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Optimal Methanol Production via Sorption-Enhanced Reaction Process
- Arora, Akhil, Iyer, Shachit S., Bajaj, Ishan, Hasan, M. M. Faruque
- Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2018 v.57 no.42 pp. 14143-14161
- byproducts, methanol, models, process design, sorption, synthesis gas
- To counter the equilibrium limitations in traditional methanol production from synthesis gas, a periodic and sorption-enhanced methanol synthesis process (SE-MeOH) with in situ removal of water byproduct is designed and optimized. A generalized reaction–adsorption modeling and simulation framework is coupled with a simulation-based constrained gray-box optimizer to obtain the optimal cycle configuration, design parameters, process specifications, and operating conditions. The best-case results indicate that SE-MeOH processes can break the barrier of the current limit of industrial methanol yield and improve it by 55–87% with a slight compromise (9–46%) on CH₃OH production capacity. This trade-off is a result of periodic operation which is required for sorption enhancement. The techno-economic optimization of a base industrial reactor also leads to more than 7% improvement in methanol yield with only 2% decrease in production capacity while keeping the cost of syngas-to-methanol production competitive. The SE-MeOH system is further optimized through varying the feed specifications and number of reactor tubes. The results suggest that the synthesis gas composition, flow rate, and number of tubes are the major factors in determining methanol process performance.