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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(12), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7121213

A Comparative Exergoeconomic Evaluation of the Synthesis Routes for Methanol Production from Natural Gas

1
Department of Energy Engineering, Zentralinstitut El Gouna, Technische Universität Berlin, 13355 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute for Energy Engineering, Technische Universität Berlin, 10587 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
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Abstract

Methanol is one of the most important feedstocks for the chemical, petrochemical, and energy industries. Abundant and widely distributed resources as well as a relative low price level make natural gas the predominant feedstock for methanol production. Indirect synthesis routes via reforming of methane suppress production from bio resources and other renewable alternatives. However, the conventional technology for the conversion of natural gas to methanol is energy intensive and costly in investment and operation. Three design cases with different reforming technologies in conjunction with an isothermal methanol reactor are investigated. Case I is equipped with steam methane reforming for a capacity of 2200 metric tons per day (MTPD). For a higher production capacity, a serial combination of steam reforming and autothermal reforming is used in Case II, while Case III deals with a parallel configuration of CO2 and steam reforming. A sensitivity analysis shows that the syngas composition significantly affects the thermodynamic performance of the plant. The design cases have exergetic efficiencies of 28.2%, 55.6% and 41.0%, respectively. The plants for higher capacity can produce at a competitive price, while the design in Case I is hardly economically feasible. An exergoeconomic analysis reveals a high cost impact of the reforming unit, air and syngas compressors. View Full-Text
Keywords: methanol production; methane reforming technologies; isothermal reactor; economic analysis; exergoeconomic analysis methanol production; methane reforming technologies; isothermal reactor; economic analysis; exergoeconomic analysis
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Blumberg, T.; Morosuk, T.; Tsatsaronis, G. A Comparative Exergoeconomic Evaluation of the Synthesis Routes for Methanol Production from Natural Gas. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 1213.

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