TITLE: Liquefaction of Natural Gas to Methanol for Shipping and Storage.
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], Jul 86, 11p.
NTIS ORDER NO.: DE87005389/INW
NOTES: International gas research conference, Toronto, Canada, 8 Sep 1986.
The 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. As a result of process design factors made possible by the BNL catalyst, the plant required to convert natural gas to methanol is very simple. Conversion of natural gas to methanol requires two chemical reactions, both of which are exothermic, and thus represent a loss of heating value in the feed natural gas. This loss is about 20% of the feed gas energy, and is, therefore, higher than the 10% loss in energy in natural gas liquefaction, which is a simpler physical - not a chemical - change. 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 the capital needed for the LNG plant and LNG tanker 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. 3 tabs. (ERA citation 12:015589)
REPORT NUMBER: BNL-39089; CONF-860904-3
CONTRACT NUMBER: AC02-76CH00016