United States Patent: 5254596

 

Since, via separate dispatch today, we are making report of United States Patent: 6248795 - a process for making "Dimethyl Ether and Methanol from Carbon Dioxide"; which was issued in 2001 and assigned to the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, for a "process of preparing from carbon dioxide a mixture of dimethyl ether and methanol",  we wanted to document that, aside from the critical importance of such Carbon Dioxide recycling technology, we, in the United States, have known how to manufacture those same valuable materials out of Coal for even longer.

Note that we have previously documented, numerous times, the fact that Eastman Chemical is, and has been for some time, operating a factory in Kingsport, Tennessee, where they convert Coal into Methanol.

We advise that we are including some additional links in this dispatch, following our initial exposition, concerning Eastman's Coal conversion expertise.

And, herein is seen further refinement on Eastman's Coal conversion art, with option provided for the production of the substitute Diesel fuel, Dimethyl Ether, along with Methanol, from Coal-derived synthesis gas.

Additional comment and links follow excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"United States Patent 5,254,596 - Process for the Manufacture of Methanol and Dimethyl Ether

 

Date: October, 1993

 

Inventor: Gether Irick, Jr., et. al., Tennessee

 

Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company, New York

 

Abstract: Disclosed are chemically-mixed, titanium-zinc oxide catalysts and the use of the catalysts in the manufacture of methanol and dimethyl ether wherein synthesis gas is contacted at elevated temperatures and pressures with the catalyst.

Claims: Process ... for the preparation of methanol, dimethyl ether or a mixture thereof which comprises contacting synthesis gas comprising about 8 to 20 volume percent carbon monoxide, about 72 to 92 volume percent hydrogen and up to 20 volume percent carbon dioxide with a catalyst composition essentially free of chromium, copper, and palladium comprising chemically-mixed, titanium-zinc oxide ... .

The advantages of including a small amount of carbon dioxide in synthesis gas used in the manufacture of methanol are well documented.

Description: We have discovered that catalysts comprising chemically-mixed, titanium-zinc oxide wherein the zinc constitutes less than 50 weight percent of the titanium-zinc oxide exhibit good to excellent activity and selectivity in converting synthesis gas to methanol and dimethyl ether. The present invention therefore provides a process for the preparation of methanol, dimethyl ether or a mixture thereof which comprises contacting synthesis gas with a catalyst comprising chemically-mixed, titanium-zinc oxide ... ."

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Perhaps of interest to you, as well, is the fact that Eastman has also secured World Patent rights to this Coal conversion process. As demonstrated via the following link, with brief excerpts:

 

(WO/1994/006556) PROCESS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF METHANOL AND DIMETHYL ETHER

 

Publication Number: WO/1994/006556; International Application Number: PCT/US 1993/008356

 

Applicant: Eastman Chemical Company; Kingsport, TN

 

Inventors: Gether Irick, et. al., US

 

Abstract: Disclosed are chemically-mixed, titanium-zinc oxide catalysts and the use of the catalysts in the manufacture of methanol and dimethyl ether wherein synthesis gas is contacted at elevated temperatures and pressures with the catalyst."

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Almost gratuitously by now, we still must make note, that, once we have Methanol, from either Coal or Carbon Dioxide, we can, via ExxonMobil's "MTG"(r) technology, among others, convert that Methanol into Gasoline.

Dimethyl Ether is a serviceable Diesel fuel, as is.

 

Now, truth to tell, Eastman, in their US and World Disclosures, like some similar Oil Industry technical expositions we have previously cited for you, doesn't once, throughout the document, specify - or even use the dirty word - "Coal" as the source of their synthesis gas.

That's okay, since you can generate synthesis gas from many raw materials, including Carbon-recycling organics.

But, Coal is, in fact, what Eastman was and is deriving their Methanol and Dimethyl Ether synthesis gas from, down in Tennessee; and, one further reference, documenting the words of Eastman's CEO, as recorded by the United States Senate, might help to clarify that fact.


As follows:

 

US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

 

Hearing/Meeting: Oversight on Natural Gas; Full Committee Hearing; July 10, 2003

 

Witness: Brian Ferguson, Chairman and CEO, Eastman Chemical

 

Testimony: Statement of Brian Ferguson (to the) Energy and Natural Resources Committee, US Senate

 

Eastman is a pioneer in using coal gasification to produce chemicals. Coal gasification is among the major rational responses to present and foreseeable natural gas shortages and price increases.

Coal is the most abundant and price-stable fossil energy resource in the United States. Chemical industry history strongly suggests that abundant and low cost feedstocks, market competition, and stable geopolitics are major factors in technological innovation and economic sustainability. Coal gasification is the coal technology that offers the best opportunity to support environmentally responsible and competitively sustainable basic manufacturing and electricity generation in the United States.

Between 1920 and 1930, automotive demand, petroleum resources, and a large American market stimulated the rise of the domestic petrochemical industry and the development of continuous-process technologies. With process technology cost improvements, during the interwar years the U.S. chemical industry shifted from coal to petroleum and natural gas feedstocks.

In contrast, the German chemical industry, throughout the period of 1890 to 1945, focused on development of synthetic products from coal such as synthetic ammonia and gasoline.

Coal is the most abundant and price-stable fossil energy resource in the United States. Chemical industry history strongly suggests that abundant and low cost feedstocks, market competition, and stable geopolitics are major factors in technological innovation and economic sustainability. Coal gasification is the coal technology that offers the best opportunity to support environmentally responsible and competitively sustainable basic manufacturing and electricity generation in the United States."

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And, make no mistake, Brian Ferguson means producing "synthetic products from coal such as ... gasoline" when he refers to Coal gasification as being the "technology that offers the best opportunity to support environmentally responsible and competitively sustainable basic manufacturing".

It has been seven years since the US Senate recorded his testimony.

It has been seventeen years since the US Government issued Patent 5,254,596, a "Process for the Manufacture of Methanol and Dimethyl Ether" from Coal.


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