Projects

Methanol, the LOGIC Choice!

The new LOGIC project scales-up the Liquid-In Gas-Out Concept (LOGIC) reactor for methanol synthesis from CO2 and sustainable hydrogen.

Incentive

Because of the rising amount of intermittently available sustainable energy the storage of this energy for longer periods becomes increasingly important. Furthermore, there is a rising demand for sustainable carbon feedstocks in the chemical industry.

The LOGIC technology aims to combine these two factors by providing a process for producing methanol from CO2 and H2 at mild temperatures and pressures with a carbon yield of nearly 100%. This is realized by using an innovative reactor design with an internal gas recycle.

In addition, an in-situ condenser removes the condensible methanol and water from the reactor while allowing the gases to be recycled. Another advantage of the process is the possibility of operating without external heat input and with natural convection driving the internal gas circulation.

LOGIC graphic English text

Previous work

In previous work at the University of Twente a proof-of-principle reactor was successfully built and tested [ref 1][ref 2]. Experiments showed a methanol yield of nearly 100%. Furthermore it was shown that the reactor is able to operate under natural convection conditions. Modelling efforts showed the possibility of autothermal operation if sufficient heat integration is applied.

Objectives

  • To scale-up the LOGIC reactor from the previously built proof-of-principle reactor to a 5 kg/day pilot unit. Build, test and optimize the scaled-up reactor
  • Investigate the natural convection phenomena in the system in combination with autothermal operation of the reactor.
  • Make a design for a large-scale unit.

Approach

The LOGIC concept works as follows (see also Figure 1):

  1. CO2 and H2 are fed into the reactor in a molar ratio of 1:3 and mixed with the recycle gas stream.
  2. A heat exchanger heats up the fresh gas using heat from the catalyst outlet stream.
  3. The exothermic reaction takes place inside the catalyst bed, heating up the gas.
  4. Heat from the catalyst outlet is exchanged with the catalyst feed stream.
  5. Water and methanol are condensed by locally lowering the temperature and are removed from the reactor.
  6. The unconverted gases are recycled.
Schematic view of the LOGIC reactor
Figure 1: Schematic view of the LOGIC reactor

Activities

Based on previous and new experimental results a mathematical model for the reactor will be made. Using this model, design parameters are investigated and criteria for natural convection based circulation and autothermal operation will be formulated. A dynamic model will be made to analyse start-up and shutdown performance.

Using the model results, a design for the 5 kg/day pilot unit will be made. The unit will then be built and subsequently tested and optimized. Experiments will be conducted to verify and improve the aforementioned model. Using the updated model and experimental results, a design for a large-scale unit will be made.

[1]      M. J. Bos and D. W. F. Brilman, “A novel condensation reactor for efficient CO2 to methanol conversion for storage of renewable electric energy,” Chem. Eng. J., vol. 278, pp. 527–532, 2015.

[2]       M. J. Bos, Y. Slotboom, S. R. A. Kersten, and D. W. F. Brilman, “110th Anniversary : Characterization of a Condensing CO2 to Methanol Reactor,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., vol. 58, no. 31, pp. 13987–13999, 2019.

Grant provider

This project is co-funded with subsidy from the Topsector Energy by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Sustainable development goals

This project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Project partners

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