A coal-based coproduction process of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and methanol (CTLNG-M) is developed and key units are simulated in this paper. The goal is to find improvements of the low-earning coal to synthesis natural gas (CTSNG) process using the same raw material but producing a low-margin, single synthesis natural gas (SNG) product. In the CTLNG-M process, there are two innovative aspects. Firstly, the process can co-generate high value-added products of LNG and methanol, in which CH4
is separated from the syngas to obtain liquefied natural gas (LNG) through a cryogenic separation unit, while the remaining lean-methane syngas is then used for methanol synthesis. Secondly, CO2
separated from the acid gas removal unit is partially reused for methanol synthesis reaction, which consequently increases the carbon element utilization efficiency and reduces the CO2
emission. In this paper, the process is designed with the output products of 642,000 tons/a LNG and 1,367,800 tons/a methanol. The simulation results show that the CTLNG-M process can obtain a carbon utilization efficiency of 39.6%, bringing about a reduction of CO2
emission by 130,000 tons/a compared to the CTSNG process. However, the energy consumption of the new process is increased by 9.3% after detailed analysis of energy consumption. The results indicate that although electricity consumption is higher than that of the conventional CTSNG process, the new CTLNG-M process is still economically feasible. In terms of the economic benefits, the investment is remarkably decreased by 17.8% and an increase in internal rate of return (IRR) by 6% is also achieved, contrasting to the standalone CTSNG process. It is; therefore, considered as a feasible scheme for the efficient utilization of coal by Lurgi gasification technology and production planning for existing CTSNG plants.
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