545602 Techno-Economic Analysis of Drm+Cosorb Integrated Process for High H2/CO Syngas Production

Wednesday, June 5, 2019: 12:06 PM
Republic ABC (Grand Hyatt San Antonio)
Shaik Afzal1, Debalina Sengupta2, Mahmoud El-Halwagi1 and Nimir Elbashir3, (1)The Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, (2)Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, (3)Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha, Qatar


Shaik Afzal1,2, Debalina Sengupta2, Mahmoud El-Halwagi2,3, and, and Nimir Elbashir1,2,3,4,*

1Chemical Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar, P. O. Box 23874, Doha, Qatar

2Gas and Fuels Research Center, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, College Station, Texas 77843, United States

3The Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, United States

4Petroleum Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar, P. O. Box 23874, Doha, Qatar


Dry Reforming of Methane process has been studied extensively over various catalytic systems. The main challenges for industrial application are the high energy requirement, severe coking environment and low-quality syngas (H2/CO~1) produced by DRM. Optimization work done recently by our group [1], indicates that parallel combinations of a DRM unit with a commercial process like Steam Methane Reforming might not result in an appreciable decrease in overall CO2 emissions or operating costs. Different process combinations were studied with the aim of leveraging the CO2 utilization potential of the DRM reaction. Based on the assessment, it was found that a series combination of DRM and COSORB (CO Absorption unit to adjust H2/CO ratio) can be competitive with existing processes in terms of CO2 emissions and operating costs. However, it should be noted that the advantage may be achieved only if the captured CO is sold to an external customer. Of all the studied combinations, this particular process combination has significant reductions in CO2 emissions and operating costs. For a syngas ratio of 2, the DRM+COSORB process would have ~68% reduction in CO2 emissions and ~21% reduction in operating costs when compared to a Partial Oxidation plant (which utilizes oxygen). Similarly, for a syngas ratio of 3, when compared to an Auto-Thermal Reformer, the reduction in CO2 emissions is ~72% and reduction in operating costs is ~25%. The comparisons are plotted in Figure 1. These promising results indicate a good potential for the DRM+COSORB process.

The current work builds on the aforementioned findings and a detailed process simulation is carried out in ASPEN Plus V8.8. The objective is to investigate the techno-economic potential of the DRM+COSORB process to produce syngas of high H2/CO ratio. Data for the COSORB unit has been obtained from literature sources published when the process was being commercialized [2]. The simulation results will be analyzed in terms of overall CO2 emissions as well as fixed and operating costs of the process. These metrics will be compared with those of currently commercial processes (Partial Oxidation of Methane and Steam Methane Reforming). Figure 1 shows the comparison of these metrics based on our optimization study [1]. The ASPEN simulation will help in validating these estimates for the proposed DRM+COSORB process.

Figure 1 - Comparison of proposed DRM+COSORB Process (captured CO sold externally) with commercial processes for syngas ratio of 2 & 3

Due to the inherent stoichiometry of the Dry Reforming of Methane process, even if coke-resistant catalysts are found to be commercially viable for the DRM conditions, the low-quality syngas problem still persists. The proposed DRM+COSORB process will be able to produce high quality syngas, through a stand-alone DRM unit without the need for external hydrogen blending for syngas ratio adjustment. This simulation work of the DRM+COSORB process is one step towards better understanding of this process which has the potential of producing same quality of syngas as commercial processes (H2/CO ≥ 2) with lower CO2 emissions and competitive operating costs.

Keywords: Dry Reforming, Syngas Ratio, COSORB


[1]       S. Afzal, D. Sengupta, A. Sarkar, M. M. El-Halwagi, and N. O. Elbashir, “Optimization Approach to the Reduction of CO2 Emissions for Syngas Production Involving Dry Reforming,” ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng., vol. 6, p. 7532−7544, 2018.

[2]       D. J. Haase and D. G. Walker, “The COSORB Process,” Chemical Engineering Progress, vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 74–77, 1974.


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