Liquid-Phase Methanol Process (LPMeOH) Jill DeTroye, Brandon Hurn, Kyle Ludwig, and Isaac Zaydens Overview ● ● ● ● ● ● Introduction to LPMeOH Process LPMeOH Features Performance Commercial Applications Environment and Economic Analysis ● Conclusion and Recommendations Slurry Bubble Column Reactor installation Image adapted from Kirkland et al. Introduction ● LPMEOH technology was first developed in the 1980’s in LaPorte Texas ● The DOE wanted to develop a more economic and efficient way to convert coal-derived synthesis gas into methanol ● Over 7,400 hours of test operation in a DOE-owned 10 tons-perday Process Development Unit ● Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee was the first commercial-scale plant for LPMEOH technology Introduction ● Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Eastman Chemical Company partnered to form Air Products Liquid Phase Conversion Company, L.P. ● Together and with the DOE they participated in the Clean Coal Technology Program demonstration of LPMEOH technology. ● Purpose was to demonstrate the scale-up and operability of the LPMEOH process with different coal-based syngas feed compositions Process ● Old system o Catalyst pellets o Gas phase ● LPMEOH o Powder catalyst slurried in an inert mineral oil ● High heat removal ● Higher Syngas conversion Image adapted from Heydorn et al. LPMEOH Features Conventional Methanol Production ● Water gas shift reactor needed to adjust stoichiometry of feedstocks o 16% CO concentration ● Cannot endure sharp transient operations ● Produce crude methanol o 4%-20% water by weight ● Interrupted operation LPMEOH ● ● ● ● Syngas with large amounts of carbon oxides can be directly processed o Over 50% CO concentration Can handle sudden changes and idling Produce high quality methanol o 1% water by weight Remove and add catalyst slurry LPMEOH PFD Image adapted from Kirkland et al. Performance ● Produce 260 short tons/day or 80,000 gallons/day during the within 4 days o Exceed 115% within 6 days ● Catalyst deactivation rate o Campaign 1 - 0.4% per day o Campaign 2 to 3 - 0.6% to 0.7% per day o Campaign 4 - 0.17% per day o trace amounts of arsenic and sulfur were the main poisons ● Unit plant availability - 97.5% Commercial Applications ● Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Coproduction o Converts coal-derived syngas from power plant to methanol o Flexibility in syngas composition o Continuous vs. off-peak power shaving Image adapted from Heydorn et al. Commercial Applications Image adapted from Heydorn et al. Commercial Applications ● Distributed Generation o No sulfur o Low NOx o Energy security ● Turbines ● Diesel engines ● Fuel cells ● Fuel alternative Environmental Implications ● Project developed with alleviation of environmental impacts in mind ● Generally, coal-based or fossil fuel-based (particularly natural gas) methods used for methanol production o LPMEOH resulted in reduction of carbon emissions o Methanol produced for fuel purposes: Free of sulfur Contained <1 wt% water o When used as a fuel, showed significantly reduced NOx emissions with comparable performance ● Start-up process produced no noticeable environmental hazards ● Further improvements possible via “site-specific” design considerations o Proximity to waste disposal sites Waste Production ● Demonstration unit showed no significant impact to local environment due to process activity ● June 30, 1995: a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) issued, indicating an environmentally-sound process ● Lower-than-expected production of waste products including: o Spent catalyst o Waste Oil o Recovered Distillate liquids o Waste Water ● All waste products easily handled and disposed of effectively. Economic ● This method would not replace but instead couple with an existing methanol production method, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) ● Potential to realize a 25% reduction in variable cost of production to as low as $.50 per gallon of methanol. ● Economic estimates predict a return on investment of roughly 15% ● This process will allow a clean, cost effective transformation of coal into a practical, environmentally-friendly chemical feedstock ● In any case, the co-production of methanol remains economically preferable to offshore natural gas processing Conclusion and Recommendations ● LPMEOH Demonstration Project accomplished the objectives set out in the agreement between the DOE, Air Products, and Eastman Chemical Company ● Over 103.9 million gallons of methanol was produced with one month reaching a maximum of 2.5 million gallons ● The addition of catalysts helped with commercial interest and significantly improved the LPMEOH process ● Developments in the processes for removing trace contaminants in coalderived syngas will extend catalyst life and lead to lower methanol conversion costs ● Additional reductions in syngas costs from a modern coal gasification system will increase market opportunities for the LPMEOH process References ● United States of America. Department of Energy. National Energy Technology Laboratory. Commercial-Scale Demonstration of the Liquid Phase Methanol Process. By Robert J. Kirkland, Edward Schmetz, and Robert M. Kornosky. Washington D.C.: n.p., 2004. Print. ● United States of America. Department of Energy. National Energy Technology Laboratory. Final Report for the Commercial-Scale Demonstration of the Liquid Phase Methanol Process. By E. C. Heydorn and R. D. Lilly. Washington D.C.: n.p., 2003. Print.