United States Patent Application: 0130245136

We were at work on a report dealing with another Coal-related issue just yesterday when the US Patent Application we bring to you herein was published online by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

It is not, as you will see, the result of research and development undertaken by some large, impeccable, and well-financed, government entity, or institution of higher learning, or major corporation.

It is, however, so timely, and so confirmative of the fact, that, everywhere but in US Coal Country it seems, it is known that Carbon Dioxide - - as arises in a small way relative to some natural sources of emission, such as the Earth's inexorable and un-taxable processes of planetary volcanism, from our economically essential use of Coal in the generation of truly abundant and truly affordable electric power - - is a valuable raw material resource from which we can synthesize any and all sorts of hydrocarbons; and, as seen in our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | US Gov Confirms Coal Can Be A CO2-Neutral Source Of Power | Research & Development; "United States Patent 8,461,215 - Rendering Coal As An Environmentally Carbon Dioxide Neutral Fuel And A Regenerative Carbon Source; 2013; Inventors: George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash; Assignee: The University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Abstract: The invention provides a method for rendering coal as an environmentally essentially carbon dioxide-neutral fuel. Carbon dioxide produced from coal combustion is captured, purified, combined with ... methane or ... or with hydrogen, and reacted under reaction conditions sufficient to form methanol and/or dimethyl ether, which can be used as fuel or feedstock for derived synthetic hydrocarbons";

in so doing we could make our abundant Coal a "Carbon Dioxide Neutral" source of electric power, that we had to bring it to you.

More than that, it confirms that excess industrial process heat, as perhaps best monumentalized by the massive cooling towers that adorn many Coal-fired power plants, is, as well, a valuable resource which, if we devoted some thought and energy to the matter, we could devise productive ways to utilize.

First, by way of introduction, we remind you, that, as seen for one example in our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | USDOE and Delaware Sunshine Extracts Hydrogen from Water | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20130175180 - Devices and Methods for Increasing Solar Hydrogen Conversion Efficiency in Photovoltaic Electrolysis; 2013; Assignee: University of Delaware, Newark; Abstract: Devices and methods for photovoltaic electrolysis are disclosed (which) comprises receiving solar energy with a photovoltaic cell element, converting a portion of the solar energy into electrical energy, passing another portion of the solar energy through the photovoltaic cell element, receiving with an aqueous electrolyte the other portion of the solar energy, transmitting the electrical energy generated by the photovoltaic cell element to a pair of electrodes, and electrolyzing the aqueous electrolyte with the pair of electrodes. Government Interests: This invention was made with Government support ... by the Department of Energy. This invention ... allows the generation of hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2) from water using solar energy";

we are becoming proficient in the generation of Hydrogen from Water through the employment of freely available environmental energy to drive the processes.

That said, we find herein further confirmation of the concepts embodied in the above-cited "United States Patent 8,461,215 - Rendering Coal As An Environmentally Carbon Dioxide Neutral Fuel And A Regenerative Carbon Source", wherein Carbon Dioxide can be reacted with Hydrogen, with both of them,  via subsequent processing, being converted into valuable hydrocarbons.

As seen in excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"United States Patent Application 20130245136 - System For and Method Of Using On-Site Excess Heat to Convert CO2 Emissions into Hydrocarbons Income at Coal-Fired Power Plant

SYSTEM FOR AND METHOD OF USING ON-SITE EXCESS HEAT TO CONVERT CO2 EMISSIONS INTO HYDROCARBONS INCOME AT COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT

Date: September 19, 2013

Inventor: Jeffrey M. Carey, CA

Assignee: Marine Power Products Incorporated, Hayward, CA

(More about "Marine Power Products" can be learned via:

http://marinepowerproducts.com/; "Marine Power Products (MPP) has developed significant energy technology which converts low temperature heat and water into fuel. We are proving an approach to splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen gases with waste heat. Heat wasted at power plants, both fossil-fired and renewable, can be made into very cost-effective hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used (to) convert ... Carbon Dioxide into gasoline. Our technology offers an extremely attractive solution to cleaning up our environment and cutting our energy needs. We call this technology Active Ion Displacement or AID. The chemical agents in the AID process are reused and do not create a need for substantial waste handling and disposal. Hydrogen from the AID process can be readily converted into liquid fuels that substitute for petroleum".)

Abstract: A solution is provided for CO2 and other green houses gas reduction at the Coal Fired Power Plants (CFPP). The methods and devices disclosed herein provide an inexpensive source of hydrogen and a hydrogen generating system powered by on-site excess heat generated at the CFPP without producing additional CO2 emission.

Claims: A system for producing hydrocarbon compounds comprising:

a. a hydrogen producing unit;

b. a furnace producing heat and carbon dioxide; and:

c. a hydrocarbon converter, wherein the hydrocarbon converter receives the carbon dioxide from the furnace and receives hydrogen from the hydrogen producing unit. 

The system ...  wherein the furnace comprises a coal fired power plant (or other) coal-combustor. 

The system ... further comprising a CO2-to-methanol converter. 

The system ... wherein the hydrocarbon converter comprises a methanol-to-gasoline converter.

(Note, that, as seen in our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | August 2011, CO2-to-Gasoline US Patent Awarded | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,989,507 - Production of Fuel Materials Utilizing Waste Carbon Dioxide; 2011; Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Germany; Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method for utilizing CO2 waste comprising recovering carbon dioxide from an industrial process that produces a waste stream comprising carbon dioxide (and) producing hydrogen using a renewable energy resource and producing a hydrocarbon material utilizing the produced hydrogen and the recovered carbon dioxide. In one aspect ... the present invention provides a novel, efficient, and economical method and system for producing useful fuel materials, i.e. methane, methanol carbon monoxide, syngas, gasoline products, and/or other fuel materials, from carbon dioxide recovered from carbon dioxide-containing waste streams via hydrogen produced by renewable energy resources";

this is not the first invention to suggest or describe the conversion of Carbon Dioxide into Gasoline, although it's process seems to indicate a more indirect route, through Methanol. But, as far as what a "methanol-to-gasoline converter" might be, see, for one example, our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | ExxonMobil Coal to Methanol to Gasoline | Research & Development; concerning both:

"United States Patent 4,348,486 - Production of Methanol via Catalytic Coal Gasification; 1982; Assignee: Exxon Research and Engineering Company; Claims: A process for the production of methanol from a carbonaceous feed material (by)gasifying said carbonaceous feed material with steam ... and added hydrogen and carbon monoxide (and) wherein said carbonaceous feed material comprises coal. This invention provides a process for producing methanol by the substantially thermoneutral reaction of steam with coal"; and:

"United States Patent 4,035,430 - Conversion of Methanol to Gasoline; 1977; Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation; Abstract: The conversion of methanol to gasoline boiling products in a plurality of sequentially arranged catalyst beds".)

The system ... wherein the hydrocarbon converter receives hydrogen from the hydrogen producing unit. 

The system ... wherein the furnace receives oxygen from the hydrogen producing unit (and) wherein the heat generates heated water to be supplied to the hydrogen producing unit. 

The system ... wherein the hydrogen producing unit comprises an aluminum compound based catalytic system.

(Aluminum-based water-splitting hydrogen production schemes have been around for quite a while, as witness:

"United States Patent: 4358291 - Solid State Renewable Energy Supply; 1982; Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation, NY; Abstract: A solid state renewable energy supply is provided by the oxidation of a passivating oxide forming solid state material in the presence of oxygen under the control of a passivating oxide preventing agent forming thereby an oxide reaction product, heat and hydrogen. The oxide reaction product is then electrolytically or thermo chemically reduced to recover the solid state material. Aluminum is hydrolized in the presence of gallium producing aluminum oxide, heat and hydrogen. The aluminum oxide is in turn electrolyzed back to aluminum".

Effort continues to be devoted to the improvement of Aluminum-Hydrogen schemes; but, from our perspective, the energy required to convert the resulting Aluminum Oxide, from the Al + H2O reaction, back into elemental Aluminum for recycling to the process makes the entire concept impractical, even though, as in USP 4,358,291, efforts continue to be directed to the incorporation of "gallium", and related metals, into the process to at least slow down the formation of Aluminum Oxide. If you have to electrolyze the Aluminum Oxide back into Aluminum to produce Hydrogen from Water, you might as well electrolyze the Water to produce the Hydrogen directly. But, if, as seems indicated, thermal cycle Hydrogen production is desired in this process, then, as seen in our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | USDOE 1976 Thermochemical Hydrogen from Water | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 3,996,343 - Process for Thermochemically Producing Hydrogen; Inventors: Carlos Bamberger and Donald Richardson, Oak Ridge, TN; Assignee: The United States of America; Abstract: Hydrogen is produced by the reaction of water with chromium sesquioxide and strontium oxide. The hydrogen producing reaction is combined with other reactions to produce a closed chemical cycle for the thermal decomposition of water";

there might be more energy-efficient metals and metal compounds than Aluminum with which to accomplish such thermal cycle Hydrogen production from Water.). 

A method of producing a hydrocarbon compound comprising:

a. generating hydrogen and oxygen using an aluminum based catalyst and heat generated at a power plant; and:

b. converting CO2 generated at the power plant to a hydrocarbon compound. 

(And) wherein the hydrocarbon compound comprises gasoline (or) kerosene, or diesel. 

A method of mitigating carbon dioxide production comprising:

a. generating hydrogen using an aluminum based catalyst at a hydrogen producing unit;

b. combining the hydrogen and substantial all of carbon dioxide generated at a furnace of a power plant; and:

c. converting the carbon dioxide to a hydrocarbon compound. 

The method ... further comprises a methanol converter, such that the hydrogen and the carbon dioxide are combined to produce methanol.

(Keep in mind, that, as seen for just one example in our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | The University of Oxford Converts CO2 into Methanol | Research & Development; concerning: "Process For Producing Methanol; Publication No: WO/2011/045605; International Application No: PCT/GB2010/051733; 2010; Applicants: Isis Innovation Limited, Great Britain; ("Isis Innovation Ltd is a British technology transfer company, wholly owned by the University of Oxford"); Abstract: The present invention relates to a novel process for the production of methanol. The process comprises the heterolytic cleavage of hydrogen ... and the hydrogenation of CO2 with the heterolytically cleaved hydrogen to form methanol";

the synthesis of Methanol via the reaction of Carbon Dioxide with Hydrogen is established art.)

The method ... wherein the methanol is converted to gasoline at a methanol-to-gasoline converter.

(Again, as in the above-cited Mobil Oil process of "United States Patent 4,035,430 - Conversion of Methanol to Gasoline", for just one example.)

Summary: In some embodiments, the present invention provides a solution for CO2 and other green house gas reduction at the Coal Fired Power Plants (CFPP). The methods and devices disclosed herein provide an inexpensive source of hydrogen and provide a hydrogen producing system powered by on-site excess heat generated at the CFPP without producing additional CO2 emission.

In an aspect, a system for producing a hydrocarbon compound comprising a hydrogen producing unit, a furnace producing heat and carbon dioxide, and a hydrocarbon converter, wherein the hydrocarbon converter receives the carbon dioxide from the furnace and receives hydrogen from the hydrogen producing unit. In some embodiments, the furnace comprises a coal fired power plant. In other embodiments, the furnace comprises a coal-combustor. In some other embodiments, the system further comprises a CO2-to-methanol converter. In some embodiments, the hydrocarbon converter comprises a methanol-to-gasoline converter. In other embodiments, the hydrocarbon converter receives hydrogen from the hydrogen producing unit. In some other embodiments, the hydrocarbon converter comprises a Fischer-Tropsch processing unit. In some embodiments, the hydrocarbon converter comprises a paraffin producing unit. In some other embodiments, the hydrocarbon converter comprises a naphtha, kerosene, or diesel producing unit.

In other embodiments, the hydrocarbon compound comprises gasoline.

In some other embodiments, the hydrocarbon compound comprises paraffin. In some embodiments, the hydrocarbon compound comprises naphtha, kerosene, or diesel. In other embodiments, the hydrocarbon compound comprises methanol.

In another aspect, a method of mitigating carbon dioxide production comprising generating hydrogen using an aluminium based catalyst at a hydrogen producing unit, combining the hydrogen and ... carbon dioxide generated at a furnace of a power plant, and converting the carbon dioxide to a hydrocarbon compound.

In some embodiments, the method further comprises a methanol converter, such that the hydrogen and the carbon dioxide are combined to produce methanol. In other embodiments, the methanol is converted to gasoline at a methanol-to-gasoline converter.

Detailed Description of a Preferred Embodiment: Figure 1 illustrates a coal fired power plant for converting carbon dioxide to gasoline in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention. The plant  comprises a hydrogen production unit, a methanol-to-gasoline converter (MTG converter), a CO2-to-methanol converter, and a furnace. The furnace is able to be a CFPP (i.e., "coal fired power plant"), which comprises a coal furnace, a chamber area for flue gas, and turbine and condenser for generating electricity".

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As we've seen in:

West Virginia Coal Association | WVU March 28, 2013, Economical Harvesting of Flue Gas CO2 | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20130078172 - Layered Solid Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Capture; 2013; Assignee: West Virginia University Research Corporation, Morgantown; Abstract: A solid sorbent for the capture and the transport of carbon dioxide gas is provided ... . Government Interests: Certain embodiments of this invention were made with Government support in conjunction with the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Pittsburgh, Pa., under RES contract number DE-FE0004000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. A method of capturing carbon dioxide from a pollutant source comprising: passing an effluent stream of gas containing carbon dioxide through or in contact with a solid sorbent (as disclosed)";

we continue to improve the efficiency of our flue gas CO2 capture technologies; and, as herein, we can then, with the potential for using environmental energies, and waste Coal-fired power plant heat, to drive the processes, convert that captured Coal exhaust CO2 into such seemingly-desirable stuff as "gasoline (or) kerosene, or diesel", as well as "methanol".

 

In truth, our take on the enclosed "United States Patent Application 20130245136 - System For and Method Of Using On-Site Excess Heat to Convert CO2 Emissions into Hydrocarbons Income at Coal-Fired Power Plant" is that it will require some rather significant editing and revision before the US Patent and Trademark Office will finally approve it as a US Patent.

There is some confusing, to us, intermingling of the descriptions of the processes of CO2 conversion into Methanol, and then into Gasoline, for instance, as opposed to the more direct conversion of CO2 into "kerosene or diesel" via the specified "Fischer-Tropsch processing unit".

We, at least, were somewhat confused.

That said, however, it is further confirmation of the fact, that, another fact, i.e., Carbon Dioxide can be efficiently recovered and then be converted into hydrocarbons, is becoming much more widely recognized and acknowledged all across the United States of America - except, perhaps, where we most need, and deserve, to be told the truth of it: right here, in the heart of US Coal Country.

It's getting to be far past time that omission was corrected.


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