Reduction of co-containing gases

First of all, keep in mind that Carbon Monoxide, which some really old Coal miners might still call the "White Damp", and which all Coal miners carry portable "self-rescuers" to, if needed, protect themselves against, can, despite its unpleasant nature, still be some pretty nifty stuff to have a little of.



As seen in just one of our earlier reports:

Pittsburgh 1951 Carbon Monoxide + Water = Hydrocarbons | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 2,579,663 - Process of Synthesizing Hydrocarbons; 1951; Assignee: Gulf Research and Development Company, Pittsburgh; Abstract: This invention relates to a process for synthesizing hydrocarbons; more particularly the invention relates to a process for synthesizing normally liquid hydrocarbons from carbon monoxide and steam";

we've known, even in one of the hearts of US Coal Country, for a long time, that, once we have the reactive Carbon Monoxide, the only other thing we really need is Water, H2O, i.e. "steam", in order to start making some, one would think badly-needed, "liquid hydrocarbons" for ourselves.

And, herein, from Sweden, we have further confirmation of the fact, that, all we need in order to make some of that useful Carbon Monoxide is hot Coal, and, Carbon Dioxide.

Comment, and additional links with excerpts, follow excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"United States Patent 2,607,667 - Reduction of CO2-Containing Gases

(Note that the title as it is represented in the link we utilize herein is a misprint. "CO2", not "CO" as seen in that link, is the initial subject matter.)

Date: August, 1952

Inventor: John Ludvig Stalhed,, Sweden

Assignee: Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags Aktiebolag, a corporation of Sweden

Abstract: The reduction of CO2-containing gases for metallurgical purposes has hitherto as a rule been carried out in such a way, that the starting gas is blown through an electrically-heated layer of charcoal.

(Note the potentials for a "double your pleasure" CO2-recycling process, wherein Carbon Dioxide gas would be blown through hot Charcoal derived, one presumes, from botanical sources; which botanical sources of Carbon, or Charcoal, got to be what they are by sucking Carbon Dioxide out of the atmosphere.)

Because of charcoal being much more expensive than coke it has for a long time been desired to replace the charcoal by the less expensive coke in this reduction process.

(Keep in mind that it is a Carbon Dioxide "reduction process" they are talking about.)

On account of the high temperature required when using coke for reduction purposes the difficulty arises that the ash constituents of the coke will sinter and that satisfactory arrangements for discharging sintered slag or ashes so far are not available.

In ... water gas generators ... it has been tried to obviate this drawback by increasing the temperature further and discharging the ash or clinker in fluid (molten) condition.

(We must pause for a moment to dwell upon the subject of "water gas generators", which, apparently, better than half a century ago, some people were already quite familiar with. Referring to our well-worn:

Water gas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; we're told that: "Water gas is a synthesis gas containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. (It) is made by passing steam over a red-hot hydrocarbon fuel such as coke (as in) H2O + C = H2 + CO".

Strictly speaking, "coke", i.e., "C", as above, isn't, as they call it, a "hydrocarbon". But, we'll forgive them the lapse. The point is, we can make some useful Hydrogen, and more Carbon Monoxide, by reacting "H2O" with hot "C"oal. And, that process had been, at roughly the time our subject Swedish developments herein were established, updated, modernized and made more efficient, as seen in:

More WV DuPont 1955 Coal and Steam to Hydrocarbon Syngas | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 2,716,598 - Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen (from) Carbonaceous Solids; 1955;  Assignee: E..I. DuPont and Company; Abstract: This invention relates to a process for the preparation of carbon monoxide and hydrogen by at least partial oxidation of comminuted solid carbonaceous materials, and is more particularly directed to the preparation of hydrogen, gaseous mixtures containing hydrogen and nitrogen, and gaseous mixtures containing hydrogen and carbon monoxide by the partial oxidation of powdered coal ... with oxygen and steam".)

The present invention relates to such a modification of the method and the arrangements hitherto used in reduction by means of charcoal so that such methods and arrangements may be used for reduction by means of readily sintering reduction agents such as coke.

(Yet again: Keep mind that it is the chemical "reduction" of Carbon Dioxide they are referring to. And, it isn't the chemical reduction reaction they're improving, just the mechanical means of getting 'er done.)

The method according to the invention is mainly characterized thereby, that the gas to be reduced is supplied to an electrically heated layer of coke, which layer is of such volume that the reduction can be carried out at a temperature below that at which the risk of sintering arises.

(That is an issue we have previously documented and treated. Aside from the advantages specified by these Swedish scientists, using "electrically heated" raw materials would avoid the generation of any additional Carbon Dioxide through the partial combustion of the Coal to provide that heat energy. We have documented some of those related potentials in previous reports, such as, for example, from a month or so ago:

USDOE Converts Coal to Gasoline with Solar Power | Research & Development | News; concerning: "United States Patent 4,229,184 - Apparatus and Method for Solar Coal Gasification; 1980; Assignee: The USA; Abstract: Apparatus for using focused solar radiation to gasify coal and other carbonaceous materials. Steam introduced into the gasification reactor reacts with the heated coal to produce gas consisting mainly of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, commonly called "synthesis gas", which can be converted to methane, methanol, gasoline, and other useful products".

We have also at least made reference to the use of electric arcs and, as specified by our Swedish scientists herein, electric resistance, to accomplish the necessary heating of the raw materials, without entailing the co-generation, through partial oxidation of those raw materials, of more Carbon Dioxide. But, we will address those potentials more thoroughly in coming reports.)

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention the desired volume and thereby the required time of contact between the gas and the pieces of coke is attained by providing a layer of coke of large extent in the direction of the flow of the gas and that the entire column of coke in the path of the gas flowing through the cupola is supplied with electric energy, so that the entire column will become heated to the desired reduction temperature.

(Since we're using "electric energy" to heat the Coal, so that CO2 can be reduced, we'll note that, as in:

Hydropower: A Small but Growing Presence in W.Va. Electric Grid - State Journal -;

"While West Virginia electric power generation is dominated by large coal-burning power plants, hydropower has a presence in the Mountain State, too";

we have some Coal Country options for generating electricity for use in Carbon Dioxide recycling processes, such as that in our subject "United States Patent 2,607,667", which don't entail the generation of even more Carbon Dioxide.)

Claims: The method of reducing gases rich in carbon dioxide comprising the steps of forming a vertically extending and continuously sinking elongated column of substantially greater length than diameter of a carbonaceous reducing agent containing readily sintering ash constituents (i.e., hot Coal), supplying a reducing agent to the top of said column and discharging combustion residues from the bottom of said column, introducing the gas to be reduced (i.e., Carbon Dioxide) into said column from above the top thereof, drawing the reduced gas from the lower end of said column, and heating the column through substantially the entire length thereof to a temperature not exceeding the sintering temperature of the ash constituents of the said carbonaceous reducing agent (i.e., again, Coal, and/or Carbon-recycling Charcoal) by passing electrical current vertically through substantially the entire length of said column."


All of that, much less the details of the full Disclosure, which we haven't reproduced, reflects a pretty thorough understanding of how Carbon Dioxide can be recycled, doesn't it?

Again, note that the use of "electrical resistance" heating not only would, if the electricity were generated by harnessing environmental energy, prevent generation of additional Carbon Dioxide, it would, as well, again if it were generated from environmental sources, prevent the formation of Nitrogen Oxides through partial oxidation, to obtain the needed heat, using Air, and/or the expense the of producing purified Oxygen for use, instead of Air, to the same end of forestalling Nitrogen Oxide co-generation in the process of heating the Coal so that it's reactive enough to chemical reduce the Carbon Dioxide.

But, such a thorough understanding Carbon Dioxide reduction, in Sweden, was actually founded on an even earlier expression of the art originating in that country. As documented in:

Method for reducing the carbonic acid in carbonic acid containing gases to carbon monoxide; concerning:

"United States Patent 1,851,473 - Reducing Carbonic Acid in Carbonic Acid Containing Gases

Date: March, 1932

Inventor: Frans Wiberg, Sweden

Abstract: Applicant's previous USA Patent No. 1,401,222 describes a method for the reduction of ores by means of carbon monoxide gas, which can be produced by reducing the carbon dioxide in a carbon dioxide containing gas be means of carbon or carbonaceous material.

(The old boy can't bring himself to say "Coal", can he? Like many of the Big Oil expositions of Coal conversion technology we've already brought to your attention, that good ole "carbonaceous material" fig leaf is consistently employed to disguise the naughty bits.

Concerning the referenced technology, US Patent 1,401,222, however, if interested, refer to:

Method of and furnace for reducing ores and oxygen compounds utilized as ores; and, you'll discover that its a process for using pure Carbon Monoxide, as opposed to impure Coke itself, for the refining, the reducing or "de-oxidizing", of Iron Ores during the steel-making process. That is what the Swedes were most interested in obtaining Carbon Monoxide for, given their stature, at that time, as a major European steel producer.

As we will again remind you, further on, there are some, perhaps more intriguing, things we can do with Carbon Monoxide. )

The present method consists in this, that one part of the heat necessary for the reduction of the carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide is supplied in such a way, that air or oxygen is supplied, alternately with carbon dioxide containing gas, for the combustion of one part of the carbon or carbonaceous material.

By means of the heat thus generated one part of the carbon dioxide, contained in the gas, is reduced to carbon monoxide, whereafter a further reduction of the carbon dioxide contained in the gas is effected by leading the gas into contact with carbonaceous material, heated by electrical energy.

(Yes, again, "electrical energy" would have to be somehow generated, since it is used herein to at least partly conserve the Carbon content of the raw materials. And, to reiterate a point we've made many times before, as seen for one example in:

Ground broken for new hydro plant   - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports - ; wherein is reported: "Ground broken for new hydro plant; St. Marys, WV; Construction is under way on a $276 million hydroelectric plant at the Willow Island Locks and Dam"

we, based on our topography and weather, have many, many potentials in Coal Country for generating what might be termed Carbon-free electricity, perhaps site and use-specific electricity, for use in CO2-recycling technologies such as those disclosed by our subject US Patents 2,607,667 and 1,851,473.)

In practice the method can be executed in such a way, that the gas containing carbon dioxide is first caused to pass through an ordinary watergas producer, where the layer of coke is with certain intervals blown hot in the ordinary way by means of air (or, we again submit, purified O2, to prevent formation of Nitrogen Oxides, which would, in any case, waste heat energy and the available Oxygen in plain air. - JtM), whereby the greatest part of the carbon dioxide is transformed into carbon monoxide, whereafter the amount of carbon dioxide can be further reduced at higher temperatures in an apparatus containing electrically heated coke."


Simply put:

We can convert, recycle, Carbon Dioxide into Carbon Monoxide, by reacting it with hot Coal.


And, once we have the Carbon Monoxide, we can, as explained in:

Fischer–Tropsch process - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; wherein we see that the "Fischer-Tropsch process ... is a set of chemical reactions that convert a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid


react that Carbon Monoxide with elemental Hydrogen, perhaps obtained via a process such as that seen in:

More NASA Hydrogen from Water and Sunlight | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 4,051,005 - Photolytic Production of Hydrogen; 1977; Assignee: United Technologies Corporation;

Government Interests: The invention described herein was made in the course of a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Abstract: Hydrogen and oxygen are produced from water in a process involving the photo-dissociation of molecular bromine with radiant energy at wavelengths within the visible light region";

and thereby synthesize "liquid hydrocarbons".

Or, perhaps more simply, as in the above-cited "US Patent 2,579,663 - Process of Synthesizing Hydrocarbons"; and, additionally, in:

Germany 1957 Carbon Monoxide + H2O = Hydrocarbons | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 2,786,863 - Catalytic Steam-Carbon Monoxide Synthesis; 1957; Assignee: Rheinprussen Aktiengesellschaft fur Bergbau and Chemie, Homburg; Abstract: This invention relates to the catalytic steam-carbon monoxide synthesis of hydrocarbons and oxygen-containing compounds";

by reacting only Water, H2O, with such Carbon Monoxide, made so efficiently by reacting Carbon Dioxide, recovered, perhaps, from the effervescent waters of an all-natural hot spring, with some of our red-hot Coal.

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