Trusting you to recall our earlier suggestions, that the good citizens of the Texas oil patch know quite well that Carbon Dioxide can be recycled into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon fuels; and, that such knowledge was behind their enthusiastic support of the government-mandated geologic sequestration of Carbon Dioxide in leaky old oil wells, all at the expense of Coal-use industries and Coal-product consumers; and, the angry response our assertions provoked from a Texas oil industry mouthpiece, we present herein more evidence in support of that thesis.
 
The University of Houston is at work refining and further developing the 1912 Nobel-winning Sabatier process, which converts Carbon Dioxide into useful hydrocarbons.
 
Comment follows excerpts from the enclosed link to and attached file of:
 
"Mars Exploration Sabatier Processors
 
James Richardson, Ph.D., University of Houston
 
Abstract: Future manned missions to Mars plan to use in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) to reduce the mass of imported supplies. For example, by reacting hydrogen (shipped from earth or made from indigenous water) with carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere, methane can be produced and used as a fuel for the return journey. The co-product, water, is a source for the oxidant. This reduces the weight of fuel sent from Earth and can reduce overall costs by up to 45 percent.

The process uses Ru/-Al2O3 catalysts - (a "zeolite" composition, we believe, and, thus, at least generically similar to the catalyst specified by ExxonMobil in their "MTG"(r), methanol-to-gasoline, technology, wherein the methanol is posited to be made from Coal.) - in fixed bed reactors and is very exothermic (i.e. liberates heat). Heat must be removed and recovered from the reactor, and doing this can add mass and, if not functioning properly, can cause the system to fail.
 
(Note that, as in other, similar, CO2 recycling and Coal conversion processes we have documented, some of the reaction steps are "exothermic", and liberate heat energy which, we suggest, could be harvested and used to drive other stages of the total process sequence, thus contributing to production economies.)

This research alleviates these difficulties by using ceramic foam catalyst supports that give lower pressure
drop, higher activity, and improved heat transfer from the reactor, resulting in reduced mass, higher
energy efficiency, and greater reliability. UH (University of Houston.) faculty in Chemical Engineering have developed techniques for loading foams with Ru catalysts in the correct proportions.

Comparison of the performance of these foam catalysts with conventional catalyst pellets shows an improvement by a factor of two in activity and a factor of five to seven in heat transfer. With these results, better catalysts and reactors can be designed for improved systems.
 
NASA plans to establish chemical plants on Mars prior to the arrival of the first astronauts. These chemical plants will process carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere to make methane, using the Sabatier reaction, CO2 + 4H2 = CH4 + 2H2O, with H2 shipped from Earth or produced from indigenous water.

The principal product, CH4, will be used as fuel for the return journey. In addition, (the) H2O produced ... can be converted via electrolysis to generate more H2 (recycled to the process) and O2 ... ."
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In other words, all we need to produce Methane from Carbon Dioxide are Water and Electricity.
 
Do you suppose we could find any those to spare along, for instance, the Ohio River Valley?
 
Note that the Ohio River, again just as a for instance, could be harnessed to generate a little electricity, which could be used for the electrolysis of Water, to produce the needed H2, in carbon-free ways; as is, or once at least was, planned in the retrofit of an electric generating turbine in the Hannibal Locks and Dam, north of New Martinsville, WV.
 
Moreover, again, as we noted above: Some of the reaction steps are "exothermic". They liberate energy which could be used to help drive the total process of converting CO2 into Methane.
 
And, once we have the Methane, it can be reacted with even more CO2, in bi-reforming and/or tri-reforming processes, such as described by Chunsan Song and Craig Grimes at Penn State University, and others, all as we have documented, to generate more complex, and more valuable, liquid hydrocarbons.

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