United States Patent: 4311578

 

Two facts are of special note in this submission concerning Exxon's well-documented, intensive development of Coal liquefaction technology.

 

First, as in this foreword excerpted from the main body of the Patent Disclosure: "The Government of the U.S. of America has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. EF-77-A-01-2893 awarded by the U.S. Energy Research and Development Association, now the U.S. Department of Energy", our tax money paid for this oil industry giant to develop a process for converting our abundant domestic Coal into the liquid fuels we are now reliant on unreliable, and sometimes hostile, foreign sources for the supply of.

The quote is accurate, whether or not it should have read "Administration" rather than "Association". But, the real point is that We the People, who paid for this technology to be developed, have not yet, almost thirty years after the fact, even been privileged to hear about it, much less been allowed to put it to work in a way that would, through it's domestic economic effect, improve all of our personal financial outlooks; and, by freeing us from overseas obligations and strangling the Serpent's money spigot, make us all considerably safer.

 

Second, a "hydrogen donor solvent" is required in this Exxon process to liquefy Coal, and, in clear confirmation of some of our earlier reports, as indicated in the Patent's full Title, and as in this foreword excerpt: "solvent is prepared by first separating a solvent or diluent distillate fraction from the liquefaction product", the substance which actually dissolves the Coal is made from the Coal.

 

Summary comment follows more complete excerpts from:

 

"United States Patent 4,311,578 - Liquefaction Process (with) Solvents Derived from the Material Liquefied

 

Date: January, 1982

 

Inventor: B.T. Fant, et. al., TX

 

Assignee: Exxon Research and Engineering Company, NJ

 

Abstract: An improved process for the liquefaction of solid carbonaceous materials wherein a solvent or diluent derived from the solid carbonaceous material being liquefied is used to form a slurry of the solid carbonaceous material and wherein the solvent or diluent comprises from about 65 to about 85 wt. % hydroaromatic components. The solvent is prepared by first separating a solvent or diluent distillate fraction from the liquefaction product, subjecting this distillate fraction to hydrogenation and then extracting the naphthenic components from the hydrogenated product. The extracted naphthenic components are then dehydrogenated and hydrotreated to produce additional hydroaromatic components. These components are combined with the solvent or diluent distillate fraction. The solvent may also contain hydroaromatic constituents prepared by extracting naphthenic components from a heavy naphtha, dehydrogenating the same and then hydrotreating the dehydrogenated product. When the amount of solvent produced in this manner exceeds that required for steady state operation of the liquefaction process a portion of the solvent or diluent distillated fraction will be withdrawn as product.

 

Government Interests: The Government of the U.S. of America has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. EF-77-A-01-2893 awarded by the U.S. Energy Research and Development Association, now the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Claims: (A) process for liquefying coal and similar solid carbonaceous materials wherein the solid carbonaceous material is slurried with a hydrogen donor solvent or a diluent distillate fraction derived from the solid carbonaceous material subjected to liquefaction and hydrogenated to increase the hydrogen donor species content thereof ... .

 

An improved process for the liquefaction of coal and similar solid carbonaceous materials ... .

 

Background: This invention relates to an improved process for converting coal or similar solid carbonaceous materials. More particularly, this invention relates to an improved process for liquefying coal and similar carbonaceous substances. 

As is well known, coal has long been used as a fuel in many areas. For several reasons, such as handling problems, waste disposal problems, polution problems and the like, coal has not been a particularly desirable fuel from the ultimate consumers point of view. Moreover, coal cannot be used directly, especially in areas where a liquid fuel is required, such as in the operation of automobiles, trucks and airplanes. As a result, oil and gas have enjoyed a dominant position, from the standpoint of fuel sources throughout the world. 

As is also well known, proven petroleum and gas reserves are shrinking throughout the world and the need for alternate sources of energy is becoming more and more apparent. One such alternate source is, of course, coal since coal is an abundant fossil fuel in many countries throughout the world. Before coal will be widely accepted as a fuel, however, it is believed necessary to convert the same to a form which will not suffer from the several disadvantages alluded to previously and which will permit the use of those areas where a liquid fuel is normally required. 

To this end, several processes wherein coal is liquefied have been proposed heretofore. Of these several liquefaction processes which have been heretofore proposed, those processes wherein coal is liquefied in the presence of a hydrogen donor solvent or diluent and molecular hydrogen appear to offer the greater advantages. In these processes, liquefaction is accomplished at elevated temperatures and pressures and a relatively broad range of gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon products is invariably produced.

 

Summary: It has now been discovered that the ... disadvantages of the prior (coal liquefaction) processes can be reduced with the method of the present invention and an improved liquefaction process provided thereby. It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide an improved liquefaction process ... wherein a solvent or diluent derived from the solid carbonaceous material subjected to liquefaction but containing a higher percentage of donatable hydrogen species is employed. It is still another object of this invention to provide such an improved liquefaction process wherein lower yields of gaseous products and an associated reduction in hydrogen consumption is realized.

 

In accordance with the present invention, the ... objects and advantages are accomplished by liquefying a coal or similar solid carbonaceous material (i.e., Coal, in plainer terms; and, we submit, as in earlier, related technologies we've documented for you, renewable and carbon-recycling Cellulose. - JtM) in the presence of a hydrogen donor solvent or diluent which is derived from the solid carbonaceous material subjected to liquefaction ... or the same may be ... extracted from ... distillate fractions of the liquefaction product.

 

Moreover, and when desired, completely saturated species from other distillate fractions of the liquefaction product may be selectively extracted, and converted to the corresponding donatable hydrogen species and combined with the solvent or diluent distillate fraction. 

Finally, the bottoms may be burned directly to produce energy for the liquefaction process or gasified to produce either an intermediate BTU fuel gas or hydrogen for use in the liquefaction process. Alternatively, and especially where substantially all of the carbonaceous material is liquefied, the bottoms may simply be discarded."

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As we have documented in previous reports from other sources, "the bottoms", as immediately above, or residues, which might be generated by a Coal conversion process, themselves have value which can be extracted and utilized. But, again in confirmation of previous reports, some Coal liquefaction processes are so effective that virtually "all of the carbonaceous material is liquefied".

 

And, finally, Exxon discusses, in the full Disclosure, "hydrotreating" and "hydrogenation" processes for the Coal-derived liquids as just being standard operating procedures for conventional petroleum refineries.

 

Once we have "all of the carbonaceous material ... liquefied", we can simply refine, in existing facilities, the Coal-derived liquids into direct replacements for our current petroleum-based motor fuels.

 

As in Exxon's Statement of Government Interests, our government-appropriated tax money paid for all of those facts to be established.


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