Process Modelling, Simulation and Technoeconomic Assessment of Dual Hydrogen and Methanol Production Process using State-of-Art Syngas Generation Technologies

Project: Research

Project Details


Global energy demand has been increasing during the last few decades due to rapid industrialization that not only increased the global CO2 emissions above 415ppm but also caused the worldwide climate change. The recent reports published by International Energy Agency (IEA) and Global Energy Outlook (GEO) demands for keeping the global temperature rise below 2 by 2050 using energy-mix and fuel-switch technologies that can sharply reduce the greenhouse (GHG) emissions. Methanol and hydrogen are considered as cleaner fuels with an excellent combustion properties and lower global warming potentials. The large-scale methanol and hydrogen co-production processes is getting a lot of attention due to their wide applications in chemical, process and petrochemical industries. Most of the conventional methanol and hydrogen production processes utilizes the methane reforming technologies to get the higher HCR (H2/C ratio) in the synthesis gas. However, the depletion in the natural gas resources is pushing the research towards the development of non-conventional synthesis gas production technologies with more fuel flexibilities. Gasification technologies on the other hand demonstrated extensive applications in the synthesis gas production from wide variety of feedstocks ranging from solid to liquid fuels even the municipal and organic waste. However, the syngas from the gasification process usually yields low heating value synthesis gas with lower HCR ratio, which is detrimental to the methanol production facilities. In this regard, integration of state of art technologies for synthesis gas production using multiple feedstocks reserves a potential to increase the synthesis gas production with higher HCR. The integration of coal-biomass gasification and natural gas reforming technologies not only reserves a potential to utilize low-cost energy sources but also helps in increasing the synthesis gas yield and H2 production. In this project, three standalone state of the art processes namely coal-biomass gasification, methane reforming & methanol synthesis processes will be first developed in Aspen Plus followed by their validation based on industrial data. The three models will be then integrated together to develop a novel process model that will provide the framework for dual methanol and hydrogen co-production. The proposed research framework leads to the development of two process models. Case 1 represents the base case model where coal and biomass are co-gasified to generate hydrogen and methanol. On the other hand, case 2 represents the novel process model, where, coal-biomass gasification process is sequentially integrated with the methane reforming model to produce the hydrogen and methanol. The parameters in the both the models will be optimized to maximize the production of hydrogen and methanol followed by the techno economic analysis to analyse the best case showing higher process feasibility. Some of the key technical and economic process indicators will also be evaluated and compared for the detailed analysis and validation of the both the models. The key idea of this project is to sequentially integrate the gasification and reforming technologies in the parallel design configuration using energy-mix and fuel switch process configurations to amplify the co-production of methanol and hydrogen. Finally, the results from both the case studies will be compared to analyse the best design on the basis of process performance, economics and from the environmental quality control perspectives.
Effective start/end date1/04/211/10/22


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