United States Patent: 4011153


Herein we see, yet again, that our own United States Government developed, and has in hand, has had in hand for decades, technologies which would long ago have enabled us to start converting our abundant Coal into clean liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

In the US-patented, USDOE-developed Coal conversion technology we report in this dispatch, Federal Government scientists working in Pittsburgh, PA, disclose, in further confirmation of some of our earlier reports, that, not only can Coal be converted into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, but, those liquid fuels can be made to be free of Sulfur contamination.


Further, the USDOE confirms other of our reports, concerning the fact that synthesis gas, generated from Coal, can be made to serve in the hydrogenation of more raw Coal.

Additional, we think illuminative, comment follows excerpts from the above link to:

"United States Patent 4,011,153 - Liquefaction and Desulfurization of Coal using Synthesis Gas

Date: March, 1977


Inventor: Yuan C. Fu, PA

Assignee: The United States of America

Abstract: A process for desulfurizing and liquefying coal "by heating said coal ... in the presence of a slurry liquid, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, steam, and a catalyst comprising a desulfurization catalyst and an alkali metal salt.

Claims: A process for desulfurizing and liquifying coal while increasing the hydrogen to carbon monoxide ratio of the treat off-gas, (which comprises) heating ... under a pressure of 1500 to 5000 psig, a slurry of coal in a slurry liquid selected from ... anthracene oil ... and fuel oil product (of this invention - JtM), and a treat gas of hydrogen, carbon monoxide and steam, said steam being present (as) water (in) feed stock ... in the presence of a desulfurizing catalyst selected from the group consisting of cobalt molybdate supported on alumina, silica-stabilized cobalt molybdate supported on alumina, and nickel molybdate supported on alumina, and an alkali metal catalyst selected from the group consisting of sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate and sodium formate, whereby the coal is desulfurized and liquified to a fuel oil product and the ratio of hydrogen to carbon monoxide in the treat off-gas is increased.

Background: This invention relates to the desulfurization and liquefaction of coal. More specifically, this invention relates to a catalytic process for the desulfurization and liquefaction of coal which uses inexpensive synthesis gas.

Summary: A process has been invented for the desulfurization and liquefaction of coal which permits the use of inexpensive synthesis gas rather than requiring the use of the more expensive hydrogen and which produces a liquid oil product suitable for use as a fuel oil.

A further advantage of the process of this invention is that the hydrogen-to-carbon monoxide ratio of the off-gas leaving the reactor is increased so that the off-gas could be optionally burned as a low-Btu gas or utilized for methane production or methane synthesis. 

It is therefore one object of the present invention to provide a process for the desulfurization and liquefaction of coal."



There are several facts presented herein that are worthy of emphasis.

First, yet again, a primary, long-known Coal oil, "anthracene", can be used as a primary liquefaction reactant, in which the raw Coal is blended, preparatory to further processing.

And, plain old "steam" can be utilized in the liquefaction process as a hydrogen donor.

So productive of Hydrogen is the use of Steam, in fact, that, some of the hydrogenated synthesis gas generated from Coal can, as in our above excerpts from the Summary, be recycled back into the process to serve in the hydrogenation of more raw Coal.

And, even then, the syngas remains hydrogenated enough so that, after "a liquid oil product suitable for use as a fuel oil" has been condensed from it, the "hydrogen-to-carbon monoxide ratio of the off-gas leaving the reactor" after catalytic condensation of that "liquid oil product", can be "increased so that the off-gas could be optionally ... utilized for methane production".

We remind you, yet again:

Once we have Methane, herein generated as a by-product of a Coal liquefaction process which creates, primarily, an "oil product"; we can use that spare Methane to "reform" reclaimed Carbon Dioxide, as in our recent report of a West Virginia University Master of Science Thesis, completed in 2001 by Mahesh V. Iyer, and entitled "New Catalysts for Syngas Production from Carbon Dioxide and Methane"; and, in our reports concerning the development of CO2-CH4 tri-reforming technology, by scientists, such as Chunsan Song and Craig Grimes, at Penn State University; and, through such reforming processes, convert Carbon Dioxide into additional liquid hydrocarbons.

And, to confirm other of our previous reports, you will see, in yet another report to follow in coming days, that such by-product Methane can also be used in yet another Coal conversion process developed by the USDOE, subsequent to the one disclosed herein, to facilitate the conversion of raw Coal into even more Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide hydrocarbon synthesis gas.

Further, note, above, that "sodium formate" can serve as an "alkali metal catalyst" for the hydrogenation and liquefaction of Coal.

That fact has what might be significant implications related to the productive recycling of Carbon Dioxide, as we will soon report in a dispatch concerning a very recent US Patent issued to inventors in Japan.

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