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Sulfur Rich Coal Gasification and Low Impact Methanol Production

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2018, pp 210-226
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d5.0188
Andrea Bassani1, Giula Bozzano1, Carlo Pirola2, Caterina Frau3, Alberto Pettinau3, Enrico Maggio3, Eliseo Ranzi1, Flavio Manenti1
1 Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento CMIC “Giulio Natta”, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
2 Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Via Golgi 19, 20133 Milano, Italy
3 Sotacarbo S.p.A., c/o Grande Miniera di Serbariu, 09013 Carbonia, Italy


In recent times, the methanol was employed in numerous innovative applications and is a key compound widely used as a building block or intermediate for producing synthetic hydrocarbons, solvents, energy storage medium and fuel. It is a source of clean, sustainable energy that can be produced from traditional and renewable sources: natural gas, coal, biomass, landfill gas and power plant or industrial emissions. An innovative methanol production process from coal gasification is proposed in this work. A suitable comparison between the traditional coal to methanol process and the novel one is provided and deeply discussed. The most important features, with respect to the traditional ones, are the lower carbon dioxide emissions (about 0.3%) and the higher methanol production (about 0.5%) without any addition of primary sources. Moreover, it is demonstrated that a coal feed/fuel with a high sulfur content allows higher reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. The key idea is to convert hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide into syngas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) by means of a regenerative thermal reactor. This is the Acid Gas to Syngas technology, a completely new and effective route of processing acid gases. The main concept is to feed an optimal ratio of hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide and to preheat the inlet acid gas before the combustion. The reactor is simulated using a detailed kinetic scheme.

Keywords: Carbon dioxide reuse, Methanol synthesis, Improved coal gasification, Syngas from hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide emissions.

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