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Alternative production of methanol from industrial CO2

Meunier, Nicolas, Chauvy, Remi, Mouhoubi, Seloua, Thomas, Diane, De Weireld, Guy
Renewable energy 2020 v.146 pp. 1192-1203
carbon dioxide, catalytic activity, cement, economic feasibility, electricity, environmental assessment, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, heat, hydrogen production, life cycle assessment, methanol, natural gas, process design, production costs, renewable energy sources, solvents, value-added products
Carbon dioxide valorization into value added products have become subject to much study to reduce industrial CO2 emissions and fossil energy resource consumption. In this context, the purpose of this study is to evaluate and highlight the interest of CO2 conversion into methanol through a complete techno-economic and environmental assessment of the entire process chain. The integrated process, successfully implemented in Aspen PlusĀ®, is designed to treat the CO2 coming from a conventional cement plant. A MEA-based CO2 capture process is considered, and the captured CO2 is then directly sent to the conversion unit for its catalytic conversion. Consequently, combining the two units leads to relevant integrations, especially regarding the reuse of the heat provided by the exothermal methanol reactions for the regeneration of the CO2 capture solvent. An economic assessment is proposed to estimate the operational and investment costs, as well as the net present value, which demonstrates that the economic feasibility strongly depends on electricity and H2 production costs. A Life Cycle Analysis method is finally performed to identify the main environmental hotspots. The underlying process design offers a significant reduction in greenhouse gases (besides other categories) when compared to the conventional fossil production from natural gas.