United States Patent: 4476249


We've documented that Coal can be converted into the liquid fuel, Methanol, many times; often referencing the Eastman Chemical Company's plant in Kingsport, Tennessee, where such conversion is, on a commercial basis, now being done.

Herein, we submit an example of such technology designed and developed specifically for the US Navy, wherein it is posited to harness environmental energy to accomplish the needed chemical processing.

We suppose that the USDOE saw fit to pursue this development as an adjunct to their other research into the conversion of Carbon Dioxide into liquid fuels, which, as we've documented, actually began in the 1960's, through collaborative efforts between the USAF's Wright-Patterson Base and the University of Dayton; and, which has continued to this day, with, again as we've reported, US Patents being issued for such things as a "Fuel Production Ship", which would extract Carbon Dioxide from the environment and electrolyze Hydrogen from sea water, and use those raw materials to manufacture liquid fuels for other Navy ships at sea.

Recently, in fact, we made report of more of the US Navy's achievements in that arena, as now posted on the WV Coal Association's web site as:US Navy 2008 CO2 to Synfuel | Research & Development | News; wherein is disclosed: "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".

But, not only is the US Navy converting Carbon Dioxide into liquid fuels, they are, again in confirmation of other of our earlier reports, doing the same thing with Coal.


Comment follows excerpts from the link to the somewhat earlier:


"United States :Patent 4,476,249 -  Low Cost Method for Producing Methanol


Date: October, 1984


Inventor: William Avery, MD


Assignee: The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore


The Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract N00024-78-C5384 awarded by the Department of the Navy.


Abstract: Method for producing low cost methanol. A source of carbon is provided to an OTEC plant or plantship which is processed to produce carbon monoxide which is reacted with hydrogen to produce methanol. The oxygen and hydrogen are obtained from the electrolysis of water with the required energy supplied by ocean thermal energy conversion.

Claims: Method of producing low cost methanol from coal aboard an OTEC plant or plantship comprising the steps of: providing a source of carbon to an OTEC plant or plantship; obtaining carbon free hydrogen and electrolytic oxygen aboard said OTEC plant or plantship by the electrolysis of water using OTEC electric power; processing said source of carbon with said electrolytic oxygen to obtain carbon monoxide; reacting said carbon monoxide with said free hydrogen to obtain methanol. 

(And) wherein the step of providing a source of carbon to an OTEC plant or plantship is accomplished by: 

the pyrolysis of coal ... .


(And) wherein the step of providing a source of carbon to an OTEC plant or plantship is accomplished by: 

pulverizing said coal; and transporting said pulverized coal to said OTEC plant or plantship.


Background: The present invention relates to a low cost method for producing methanol from coal ... .


It is apparent that:


(1) the demand for transportation fuels will not be met by crude oil and natural gas resources, and


(2) it will be necessary to develop a worldwide synfuel industry utilizing coal."



Fully one quarter of a century ago, it was "apparent" to the United States Department of Defense and Johns Hopkins University, as affirmed herein by the United States Patent Office, that: a "synfuel industry utilizing coal" would become "necessary".

To meet that necessity, our pragmatic USDOE developed, as herein confirmed, a method for "producing low cost methanol from coal".

And, note: This USDOE-sponsored innovation utilizes environmental energy, as in "ocean thermal energy conversion", the "OTEC" acronym, above, to accomplish the task.

We again submit that we, those of us resident in US Coal Country, have plenty of environmental energy, as in the flowing water in our rivers, we could harness to that task of Coal conversion, as well.

Finally, we remind you:

Once we have, as herein, made that "low cost methanol from coal", such Methanol, a serviceable liquid fuel in it's own right, we can, via multiple known and available technologies, such as we are, in fact, further documenting today, via separate dispatch concerning: "United States Patent: 7022888 - Conversion of Methane and Organic Oxygenate to Hydrocarbons; Abstract: A process for the non-oxidative conversion of methane simultaneously with the conversion of an organic oxygenate ... to gasoline range hydrocarbons (and) wherein the organic oxygenate is ... methanol", further convert that "low cost methanol" into Gasoline.

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