Next Article in Journal
A Hybrid Energy Feature Extraction Approach for Ship-Radiated Noise Based on CEEMDAN Combined with Energy Difference and Energy Entropy
Next Article in Special Issue
Investigation of Nonthermal Plasma Assisted Charcoal Gasification for Production of Hydrogen-Rich Syngas
Previous Article in Journal
Advances in Mathematical Modeling of Gas-Phase Olefin Polymerization
Previous Article in Special Issue
Recent Progress of Plasma-Assisted Nitrogen Fixation Research: A Review
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Processes 2019, 7(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7020068

Process Modeling and Evaluation of Plasma-Assisted Ethylene Production from Methane

Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS), Department of Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Based Processes for Improved Energy Efficiency)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3607 KB, uploaded 1 February 2019]   |  

Abstract

The electrification of the petrochemical industry, imposed by the urgent need for decarbonization and driven by the incessant growth of renewable electricity share, necessitates electricity-driven technologies for efficient conversion of fossil fuels to chemicals. Non-thermal plasma reactor systems that successfully perform in lab scale are investigated for this purpose. However, the feasibility of such electrified processes at industrial scale is still questionable. In this context, two process alternatives for ethylene production via plasma-assisted non-oxidative methane coupling have conceptually been designed based on previous work of our group namely, a direct plasma-assisted methane-to-ethylene process (one-step process) and a hybrid plasma-catalytic methane-to-ethylene process (two-step process). Both processes are simulated in the Aspen Plus V10 process simulator and also consider the technical limitations of a real industrial environment. The economically favorable operating window (range of operating conditions at which the target product purity is met at minimum utility cost) is defined via sensitivity analysis. Preliminary results reveal that the hybrid plasma-catalytic process requires 21% less electricity than the direct one, while the electric power consumed for the plasma-assisted reaction is the major cost driver in both processes, accounting for ~75% of the total electric power demand. Finally, plasma-assisted processes are not economically viable at present. However, future decrease in electricity prices due to renewable electricity production increase can radically affect process economics. Given that a break-even electricity price of 35 USD/MWh (without considering the capital cost) is calculated for the two-step plasma process and that current electricity prices for some energy intensive industries in certain countries can be as low as 50 USD/MWh, the plasma-assisted processes may become economically viable in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrified process; non-thermal plasma; non-oxidative methane coupling; process modeling; ethylene electrified process; non-thermal plasma; non-oxidative methane coupling; process modeling; ethylene
Figures

Graphical abstract

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).

Supplementary material

SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Delikonstantis, E.; Scapinello, M.; Stefanidis, G.D. Process Modeling and Evaluation of Plasma-Assisted Ethylene Production from Methane. Processes 2019, 7, 68.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Processes EISSN 2227-9717 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top