Fuel Processing Technology, Vol.193, 159-179, 2019
Introducing a novel process to enhance the syngas conversion to methanol over Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst
In this study, a novel configuration, Adiabatic and Plate Water-cooled Reactors, which called APW is introduced as an alternative for a two stage conventional methanol process consisting of gas-cooled and water-cooled reactors. In the APW configuration, the gas-cooled reactor is replaced with two adiabatic reactors with the optimized basic design. A water-cooled reactor is like a plate heat exchanger with three sections by the different number of plates. The gas flow rate through each section is optimized, so that pressure and temperature changes along these sections are almost identical. Mathematical modeling indicates that, temperature rise within the adiabatic reactor precludes gas condensate formation, consequently improves the catalyst durability. Moreover, the small length to cross section ratio of the adiabatic bed results in low pressure drop. Also, high average temperature and low pressure drop along the adiabatic beds enhance methanol production. The proposed configuration, provides different advantages than the conventional process, e.g. low pressure drop, high cooling efficiency of the water-cooled reactor and higher H-2 and CO2 conversions. The APW configuration enhances the methanol production rate 12.2% in comparison with conventional configuration. Other advantages in this configuration are, eliminating condensate formation, preventing greenhouse gas emissions and improving catalyst durability.