United States Patent: 4229184


Late last year, we submitted a report concerning:"United States Patent: 4415339 - Solar Coal Gasification Reactor; 1983; Inventors: William Aiman and David Gregg, CA; Assignee: The USDOE", wherein was revealed details of a process, developed by US Department of Energy scientists, which enabled the use of Solar heat energy to co-gasify "coal and ... water" with or without added "CO2", and which was described as a system intended to enable us to use our "vast coal deposits for the economical production of liquid fuels".

That report is available as: USDOE Hydrogasifies Coal with Solar Power | Research & Development | News.

Herein, we discover that achievement was actually founded on earlier, similar Coal conversion research

accomplished by one of the two USDOE contracted-, or employed-, scientists named as inventors of the USP 4,415,339 process.

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


"United States Patent 4,229,184 - Apparatus and Method for Solar Coal Gasification


Date: October, 1980


Inventor: David Gregg, CA


Assignee: The USA


Abstract: Apparatus for using focused solar radiation to gasify coal and other carbonaceous materials. Incident solar radiation is focused ... onto the surface of a vertically-moving bed of coal, or a fluidized bed of coal, contained within a gasification reactor.

Steam introduced into the gasification reactor reacts with the heated coal to produce gas consisting mainly of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, commonly called "synthesis gas", which can be converted to methane, methanol, gasoline, and other useful products.

Background: The invention described herein was made at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in the course of, or under, Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.

Description: "Coal gasification" is the conversion of coal, coke, or char to gaseous products by reaction with air, oxygen, steam, carbon dioxide, or a mixture thereof.

A chemical reaction basic to virtually all coal gasification methods is the reaction of char (carbon) with water (steam) to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved apparatus for gasifying coal and other carbonaceous materials, and especially mixtures of coal and wastes.

Summary: The present invention is an improved apparatus for gasifying coal and other carbonaceous materials, as for example biomass, using focused solar radiation which is not subject to the problems which beset the prior art. Specifically, the invention provides a gasification reactor capable of converting coal and other carbonaceous materials, such as biomass, municipal wastes, wood chips, separately or in combination as blends with coal, into combustible gases."



We abbreviate our excerpts since those above do capture the essence of the thing.

It is a way to gasify Coal and Water, to make a syngas suitable for conversion into "methane, methanol" and/or "gasoline", without utilizing the partial oxidation of Coal to provide the needed heat energy.

That conserves the Carbon energy content of the Coal and forestalls co-generation of Carbon Dioxide in the gasification process, which might be, as above, one of "the problems which beset the prior art".

The later "United States Patent: 4415339" was acknowledgement of the fact that the process was so reactive, and so productive of Hydrogen, that Carbon Dioxide from external sources could actually be added to the Coal and the Steam, and broken down with them, as in "United States Patent: 4229184", through a reaction driven by focused and concentrated Solar heat, into the Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide components of a synthesis gas suitable, as noted, for Fischer-Tropsch, and/or related, catalytic recombination into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons.




Not only can reclaimed Carbon Dioxide be added directly to the USDOE's Coal conversion process, so can other, Carbon-recycling and renewable materials, such as "biomass, municipal wastes" and "wood chips"

So, again, our own US Government has known that we can convert our abundant Coal, along with our effluent Carbon Dioxide and some of our Carbon-recycling wastes, using the efficient and, for practical purposes, endless energy of the Sun, into a ""synthesis gas", which can be further converted to "methane, methanol, gasoline, and other useful products", as above, for more than three decades.

We US Citizens paid, through our taxes, to have that technology developed.

We US Citizens own it.

When will we US Citizens finally be privileged to even just learn of it, much less be allowed to reduce it to commercial practice, and to thereby free ourselves from crippling economic bondage to largely unfriendly overseas petroleum powers?

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