesis gas; a syngas composed primarily of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen, with very few other compounds, and thereby compositionally well-suited for further catalytic condensation into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

As seen in: USDOE Hydrogasifies Coal with Solar Power | Research & Development | News; the technology disclosed by:United States Patent: 4415339 - "Solar Coal Gasification Reactor; 1983; Inventors: William Aiman and David Gregg; Assignee: The USA, as represented by the DOE; Abstract: Coal .. is converted into a duct gas that is substantially free from hydrocarbons"; it is possible to gasify Coal, along with Steam; and, by using Solar energy to provide the needed heat; and, by recycling unwanted by-products, such as CO2 and some simple hydrocarbons, back into the Solar-heated gasification chamber for further reaction and breakdown with Coal; to produce a hydrocarbon synthesis gas consisting essentially only of reactive Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide, with little or no extraneous compounds or supposed pollutants.

We remind you as well of an earlier report concerning NASA's development of similar technology, as can be accessed via:  NASA Hydrogasifies Coal with Solar Power | Research & Development | News; and wherein is detailed: United States Patent: 4290779 - "Solar Heated Fluidized Bed Gasification System; 1981; NASA".

With apologies for the lengthy preamble, we herein submit additional documentation of that technology's reality, via an earlier technical report made by one of the named inventors ofUnited States Patent: 4415339.

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


"Title: Solar coal-gasification reactor for hydrocarbon-free synthesis gas


Author: W.R. Aiman


Date: June, 1981


OSTI ID: 6376201; DE81026600; DOE Contract Number: W-7405-ENG-48


Research Organization: Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA

Abstract: In many applications, the hydrocarbon content of the synthesis gas produced in coal gasification is very valuable. In SNG production, the end product is a high Btu gas composed of methane and higher hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the liquid hydrocarbons can be even more valuable as feedstocks for other processes. In other applications such as methanol production, the hydrocarbon content of the synthesis gas is a non-reactive diluent that must be bled away from the product synthesis area to keep its concentration from buildng up. The liquid hydrocarbons that are a valuable product in a large-scale plant can cost more to remove from the synthesis gas than they are worth in a small-scale plant. In addition to the above benefits, this reactor requires substantially less steam in the coal gasification process. The reactor is able to produce hydrocarbon-free synthesis gas because it withdraws the pyrolysis gases from the reactor as they are formed and reinjects them above the char gasification zone where they are steam reformed ... . Since almost all of the hydrocarbons released in coal gasification come off with the pyrolysis gases, the reactor will produce nearly hydrocarbon-free gas."


There is, of course, little revealed herein that is not much more fully disclosed by the later USP 4415339.

And, as in: USDOE Converts Coal to Gasoline with Solar Power | Research & Development | News; which provides details of "USP 4,229,184 - Apparatus and Method for Solar Coal Gasification; 1980; Inventor: David Gregg, CA; Assignee: The USA; Abstract: Apparatus for using focused solar radiation to gasify coal and other carbonaceous materials"; Aiman's USDOE colleague, Gregg, had begun to establish the technology disclosed jointly by them in their invention of the "Solar Coal Gasification Reactor", several years prior to issuance of that patent.

We see the report of "Solar coal-gasification reactor for hydrocarbon-free synthesis gas", which we enclose and document herein, as simply another sign along the way; a trail marker clearly defining the path that would, if we chose to follow it, enable us to convert our abundant Coal, with a minimum loss of it's energy content, and with minimal co-generation of unwanted by-products, into valuable and versatile "feedstocks for other processes ..., such as methanol production".

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