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Article

Synergies between Direct Air Capture Technologies and Solar Thermochemical Cycles in the Production of Methanol

1
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Future Fuels, 51147 Cologne, Germany
2
Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Institute of Power Engineering, Solar Fuel Production, TU Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John Boland
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4818; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164818
Received: 30 June 2021 / Revised: 28 July 2021 / Accepted: 28 July 2021 / Published: 7 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Energy, Environment and Well-Being)
Methanol is an example of a valuable chemical that can be produced from water and carbon dioxide through a chemical process that is fully powered by concentrated solar thermal energy and involves three steps: direct air capture (DAC), thermochemical splitting and methanol synthesis. In the present work, we consider the whole value chain from the harvesting of raw materials to the final product. We also identify synergies between the aforementioned steps and collect them in five possible scenarios aimed to reduce the specific energy consumption. To assess the scenarios, we combined data from low and high temperature DAC with an Aspen Plus® model of a plant that includes water and carbon dioxide splitting units via thermochemical cycles (TCC), CO/CO2 separation, storage and methanol synthesis. We paid special attention to the energy required for the generation of low oxygen partial pressures in the reduction step of the TCC, as well as the overall water consumption. Results show that suggested synergies, in particular, co-generation, are effective and can lead to solar-to-fuel efficiencies up to 10.2% (compared to the 8.8% baseline). In addition, we appoint vacuum as the most adequate strategy for obtaining low oxygen partial pressures. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermochemical cycles; direct air capture; methanol production; process integration; solar energy thermochemical cycles; direct air capture; methanol production; process integration; solar energy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Prats-Salvado, E.; Monnerie, N.; Sattler, C. Synergies between Direct Air Capture Technologies and Solar Thermochemical Cycles in the Production of Methanol. Energies 2021, 14, 4818. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164818

AMA Style

Prats-Salvado E, Monnerie N, Sattler C. Synergies between Direct Air Capture Technologies and Solar Thermochemical Cycles in the Production of Methanol. Energies. 2021; 14(16):4818. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164818

Chicago/Turabian Style

Prats-Salvado, Enric, Nathalie Monnerie, and Christian Sattler. 2021. "Synergies between Direct Air Capture Technologies and Solar Thermochemical Cycles in the Production of Methanol" Energies 14, no. 16: 4818. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164818

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