A membrane system to separate methanol and/or water from the methanol synthesis reactor in-situ can greatly enhance the per pass production of methanol, in some cases up to 50% greatly reducing equipment size.
In addition, selective removal of reaction products will decrease the energy demand in downstream processing and that associated with the recycle of unreacted feed. An important objective in this work package is the further development of membranes for in-situ product removal; these are able to operate within the same operating window as required for catalyst. This will be achieved by complementary design and modelling studies of the overall process (performed in WP5) and single tube membrane separation and reactor tests that will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept on lab scale. Based on these results, the on-going development for the membrane will be further refined and a selection of the best performing membrane will be scaled-up and tested in a multi-tube membrane reactor.
• Develop and test a demonstration unit for methanol production in a multi-tube membrane reactor configuration at TRL 5
• Development and evaluation of thermally stable membranes for the selective product removal and retention of gases under demanding process conditions (p = 50-100 bar, T = 200-270 °C)
• Demonstration of the integrated process concept in a pilot demonstration module, reaching at least 33% syngas conversion