United States Patent Application: 0110281959

We have, over the course now of years, documented for you many examples of technology being developed, by various branches of our United States Department of Defense, that would enable us to, first, economically recover Carbon Dioxide from the environment, and, then, to efficiently convert that CO2 into gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

Such work began long ago, as we reported, for one example, in:

More US Air Force 1965 CO2 Recycling | Research & Development; concerning: "Investigation of Catalytic Reactions for CO2 Reduction; 1965; Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory; Abstract: Several base metal and base metal oxide CO2 reduction catalysts were selected for investigation as Part II of an in-house research program to determine catalytic effectiveness in promoting the reduction of carbon dioxide by hydrogen to methane and water."

The USDOD's Carbon Dioxide recycling efforts, with the assistance of defense contractors, continued throughout following decades, leading to what we think to be somewhat startling developments, as we saw, again for just one example, in:

CO2 to Synfuel Production Ship | Research & Development; concerning: "US Patent 4,568,522 - Synfuel Production Ship; 1986; Assignee: Grumman Aerospace Corporation; Abstract: A vessel, vehicle or aircraft is self-equipped with means for producing and storing synthetic fuel generated from the synthesis of carbon dioxide and hydrogen."

Those earlier efforts have led to a number of much more recent achievements, leading to what should have been, we also thought, a headline in every newspaper in US Coal Country: The issuance of a United States Patent, to the United States Navy, for a newer, much more efficient technology that would convert Carbon Dioxide, recovered from the environment, into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

As seen in our recent report:

US Navy Awarded September, 2011, CO2 Recycling Patent | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 8,017,658 - Synthesis of Hydrocarbons via Catalytic Reduction of CO2; September 13, 2011; 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."

Issuance of United States Patent 8.017,658, however, was not, surprisingly, the culminating achievement of our United States Department of Defense efforts to refine the technology by which we could reclaim Carbon Dioxide from the environment, and, then, efficiently convert that Carbon Dioxide into anything we now weaken our nation and impoverish our people, through economic enslavement to OPEC, for the supply of.

Our research has uncovered multiple additional documents attesting to the plain fact that our own United States Government knows full well that Carbon Dioxide can be efficiently recovered; treated in catalytic processes, some powered by renewable, environmental energy; and, be transformed by those processes into a full range of hydrocarbon fuels.

We will be following up with additional reports confirming those facts, but, herein, as published by our own United States Government just one week ago, we present additional confirmation of the fact, that, our own United States Government not only knows how to collect Carbon Dioxide and then convert it into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, but, they are continuing to improve their abilities to do so.

Comment follows excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch to:

"United States Patent Application 20110281959 - Extraction of Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen from Seawater and Hydrocarbon Production There from

Date: November 17, 2011

Inventor: Feice DiMascio, et. al. CT, MD, VA and PA

Assignee: The Government of the USA as represented by the Secretary of the Navy

Abstract: Apparatus for seawater acidification including an ion exchange, cathode and anode electrode compartments and cation-permeable membranes that separate the electrode compartments from the ion exchange compartment. Means is provided for feeding seawater through the ion exchange compartment and for feeding a dissociable liquid media through the anode and cathode electrode compartments. A cathode is located in the cathode electrode compartment and an anode is located in the anode electrode compartment and a means for application of current to the cathode and anode is provided. A method for the acidification of seawater by subjecting the seawater to an ion exchange reaction to exchange H+ ions for Na+ ions. Carbon dioxide may be extracted from the acidified seawater. Optionally, the ion exchange reaction can be conducted under conditions which produce hydrogen as well as carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide and hydrogen may be used to produce hydrocarbons.

Claims: Apparatus for treatment of seawater comprising: an ion exchange compartment, a cathode electrode compartment including a cathode, an anode electrode compartment including an anode, cation-permeable membranes separating the cathode and anode electrode compartments from the ion exchange compartment, means for feeding seawater through the ion exchange compartment, means for feeding a liquid media capable of dissociating to the anode and cathode electrode compartments, and means for application of a current to the cathode and anode to create the driving force for the ion exchange process. 

The apparatus ... wherein the means for application of current applies sufficient current the cathode and anode to acidify the seawater to a pH of about 6.5 or less.

(Note: Since a pH of 7 is neutral, a pH of 6.5 is not that "acidic"; and, it thus shouldn't take a lot of energy to provide "sufficient current" to accomplish the task of adjusting the pH.)

The apparatus ... wherein the means for applying current applies sufficient current to generate excess hydrogen in the anode and cathode compartments. 

The apparatus ... wherein the means for applying current is capable of reversing the polarity of the anode and cathode to regenerate the apparatus. 

The apparatus ... wherein the means for application of current applies sufficient current the cathode and anode to acidify the seawater to a pH of about 4.5 or less.

(A "pH of about 4.5 or less" is getting pretty acidic; and, more energy would thus be required.) 

The apparatus ... further comprising a device for separating carbon dioxide from acidified seawater obtained from the ion exchange compartment.

(Acidifying the water does make it easier to extract dissolved CO2.)

A method for treatment of seawater comprising the step of subjecting the seawater to an ion exchange reaction to exchange H+ ions for Na+ ions in the seawater under conditions sufficient to lower a pH of the seawater to less than about 6.5. 

The method ... wherein the conditions are sufficient to lower a pH of the seawater to less than about 4.5. 

The method ...  wherein sufficient current is applied in the ion exchange reaction to generate excess hydrogen. 

The method ... further comprising the step of separating carbon dioxide from acidified seawater obtained from the ion exchange reaction. 

The method ... further comprising the step of separating hydrogen from a liquid ion exchange media obtained from the ion exchange reaction. 

The method ... further comprising the step of producing hydrocarbons from the carbon dioxide obtained in the carbon dioxide separation step. 

The method ... further comprising the step of producing hydrocarbons from the carbon dioxide obtained in the carbon dioxide separation step and the hydrogen obtained from the liquid ion exchange media. 

The method ... wherein the carbon dioxide is separated from the acidified seawater by vacuum stripping. 

The method ... wherein the hydrogen is separated from the liquid ion exchange media by vacuum stripping.

Background and Field: The present invention relates to methods and apparatus for extracting carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and to processes for hydrocarbon production including the carbon dioxide extraction method. 

It is desirable to be able to produce jet fuel at sea to support aircraft carrier flight operations. In-theater, synthetic fuel production would offer significant logistical and operational advantages by reducing dependence on increasingly expensive fossil fuels and by reducing the vulnerabilities resulting from unprotected fuel delivery at sea. A ship's ability to produce a significant fraction of the battle group's fuel for operations would increase the operational flexibility and time on station by reducing the mean time between refueling.

Technologies currently exist to synthesize hydrocarbon fuel on land, given sufficient primary energy resources such as coal.

(Note the above official statement formally made by our United States Navy.)

However, these technologies are not ... practical for sea-based operation.

Extracting carbon dioxide from seawater is part of a larger project to create liquid hydrocarbon fuel at sea.

(The Disclosure herein includes an extensive reference list which might be enlightening to anyone who objects that we cannot efficiently extract Carbon Dioxide from the environment and then hydrogenate it to synthesize hydrocarbons. We've previously cited many of their authoritative sources in earlier reports.)

Summary: In a first aspect, the present invention relates to an apparatus for seawater acidification. The seawater acidification apparatus includes an ion exchange compartment, a cathode electrode compartment, an anode electrode compartment and cation-permeable membranes, which separate the cathode and anode electrode compartments from the ion exchange compartment. The apparatus includes a means for feeding seawater through the ion exchange compartment and means for feeding a liquid media capable of dissociating to provide acidic ions through the anode and cathode electrode compartments. The device also includes a cathode located in the cathode electrode compartment, an anode located in the anode electrode compartment and a means for application of current to each of the cathode and anode to create the driving force for the ion exchange process. 

In a second aspect, the present invention relates to a method for the acidification of seawater. In this method, seawater is subjected to an ion exchange reaction to exchange H+ ions for Na+ ions to thereby acidify the seawater. 

In a third aspect, the present invention relates to a method for extracting carbon dioxide from seawater. In the method, seawater is subjected to an ion exchange reaction to acidify the seawater to a pH of 6.5 or below by exchange of H+ ions for Na+ ions in the seawater. Once the seawater has been acidified, carbon dioxide is extracted as bound carbon dioxide in the form of bicarbonate, or the acidified seawater is degassed to obtain gaseous carbon dioxide. Optionally, the ion exchange reaction can be conducted under conditions which produce hydrogen as well as carbon dioxide.

(We must note that "acidifying" the water not only makes it easier to extract Carbon Dioxide, it also makes it so that less energy is required to electrochemically disassociate Water, H2O, into Hydrogen and Oxygen. The acidification step makes the whole process much more efficient.)  

In a fourth aspect, the present invention relates to a method for the production of hydrocarbons from seawater. In the method, seawater is subjected to an ion exchange reaction to acidify the seawater to a pH of 6.5 or below by exchange of H+ ions for Na+ ions in the seawater. Once the seawater has been acidified, the acidified seawater is degassed to obtain gaseous carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide obtained by degassing is fed to a reactor with hydrogen to produce hydrocarbons. Optionally, the ion exchange reaction can be conducted under conditions which produce hydrogen as well as carbon dioxide and the hydrogen produced by the ion exchange reaction can be used as a feed stream to the hydrocarbon production step."

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And, we submit, the United States Navy's own process, of "United States Patent 8,017,658 - Synthesis of Hydrocarbons via Catalytic Reduction of CO2", as cited in our introductory comments, would be an appropriate "hydrocarbon production step".

Other options, as well, exist. As seen, for example, in our reports:

USDOD Improves CO2 Recycling | Research & Development; concerning: "Title: Development of an improved Sabatier reactor; 1979; Research Organization: United Technologies Corp., Hamilton Standard Division;

Abstract: This paper presents the results of recent experimental and analytical studies of a Sabatier reactor where carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst react to form water, methane, and heat";

wherein the Methane so produced from Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen so efficiently collected by our subject process herein, of "United States Patent Application 20110281959", could then. via the process of:

Exxon 2010 CO2 + Methane = Liquid Hydrocarbons | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 7,772,447 - Production of Liquid Hydrocarbons from Methane; 2010; Assignee: ExxonMobil; Abstract: (A) process for converting methane to liquid hydrocarbons ... the process comprising: (a) contacting a feed containing methane and ...  H2O (and) CO2 with a (specified) catalyst under conditions effective to convert said methane to aromatic hydrocarbons";

be utilized to react with even more Carbon Dioxide, so efficiently collected herein, along with Hydrogen, by our subject process of "United States Patent Application 20110281959", and be made to form more "hydrocarbons".

Or, again, the Carbon Dioxide and the Hydrogen can be reacted directly, as additionally confirmed by our United States Navy, as in our report of:

US Navy Recycles CO2 to Liquid Fuel | Research & Development; concerning the somewhat earlier: "United States Patent 7,420,004 - Process and System for 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";

and be made through such a reaction to form what we all seem so desperately to need: "Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels".

And, since some electric current is required, we remind you of options, as seen in:

Mountaineer Wind Energy Center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; "Mountaineer Wind Energy Center is a wind farm ... in Preston and Tucker counties in ... West Virginia"; and, in:

Ground broken for new hydro plant   - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -; "Ground broken for new hydro plant; St. Mary's, WV; Construction is under way on a $276 million hydroelectric plant at the Willow Island Locks and Dam";

wherein we have plenty of opportunities in the Mountain State heart of US Coal Country to tap environmental, Coal-conserving energy for perhaps limited and site-specific applications, wherein Carbon Dioxide could be reclaimed, as specified by the US Navy in their "United States Patent 7,420,004 - Process and System for Producing Synthetic Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels", "from ... air", and be converted, through reactions with Hydrogen obtained from plain old H2O, perhaps via the process of our subject, "United States Patent Application 20110281959", into, well, "Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels".

Hey - has anybody heard anything lately from the Cap & Trade taxers in the US Congress?

What about the oil field CO2 Geologic Sequestration fans down in West Texas?

What about OPEC, and their future plans for price gouging?

If anyone does hear anything further from any of those clowns, we have one word we would like you to pass along to them, from us:

"Sideways."

That's only an abbreviated excerpt from a larger message, of course, which old Coal Miners will have no trouble at all in figuring out the rest of.


West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw