United States Patent: 4197421

In an earlier report, now available as: USDOE Converts CO2 to Liquid Fuel | Research & Development | News; we documented: United States Patent: 3959094 - Synthesis of Methanol from Carbon Dioxide; 1976;

Inventor: Meyer Steinberg; Assignee: The United States of America; wherein USDOE Brookhaven National Laboratory scientist Steinberg reveals a process wherein, as the Patent's title indicates, reclaimed Carbon Dioxide can be converted into the liquid fuel and plastics manufacturing raw material, Methanol.

Whenever we report on one of the many technologies that are, as we have by now thoroughly documented, available for us to utilize, and to convert thereby either our abundant Coal or reclaimed Carbon Dioxide into such valuable Methanol, we always take pains to emphasize that, through ExxonMobil's "MTG"(r) technology, and others, Methanol can be further converted into Gasoline.

Herein, we see that the USDOE, via Meyer Steinberg and the Brookhaven National Lab, were, subsequent to issuance of US Patent 3959094, able to devise a technology for Carbon Dioxide recycling that can, if desired, bypass the initial step of converting CO2 into Methanol.

We can, if so desired, convert Carbon Dioxide directly into Gasoline.


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


"United States Patent 4,197,421 - Synthetic Carbonaceous Fuels and Feedstocks


Date: April, 1980


Inventor: Meyer Steinberg, NY


Assignee: The United States of America


Abstract: This invention relates to the use of a three compartment electrolytic cell in the production of synthetic carbonaceous fuels and chemical feedstocks such as gasoline, methane and methanol by electrolyzing an aqueous sodium carbonate/bicarbonate solution, obtained from scrubbing atmospheric carbon dioxide with an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution, whereby the hydrogen generated at the cathode and the carbon dioxide liberated in the center compartment are combined thermocatalytically into methanol and gasoline blends. The oxygen generated at the anode is preferably vented into the atmosphere, and the regenerated sodium hydroxide produced at the cathode is reused for scrubbing the CO2 from the atmosphere.

Claims: In the process of producing synthetic fuels and chemical feedstocks such as gasoline, methane and methanol by converting a gaseous mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide to methanol and then gasoline by thermocatalytic means; the improvement which comprises extracting atmospheric carbon dioxide with an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution to form a carbonate solution, electrolyzing said aqueous sodium carbonate/bicarbonate solution in a three compartment electrolytic cell to generate pure hydrogen at the cathode and pure carbon dioxide in the center compartment, and combining said pure hydrogen gas with said pure carbon dioxide gas thermocatalytically to form methanol and gasoline blends. 

(And) wherein oxygen generated at the anode is vented into the atmosphere. 

(And) wherein the sodium hydroxide is regenerated at the cathode. 

(And) wherein the regenerated sodium hydroxide is recycled to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

(And) wherein the water of reaction resulting from the catalytic conversion of the gaseous mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methanol and then gasoline, is recycled to the three compartment electrolytic cell.

(And) wherein the atmospheric gas stream may contain 0.035% to 20% by volume of carbon dioxide.

(And) wherein the aqueous sodium hydroxide solution contains about 5-25% sodium hydroxide. 

(And) wherein the electrolytic cell is operated below the boiling point of the electrolyte.

Description: This invention relates to a process for producing synthetic fuels and chemical feedstocks such as gasoline, methane and methanol from gaseous CO2 and H2 by extracting CO2 from the air with a NaOH solution; subjecting the resulting sodium carbonate solution to electrolysis in a three compartment electrolytic cell where hydrogen is formed at the cathode, oxygen at the anode and CO2 is released in the center compartment; and combining the hydrogen and the CO2 thermocatalytically to form gasoline. 

Raw synthesis gas containing hydrogen and carbon oxide and/or carbon dioxide useful in the synthesis of methanol, methane, and gasoline are normally obtained from the conversion of coal ... .

(Not, sadly, inexcusably, and, definitely not "normally", in WV, PA, or, the rest of US Coal Country.)

There is no recognition in the prior art that CO2 from the atmosphere can be utilized in the formation of a sodium carbonate electrolyte for a three compartment electrolytic cell capable of producing a substantially pure synthesis gas for the production of synthetic fuel. The use of conventional synthesis gas obtained from coal, shale oil and other carbonaceous feedstocks containing hydrogen and carbon dioxide in the production of methanol and gasoline is well known in the art as disclosed by U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,950,369; 4,065,483; and 4,076,761.

The advantages of using atmospheric CO2 as a source for the synthesis gas in the synthesis of gasoline are multifold. 

A vast natural resource is readily available. A desirable CO2 balance between the biosphere and the atmosphere can be maintained by the removal of the CO2 from the atmosphere. A pure CO2 gas and H2 gas is obtained from the electrolytic cell for use in the synthesis of carbonaceous fuel. The atmospheric CO2 provides an alternate and extended supply of premium synthetic carbonaceous fuel for this country thus advancing the goal of energy self-sufficiency. It would eliminate many environmental and safety problems inherent in fossil fuel utilization. It is more economical. 

Accordingly, it is a primary object of instant invention to provide a process for extracting CO2 from the atmosphere and combining this with electrolytic hydrogen to produce synthetic gas and gasoline."



That would seem to pretty much sum it up:

We can utilize, as herein, our "vast natural resource" of airborne Carbon Dioxide, in a low-energy process which is "operated below the boiling point of the electrolyte ... to produce synthetic gas and gasoline".

Or, we can tax, through Cap & Trade legislation, our vital Coal-use industries, and the people employed by them, into impoverishment; and/or, we can enslave them, through mandated Geologic Sequestration in fading natural petroleum reservoirs, into the service of Big Oil.

Note that, as above, Methane can, in addition to Methanol and Gasoline, also be synthesized by this USDOE Carbon Dioxide recycling process, as in "the production of synthetic carbonaceous fuels and chemical feedstocks such as gasoline, methane and methanol". And, we remind you of our earlier reports of bi-reforming and tri-reforming technologies, some extant and disclosed since immediately after WWII, some reported more lately by scientists at Penn State University, all as we have documented, wherein such Methane, as herein synthesized from Carbon Dioxide, can be reacted with even more Carbon Dioxide and made thereby to synthesize even more liquid hydrocarbons and fuels, including more Methanol.

Also note that, as other USDOE technologies, such as those from the Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories we have reported for you, specify, Carbon Dioxide, for practical conversion into "gasoline, methane and methanol", can be extracted and concentrated from "atmospheric CO2".

It is not necessary to saddle our Coal-based power generation facilities, and customers of Coal-based electricity, with the expenses of retrofitting their exhaust systems with Carbon Dioxide collection equipment and then operating that equipment.

Since "atmospheric CO2" can be collected and utilized in the synthesis of "gasoline, methane and methanol", then the facilities for accomplishing the collection and conversion could be, again as exemplified in the technologies developed and reported by Sandia and Los Alamos, sited in locations where readily available environmental energy, such as solar, wind or hydro, could be harnessed to the work.

As Cap & Trade laws and Geologic Sequestration initiatives slouch ahead in government law and industrial practice; and, as we continue to mortgage our US birthrights to OPEC for the purchase of imported oil; all without public protest from those who now know better and who are able to speak, then we, those of us regular US citizens out in US Coal Country, all become poorer and further indentured.

It's far past time a stop was put to all of it.

It's far past time for some voices of freedom and reason to speak up and be heard.

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