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Category Archives: Methanol

Gasifier to Methanol Plant


Wong Ha Ing


Bachelor of Engineering Thesis



Division of Chemical Engineering


This project relates to the production of methanol from a gasification coal process at Tarong Power Plant. The gasification process produces syngas (CO + H2) which can be further processed for methanol production. Crude methanol is the initial product which requires further distillation in order to meet the final product specifications as Chemical Grade AA methanol, Fuel Grade Methanol and MTBE Grade Methanol.
Coal is a combustible mineral that contains more than 50% w/w of carbonaceous material. Coal gasification technology is the latest “clean coal technology” whose resulting product gases such as CO2, CO, H2, CH4 and others can be used to produce methanol, low sulphur diesel or hydrogen for fuel cell applications. The technology will also reduce gaseous emissions to the environment, which results in reduction of environmental pollution impact such as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and photochemical smog.
Gasification is defined as conversion of coal to produce gases such as CO, H2, CH4 and others. The syngas mainly (CO + H2) is fed to a liquid fuel plant to produce low sulphur diesel, methanol or perhaps hydrogen. There are many types of gasifier design such as the entrained flow gasifier, moving bed gasifier, fluidized bed gasifier and fixed bed gasifier. Typically there are two stages of gasification before syngas is produced- pyrolysis and gasification/ combustion. The descriptions of various gasifiers are given in the literature review section. The syngas is fed to cleaning technology units such as particulate matter removal units, water removal units, sulphur removal units and carbon dioxide removal units before being fed to the methanol synthesis unit. 2 main processes take place in the methanol synthesis plant- water gas shift reaction and Low Pressure Methanol process to produce crude methanol before is delivered to purification units for further purification. By- products, especially steam, can be used for power generation application to produce additional electricity.
In addition to the literature review this thesis also consists of a PFD of a methanol synthesis plant and ASPEN simulation model analysis. This is important to ensure the liquid fuel plant operates under a safe and effective regime.


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Future prospects for production of methanol and hydrogen from biomass

System analysis of advanced conversion concepts
by ASPEN-plus flowsheet modelling

Carlo N. Hamelinck
André P.C. Faaij


 September 2001, Report NWS-E-2001-49

ISBN 90-73958-84-9


Technical and economic prospects of the future production of methanol and hydrogen from biomass have been evaluated.
A technology review, including promising future components, was made, resulting in a set of promising conversion concepts.
Flowsheeting models were made to analyse the technical performance. Results were used for economic evaluations. Overall energy efficiencies are around 55 % HHV for methanol and around 60 % for hydrogen production. Accounting for the lower energy quality of fuel compared to electricity, once-through concepts perform better than the concepts aimed for fuel only production. Hot gas cleaning can contribute to a better performance. 400 MWth input systems produce biofuels at 8 – 12 US$/GJ, this is above the current gasoline production price of 4 – 6 US$/GJ. This cost price is largely dictated by the capital investments. The outcomes for the various system types are rather comparable, although concepts focussing on optimised fuel production with little or no electricity co-production perform somewhat better. Hydrogen concepts using ceramic membranes perform well due to their higher overall efficiency combined with modest investment. Long term (2020) cost reductions reside in cheaper biomass, technological learning, and application of large scales up to 2000 MWth. This could bring the production costs of biofuels in the 5 – 7 US$/GJ range. Biomass-derived methanol and hydrogen are likely to become competitive fuels tomorrow.


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Commercial-Scale Demonstration of the Liquid Phase Methanol (LPMEOH™) Process: Final Report (Volume 2: Project Performance and Economics)

For the period 16 October 1992 – 30 June 2003 – June 2003

B. W. Diamond
E. C. Heydorn

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.



The purpose of the Project Performance and Economics Report for the “Commercial-Scale Demonstration of the Liquid Phase Methanol (LPMEOH™) Process” project is to consolidate for public use all relevant nonproprietary information on the project, other than that already included in the Public Design Report (Final Report – Volume 1).

The scope of the report is limited to nonproprietary information. Therefore, although its content is insufficient to provide a complete tool for designing a LPMEOH™ unit, it will serve as a reference for the design considerations involved in developing a commercial-scale facility.

Download this paper at : Comm Demo-final/LPMEOH Comm Demo-final.pdf