349553 Process Design and Integration of Shale Gas to Methanol

Monday, November 4, 2013
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton)
Victoria Ehlinger, Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Recent breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology have made huge reservoirs of previously untapped shale gas and shale oil formations available for use.  These new resources have already made a significant impact on the United States chemical industry and present many opportunities for new capital investments and industry growth. 

This paper is aimed at process synthesis, analysis, and integration of different processing pathways for the production of methanol from shale gas.  The composition of the shale gas feedstock is assumed to come from the Barnett Shale Play located near Fort Worth, Texas, which is currently the most active shale gas play in the US.   Process simulation and published data were used to construct base-case scenarios. The impact of different processing pathways was analyzed. Key performance indicators were assessed. These include overall process targets for mass and energy, economic performance, and environmental impact. The paper also addressed the integration opportunities within the process and with other feedstocks (e.g., biomass). Finally, the impact of several factors (e.g., feedstock composition, design and operating variables) is studied through a sensitivity analysis.

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