Optimization of Methanol Production

Optimization of Methanol Production

Author: Elmar Zimmermann

Methanol is an important chemical, widely used in chemical industries both as a solvent and as a raw material for the production of numerous important products. Also, it has the potential to become an alternative fuel and, as a result, its production will steadily increase.

The methanol synthesis reactor is one of the most important parts in methanol production. A team from China University of Petroleum and the University of British Columbia, Canada, simulated a quasi-isothermal Lurgi reactor. All the data used for model validation were industrial plant data. Considering the convenience for optimization in the actual plant, only those control variables were selected that are easy to change, such as syngas inlet temperature, steam drum pressure, and cooling water volumetric flow rate. As a result, the plant need not be shut down to perform optimization. With this optimization approach, the methanol yield was finally increased by 7 %.

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