TITLE: Low Temperature Methanol Process: The Next Step.
AUTHOR: T. E. O'Hare; R. S. Sapienza; D. Mahajan; G. T. Skaperdas.
INST. AUTHOR: Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY.
SPONSOR: Department of Energy, Washington, DC.
PUB. TYPE: Technical Report
PUB. COUNTRY: United States
SOURCE: Department of Energy [DE], May 86, 11p.
NTIS ORDER NO.: DE87005390/INW
NOTES: 11. annual conference on clean liquid and solid fuels, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 7 May 1986.
Gas production is on the increase and international trade even more so, with LNG making most progress. It has been projected that by the year 2000, approximately 190 million metric tons per year of LNG could be moving in worldwide trade. The further penetration of natural gas into distant markets can be substantially increased by a new methanol synthesis process under development at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The new methanol process is made possible by the discovery of a catalyst that drops synthesis temperatures from about 275 deg C to about 100 deg C. The new low temperature liquid catalyst can convert synthesis gas completely to methanol in a single pass through the methanol synthesis reactor. This characteristic leads to a further major improvement in the methanol plant. Atmospheric nitrogen can be tolerated in the synthesis gas, and still the volume of gas fed to the reactor can be smaller than the volume of gas that must be fed to the reactor when accommodating the very low conversions furnished by the best of currently available catalysts. The energy disadvantage of the methanol option must be balanced against the advantage of a much lower capital investment requirement made possible by the new BNL synthesis. Preliminary estimates show that methanol conversion and shipping require an investment for liquefaction to methanol, and shipping liquefied methanol that can range from 35 to 50% of that needed for the LNG plant and LNG shipping fleet. This large reduction in capital requirements is expected to make liquefaction to methanol attractive in many cases where the LNG capital needs are prohibitive. Alternately, the economically viable minimum size can be significantly smaller for the methanol route, which should serve to expand markets distant from the production areas. A significant increase in gas markets may be expected from the introduction of the new methanol synthesis process. (ERA citation 12:015588)
REPORT NUMBER: BNL-39088; CONF-8605223-1
CONTRACT NUMBER: AC02-76CH00016