Design and Intensification of Methanol Synthesis from Natural Gas
To this end, firstly, we produce the intermediate synthesis gas from natural gas with desired feed conditions and specifications using a steam methane reforming (SMR) unit. The synthesis gas is then converted to methanol via SE-MeOH process. For capturing the dynamics of both SMR and SE-MeOH processes, we use a generalized adsorption-reaction modeling and simulation (GRAMS) platform, which has been extensively validated with experimental data for both SMR and SE-MeOH cases. GRAMS is coupled with a simulation-based grey-box optimizer for optimizing SE-MeOH process cycle configuration, design parameters and operating conditions. In comparison with base-case industrial methanol reactor, the results indicated 8.17% higher methanol yield and 8.26% lower raw material consumption at a competitive price with a slight compromise on methanol production capacity. Furthermore, results indicated that methanol yield as high as 80% can be obtained with optimal synthesis gas feed composition and flow rate. The developed SE-MeOH processes have smaller carbon footprint, enhanced product quality, and smaller condenser and recompressor size.