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Conversion of coal into hydrocarbons

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #4158637.

Hydrocarbons are formed of coal and water. The water is converted or dissociated separately into hydrogen and oxygen in a first chemical reactor by thermochemical and/or electrolytic processing. The resulting hydrogen is then reacted with the coal in a second reactor to produce the hydrocarbons. Residual carbon from the second reactor is reacted in a third reactor with oxygen derived from the first reactor to produce carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide is reacted with residual hydrogen from the second reactor or hydrogen from the first reactor to produce additional hydrocarbons. The energy for the endothermic and/or electrolytic processing in the reactors and for auxiliary equipment of the apparatus is supplied by a very high-temperature, gas-cooled, nuclear reactor by heat interchange with the cooling gas, helium. The cooling gas operates through heat-exchange means which isolates the cooling gas from the processing apparatus.

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