(621dl) Methanol Synthesis from CO2 and H2


CO2 capturing is gaining more support from both government and industries in the recent years, despite the increase in investment and research activities in the subject the technology still not close to commercialization. The major challenges hindering deployment of the technology on a commercial scale is high capital investment attributed to both development and operation (CAPEX and OPEX respectively). Due to lack of profit benefit connection with deployment of the technology despite the high investment cost, no company in the world is interested in investing on the CO2 capturing project until alternative utilization of captured CO2become economic viable. On this note, the research is gradually shifting from carbon capture and storage (CCS) toward carbon capture, utilization and storage. 

Several application options had been identified in which majority are not economic attractive while some has economical successful and move to commercialization. Some of the proposed utilization include: as a feedstock for industrial product, mineralization, Enhance oil and gas recovery (EOR), Enhanced Coal-Bed Methane (ECBM), CO2 conversion to chemical feedstock and fuels, biological conversion (photosynthesis) processes, and CO2 mineralization for the production of materials (Faruqe H., et al. 2014). Enhanced oil production technique has been in used in North America (Canada and USA) for over  40 years in depleted oilfields, however CO2 that were used are not captured so we cannot categorically say that CO2-EOR is economical though many researchers had proven that evening if CO2 is to be purchased for EOR it would still be economical viable. Other researchers claimed that CO2-EOR is only viable option of CO2 utilization.  This statement then called a question to be answered , if CO2-EOR is the only attractive CO2 utilization  option then why are we capturing the CO2in the first instance since we are using it to produce more fossil fuels.

The challenge for other utilization options investigation become an importance issue if our primary objective of capturing the CO2 is to combat the environmental impact  caused by greenhouse gases in which CO2 is take the highest percent in atmosphere approximately 0.04%. Having evaluated all the options, we felt utilizing the greenhouse gas CO2 as a feedstock in chemical processing would offer an alternative solution for the utilization. Large-scale production methanol (MeOH) which is light hydrocarbons that could offer an alternation energy source is one of the predominant and sensible schemes for CO2 utilization. Though, there is any economic assessment so far that has proven that methanol production from CO2 could offset the huge capital investment associated with carbon capture plant. In our laboratory we  are proposing to synthesized catalyst that would optimize methanol synthesis  via the reaction of CO2 with H2 and/or CH4 and conduct a techno-economic assessment for the   process to determine the possibilities of commercialization of the process and ultimately, top offer a promising alternative utilization scheme for CO2with potential of commercialization.

Our research aim is to produced methanol at relatively lower pressure and temperature with high methanol selectivity and yield percentage.