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Cyclic Simulations of Sorption-Enhanced Direct Synthesis of Dimethyl Carbonate
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This master thesis work has been conducted at the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands, ECN, at the department of Energy Efficiency. This work was aiming at investigating the possibility of producing Dimethyl Carbonate (DMC) through direct synthesis from methanol and carbon dioxide. In addition to DMC, the process will result in the formation of water. There is currently no commercial production of DMC in this way as the yield of DMC is quite low due to thermodynamic limitations. However, if the water formed could be removed in an efficient way, it would make this process more thermodynamically favorable and hence more economically viable. In the present work the production of DMC, performed via sorption-enhanced reaction using a combined catalytic reactor and adsorption vessel, was studied using simulations in Matlab. Zeolite 3A was used as the adsorbent to dehydrate the gas mixture and increase the production of DMC and CeO2 was used as the catalyst. Pressure swing, temperature swing or a combination of both, are used in this work to regenerate the sorbent. The process is run in a continuous cycle. The sorption-enhanced cycle designs were modelled in Matlab to simulate industrial scale and conditions. The goal was to validate the model against data from adsorption experiments, to simulate the process with all three regeneration strategies and to reach a yield of 20 mole% DMC based on MeOH. The Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) model was used to simulate the results from adsorption and regeneration experiments conducted at ECN, to compare the simulation to experimental data. The simulation showed the same trends in regeneration as the experimental measurements. A normal yield of DMC without removal of water is 1-2% based on MeOH. In these simulations a yield of 13.7% based on MeOH was achieved with the combination of PSA and Temperature Swing Adsorption (TSA), that is in PTSA, at a pressure of 50 bar with pressure swing set to 1 bar and with a temperature swing ranging from 120 to 220°C. A yield of 8.0% was achieved with PSA at 70 bar and 120°C. Additional experiments are recommended to be performed to further validate the model. These should include not only water adsorption but also reaction of MeOH and CO2.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-162OAI: diva2:971722
Educational program
Sustainable Process Engineering, master's level
Available from: 2016-09-26 Created: 2016-09-19 Last updated: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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