Analysis of methanol synthesis using CO2 hydrogenation and syngas produced from biogas-based reforming processes

Rei Yu Chein, Wei Hsin Chen, Hwai Chyuan Ong, Pau Loke Show, Yashvir Singh

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Utilizing the greenhouse gas CO2 as a feedstock in chemical processing can offer alternative solutions to long-term storage. In this study, a systematic analysis of methanol synthesis performance was analyzed based on both thermodynamic equilibrium and kinetic models using captured CO2 and syngas produced from biogas as feedstock. Using reactor inlet temperature as a parameter, it was found that methanol yield can be enhanced by increasing residential time from increased reactor diameter. The longer reactor can increase the residential time but a large pressure drop caused a decrease in methanol yield. Due to the exothermic reaction nature, methanol yield from an adiabatic reactor is lower than that from the isothermal reactor due to temperature rise. From the results obtained for CO2 hydrogenation, methanol yield can be enhanced by water removal. The CO2 conversion was found to increase with increased reaction temperature due to methanol and carbon monoxide productions. Using CO and CO2 as limiting species, high combined CO and CO2 conversion can be obtained from syngas with low CO2/H2 and high CO/H2 ratios. However, methanol production per mole of H2 depends on the H2 utility instead of combined CO and CO2 conversion. Finally, syngas produced from biogas by using combined dry and steam reforming reactions was used as the feedstock for the methanol synthesis. To obtained the syngas composition suggested from industrial applications, CH4 and H2O were added in the combined reforming process. With higher CH4 content in the biogas, higher methanol production and lower water production can be obtained. With an increased recycle ratio for unreacted syngas, methanol production can be enhanced.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130835
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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