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Energies 2017, 10(9), 1429; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10091429

Investigating the Plasma-Assisted and Thermal Catalytic Dry Methane Reforming for Syngas Production: Process Design, Simulation and Evaluation

Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS), Department of Chemical Engineering KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
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Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract

The growing surplus of green electricity generated by renewable energy technologies has fueled research towards chemical industry electrification. By adapting power-to-chemical concepts, such as plasma-assisted processes, cheap resources could be converted into fuels and base chemicals. However, the feasibility of those electrified processes at large scale has not been investigated yet. Thus, the current work strives to compare, for first time in the literature, plasma-assisted production of syngas, from CH4 and CO2 (dry methane reforming), with thermal catalytic dry methane reforming. Specifically, both processes are conceptually designed to deliver syngas suitable for methanol synthesis (H2/CO ≥ 2 in mole). The processes are simulated in the Aspen Plus process simulator where different process steps are investigated. Heat integration and equipment cost estimation are performed for the most promising process flow diagrams. Collectively, plasma-assisted dry methane reforming integrated with combined steam/CO2 methane reforming is an effective way to deliver syngas for methanol production. It is more sustainable than combined thermal catalytic dry methane reforming with steam methane reforming, which has also been proposed for syngas production of H2/CO ≥ 2; in the former process, 40% more CO2 is captured, while 38% less H2O is consumed per mol of syngas. Furthermore, the plasma-assisted process is less complex than the thermal catalytic one; it requires higher amount of utilities, but comparable capital investment. View Full-Text
Keywords: dry methane reforming; plasma-assisted reforming; process modeling; energy efficiency; process evaluation dry methane reforming; plasma-assisted reforming; process modeling; energy efficiency; process evaluation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Delikonstantis, E.; Scapinello, M.; Stefanidis, G.D. Investigating the Plasma-Assisted and Thermal Catalytic Dry Methane Reforming for Syngas Production: Process Design, Simulation and Evaluation. Energies 2017, 10, 1429.

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