Carbon Dioxide - - as it is co-produced in only a small way, relative to some all-natural and un-taxable sources it's emission, such as the Earth's inexorable processes of planetary volcanism, by our economically essential use of Coal in the generation of abundant, reliable and affordable electric power - - is a valuable raw material resource.
We can harvest Carbon Dioxide from whatever source might be most convenient to us, and then use and consume that Carbon Dioxide as the key basic raw material in efficient processes which synthesize, as end products, any and all types of the liquid hydrocarbon fuels we now import as crude petroleum from OPEC.
We've made many reports over the past years concerning the United States Navy's development such technologies and processes, which can be powered by one form or another of freely available environmental energy, and which processes, first, harvest Carbon Dioxide from either the atmosphere or ocean water, and, second, then use and consume that Carbon Dioxide as the key raw material in the synthesis of liquid hydrocarbon fuels, substitutes for all the fuels ordinarily derived from OPEC petroleum.
Our most recent report of the Navy's CO2-to-Fuel technologies is accessible on the West Virginia Coal Association's web site via:
US Navy Captures CO2 and Hydrogen for Hydrocarbon Synthesis | Research & Development | News; and which report centered on:
"United States Patent Application 20140238869 - Electrochemical Module Configuration for the Continuous Acidification of Alkaline Water Sources and Recovery of CO2 with Continuous Hydrogen Gas Production; August 28, 2014; Inventors: Felice DiMascio, Heather Willauer, Dennis Hardy, Frederick Williams, Kathleen Lewis; CT, VA, MD & PA; (Presumed eventual Assignee of Rights: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy)";
but which as well contained links to previous reports concerning the Navy's CO2 recycling achievements, like those embodied, for just several examples, in:
"United States Patent 7,420,004 - Producing Synthetic Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels; 2008; Assignee: The USA, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy; Abstract: A process for producing synthetic hydrocarbons that reacts carbon dioxide, obtained from seawater or air, and hydrogen obtained from water, with a catalyst in a chemical process such as reverse water gas shift combined with Fischer Tropsch synthesis.The hydrogen is produced by ... ocean thermal energy conversion, or any other source that is fossil fuel-free, such as wind or wave energy. The process can be either land based or sea based"; and:
"United States Patent 8,017,658 - Synthesis of Hydrocarbons via Catalytic Reduction of CO2; September 13, 2011; Inventors:Nick Tran, Dennis Hardy, et. al., DC and VA; Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy; Abstract: A method of: introducing hydrogen and a feed gas containing at least 50 % carbon dioxide into a reactor containing a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst; and heating the hydrogen and carbon dioxide to a temperature of at least about 190 C. to produce hydrocarbons in the reactor. An apparatus having: a reaction vessel for containing a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst, capable of heating gases to at least about 190 C.; a hydrogen delivery system feeding into the reaction vessel; a carbon dioxide delivery system for delivering a feed gas containing at least 50 % carbon dioxide feeding into the reaction vessel; and a trap for collecting hydrocarbons generated in the reaction vessel"; and:
"United States Patent 8,436,457 - Synthesis of Hydrocarbons Via Catalytic Reduction of CO2; May 7, 2013; Inventors: Nick Tran, Dennis Hardy, Samuel Lambrakos, John Michopoulos; DC, MD and VA; Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy; Abstract: A method of: introducing hydrogen and a feed gas containing at least 50 vol % carbon dioxide into a reactor containing a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst; and heating the hydrogen and carbon dioxide to a temperature of at least about 190 C to produce hydrocarbons in the reactor. An apparatus having: a reaction vessel for containing a Fischer-Tropsch catalyst, capable of heating gases to at least about 190 C; a hydrogen delivery system feeding into the reaction vessel; a carbon dioxide delivery system for delivering a feed gas containing at least 50 vol % carbon dioxide feeding into the reaction vessel; and a trap for collecting hydrocarbons generated in the reaction vessel".
And, herein, we learn that such achievements have finally begun to be recognized by the national, if not our more local Coal Country, media as the momentous triumphs of science they are.
Comment follows excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:
"NRL Fuel from Sea Concept Receives POPULAR SCIENCE 'Best of What's New' Award
November 12, 2014
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module (E-CEM), used in the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuel - fuel from seawater - has received the POPULAR SCIENCE 2014 Best of What's New Award.
The Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module (E-CEM), developed at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), provides the Navy the capability to produce fuel stock (LNG, CNG, F-76, JP-5) at sea, or in remote locations, reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with no environmental burden and the potential to increase the Navy's energy security and independence.
A lab-scale research module, located at NRL's Key West Marine Corrosion Facility, Florida, has successfully demonstrated proof-of-concept for recovery of carbon dioxide (CO2) from seawater, and the conversion of CO2 to hydrocarbons that can be used to produce designer fuel.
'For 27 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us - those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what's possible in the future.' said Cliff Ransom, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science. 'The Best of What's New Award is the magazine's top honor, and the 100 winners - chosen from among thousands of entrants - each a revolution in its field.'
A process developed at NRL by research chemist, Dr. Heather Willauer, the E-CEM uses electricity to recover, through a 'carbon-capture' process, carbon dioxide (CO2) from seawater, and the production of hydrogen gas (H2). The conversion of CO2 and H2 to hydrocarbons (organic compounds consisting of hydrogen and carbon) by a gas-to-liquids process can be then used to produce designer synthetic fuels.
In 2013, Willauer and a team of NRL scientists demonstrated use of the synthesized fuel to power and fly an off-the-shelf radio-controlled aircraft, fitted with an unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine.
'The flight test exhibited, for the first time, the potential for transition of this novel technology from the laboratory to full-scale commercial implementation,' said Willauer. 'Further, it demonstrates that fuel recovered from a gas-to-liquids process provides proof-of-concept for a process to extract carbon dioxide, and produce hydrogen gas, from seawater.'
The process efficiencies and the capability of the E-CEM to simultaneously produce large quantities of hydrogen gas and process seawater, without the need for additional chemicals or pollutants, has made these technologies far superior to previously developed and tested membrane and ion exchange technologies for recovery of CO2 from seawater or air.
'We are greatly pleased and excited to receive this outstanding recognition from Popular Science,' Willauer said. 'In acceptance of this award, I would however, be remiss to not also mention U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Felice DiMascio, for conceptualizing the E-CEM module, and the guidance and support from NRL leadership past and present, to include Dr. Dennis Hardy, Dr. Fred Williams, Dr. Bhakta Rath, and our current Director of Research, Dr. John Montgomery, whom all share in the success and realization of this program.'
Moving forward, NRL hopes to develop the E-CEM technology to the next stages of scalability, to increase efficiencies, output volumes, and costs.
Revolutionary products that transform their category, that solve an unsolvable problem, that incorporate entirely new ideas and functions are the qualities that earn a product the POPULAR SCIENCE 'Best of What's New' Award."
Just three months ago, it was openly published in an organ of the national public media that we can, as a practical matter, harvest Carbon Dioxide from our environment, and, then, "produce designer synthetic fuels" from that Carbon Dioxide.
Why such news hasn't yet, as far as we know, been published in the United States Coal Country media, where such developments could not only save Coal industry jobs currently threatened by such suspect schemes as "Cap & Trade" CO2 taxation, but, where such developments could, as well, pave the way to the founding of new industries and new jobs in United States Coal Country, is a puzzle beyond our meager abilities to satisfactorily understand, much less answer to.
But, the Truth, as established by the United States Navy and as published, as herein, by POPULAR SCIENCE magazine, is this:
Carbon Dioxide is a valuable byproduct arising from our essential use of Coal in the generation of the abundant electricity so important to our national economy and to our individual lives. We can reclaim Carbon Dioxide, even from the environment itself, and then, in processes which can be powered by one form or another of environmental energy, we can manufacture from that Carbon Dioxide anything and everything we now squander our national US treasure, and endanger the lives of far too many of our noble young American citizens in uniform, to continue buying from OPEC.
Doesn't anyone else out there think that we - - each and every United States citizen who could benefit so much from the implementation of such technology - - deserve to be told that Truth?