463150 Techno-Economic Analysis of Shale Gas-to-Dimethyl Ether (DME) Process Via Direct Synthesis
In this work, a technically-feasible shale gas-to-DME process is synthesized first. Shale gas is first converted to syngas via pre-reformer and autothermal reformer and then converted to DME via direct synthesis. In the syngas production unit, a pre-reformer is required to convert the heavy hydrocarbons and prevent coking in the autothermal reformer. The raw syngas is sent to an acid gas removal unit to separate CO2. The clean syngas is then sent to the DME production unit. The effluent of the DME reactor is then fed to a separation section where the unconverted syngas, DME, CO2, water, and methanol are separated. A portion of the CO2 recovered in the separation section is utilized by recycling to the syngas production unit.
The presentation will focus on the following aspects: (1) development of kinetic models for pre-reformer, autothermal reformer, and DME synthesis reactor using the rate parameters regressed from experimental data, (2) development of a low cost novel separation system to separate unconverted syngas, DME, CO2, water and methanol using DME as solvent, (3) development of the plant-wide model of a shale gas-to-DME process in Aspen Plus® and validation of plants section for which experimental data exist, (4) techno-economic analysis in APEA using the model developed in Aspen Plus®, (5) sensitivity study to analyze the effect of key design parameters on the main economic measures (i.e. net present value, internal rate of return, payback period), including design parameters such as steam to carbon ratio and oxygen to carbon ratio in the autothermal reformer, H2/CO ratio in the DME synthesis reactor, technologies for acid gas removal (chemical or physical absorption), extent of CO2 recycle, and utilization.
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