United States Patent: 3959094

This might be a repeat of a dispatch already sent long ago. However, our computer breakdown last fall might have forestalled our transmission; and, we can find no record of it in the WV Coal Association R&D archives.

It, in any case, bears repeating.

Our own United States Government, 35 years ago, developed, and awarded itself the sole rights to utilize, a technology that would allow us to convert Carbon Dioxide, dissolved in Water, into Methanol.


Implications of that statement for the moment aside, comment follows excerpts from the above link to:

"United States Patent 3,959,094 - Electrolytic Synthesis of Methanol from CO2

Date: May, 1976

Inventor: Meyer Steinberg, NY

Assignee: The USA as represented by the USDOE

Abstract: A method and system for synthesizing methanol from the CO2 in air using electric power.

The CO2 is absorbed by a solution of KOH to form K2CO3 which is electrolyzed to produce methanol, a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.

Summary: In accordance with a preferred embodiment of this invention, a solution of KOH is employed to absorb CO2 from air forming an aqueous solution of K2CO3, the solution is then electrolyzed to produce CH3OH (i.e., Methanol) and reform KOH in solution, the CH3OH is then removed, and make-up water is then added prior to repeating the aforementioned steps. Other products ... are also formed which can be separated and recovered as valuable products.

By the process described above, it is seen that any source of electrical power may be employed, such as coal-fired power plants. However, from an environmental point of view ... solar energy generated power, would be preferred.


Or, wind-, or hydro-, generated power, which we could make some of in US Coal Country, we submit, would work as well as "solar energy generated power".

But, again: It is all used to recover CO2 from the atmosphere itself and then to convert it into the valuable, nearly-precious, Methanol - which can be used as liquid fuel, as is; or, be further converted into Gasoline; or, be used in the manufacture of various useful Plastics, where the CO2 consumed in the original synthesis of the Methanol would be forever, and productively, "sequestered".

So, where we begin installing such facilities shouldn't really matter.

It depends, we guess, on who most wants the jobs, and the income from the Methanol, in their area.

It might depend as well on who most wants to drive stakes through the hearts of the Cap & Trade taxation and Geologic Sequestration vampires lurking just outside the circle of light, ready to pounce and feed upon our vital Coal-use industries, and on our fellow US citizens who depend upon Coal for their livelihoods, and for some other necessities - such as light and heat.

And, we assert that "a solution of KOH" can as well be "employed" in a power plant smoke stack scrubber "to absorb CO2"; and that, perhaps, should be kept in mind.

We remind you that we have, in fact, cited the USDOE's Brookhaven, NY, National Laboratory scientist, Meyer Steinberg, previously, along with his colleagues there, Carol Kreutz and Etsuko Fujita, relative to various Carbon Dioxide recycling, and other Carbon conversion, technologies that have been under development at the Brookhaven Lab.

Additional reports of their Carbon Dioxide recycling work, especially concerning their stated view that CO2 could, and should, be treated as a "feedstock", are still in process.

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