(182g) An Innovative Methanol Synthesis Process Using Self-Heat Recuperation

Kansha, Y., The University of Tokyo
Ishizuka, M., The University of Tokyo
Tsutsumi, A., The University of Tokyo

The demand for methanol will continue increasing, since methanol is attracting as a fuel for fuel cells, and is an intermediate raw material of hydrogen and dimethyl ether (DME) which are categorized green energy source. As well as other chemical processes, many methanol synthesis processes have reactant recycle system with product separation due to the low conversion ratio of the reactor. For this product separation from reactant recycle stream, a gas-liquid separator or distillation process has often been used. However, this gas-liquid separator and distillation processes are well known as an energy consuming process. Thus, many chemical engineers and investigators managed to produce a catalyst which achieves high conversion from reactant to production in the reactor for whole process optimization.

Authors have developed self-heat recuperation technology, in which not only the latent heat but also the sensible heat of the process stream can be circulated without any heat addition, leading to reduction of energy requirement in several chemical processes. This self-heat recuperation technology is suitable for thermal and separation processes and is applied to several chemical processes for energy saving as case studies.

In this research, we investigated the feasibility of applying self-heat recuperation technology to the methanol synthesis process and developed an innovative process for methanol synthesis process from the energy saving point of view. By installing the self-heat recuperation technology to the methanol synthesis process, the energy consumption of the process can be greatly reduced. Thus, it can be said that installation of self-heat recuperation technology is the other option of process design method to achieve high conversion in the reactor.