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Technoeconomic analysis of a methanol plant based on gasification of biomass and electrolysis of water

Lasse R. Clausen, Niels Houbak and Brian Elmegaard

Energy, 2010, vol. 35, issue 5, 2338-2347

Abstract: Methanol production process configurations based on renewable energy sources have been designed. The processes were analyzed in the thermodynamic process simulation tool DNA. The syngas used for the catalytic methanol production was produced by gasification of biomass, electrolysis of water, CO2 from post-combustion capture and autothermal reforming of natural gas or biogas. Underground gas storage of hydrogen and oxygen was used in connection with the electrolysis to enable the electrolyser to follow the variations in the power produced by renewables. Six plant configurations, each with a different syngas production method, were compared. The plants achieve methanol exergy efficiencies of 59–72%, the best from a configuration incorporating autothermal reforming of biogas and electrolysis of water for syngas production. The different processes in the plants are highly heat integrated, and the low-temperature waste heat is used for district heat production. This results in high total energy efficiencies (∼90%) for the plants. The specific methanol costs for the six plants are in the range 11.8–25.3€/GJexergy. The lowest cost is obtained by a plant using electrolysis of water, gasification of biomass and autothermal reforming of natural gas for syngas production.

Keywords: Biorefinery; Biofuel; Methanol; REtrol; Gasification; Electrolysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:35:y:2010:i:5:p:2338-2347