Investigation of the Partial Oxidation of Methane to Methanol in a Simulated Countercurrent Moving Bed Reactor

EPA Grant Number: R825370C048
Subproject: this is subproject number 048 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825370
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EERC - National Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies (CenCITT)
Center Director: Crittenden, John C.
Title: Investigation of the Partial Oxidation of Methane to Methanol in a Simulated Countercurrent Moving Bed Reactor
Investigators: Carr, R.W.
Institution: University of Minnesota , Michigan Technological University
Current Institution: University of Minnesota
EPA Project Officer: Karn, Barbara
Project Period:    
RFA: Exploratory Environmental Research Centers (1992) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies (CenCITT) , Targeted Research

Objective:

The goal of this CenCITT funded project is to develop a simulated countercurrent moving bed chromatographic reactor (SCMCR) for the production of methanol from methane (natural gas).

Approach:

A multiple column configuration SCMCR is currently being built. It must withstand pressures of at least 50 atmospheres, since methanol synthesis by this chemistry is a high pressure process. Catalysts and adsorbents will be selected and tested in the reactor, and a suitable combination will be selected. The reactor configuration (number of columns) and operating conditions will be optimized experimentally. A mathematical model will be developed as a basis for process design and scale up.

Rationale:

The partial oxidation of methane to methanol is a process that would utilize a clean source material in an energy efficient manner to produce a substance, which is both a clean fuel and a useful chemical feedstock. Simulated countercurrent moving bed chromatographic reactors are chemical reactors in which reaction and separation occur simultaneously. The chromatographic separation has very low energy requirements, so these are environmentally benign reactors. The separation of reactant(s) from product(s) enables equilibrium limited reactions to be carried to higher conversions than would be possible in conventional non-separative reactors. These reactors are also capable of improving yields of other intrinsically low conversion processes. Thus, waste streams of unconverted reactants can be minimized. The partial oxidation of methane to methanol is a very low conversion process, if it is carried out under conditions where complete oxidation to CO2 and H2O is suppressed. Methanol production, by this reaction, has never been commercially feasible.

The work currently in progress is an investigation of methane partial oxidation in a SCMCR. If good yields of methanol can be obtained, an economically feasible process for methanol is expected to result.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 4 publications for this subprojectView all 157 publications for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

methanol, methane, partial oxidation, reactors, chromatographic., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Sustainable Environment, Chemistry, Technology for Sustainable Environment, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, reaction engineering, partial oxidation, feedstock, oxidation, clean technologies, oxidation reactions, environmentally benign reactor, clean technology, methanol, reactors, catalysts, energy efficiency, feedstocks, waste streams, mathematical models, simulated countercurrent moving bed chromatographic reactor (SCMCR)

Progress and Final Reports:

1999 Progress Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R825370    EERC - National Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies (CenCITT)

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
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R825370C046 Clean Process Advisory System (CPAS) Core Activities
R825370C048 Investigation of the Partial Oxidation of Methane to Methanol in a Simulated Countercurrent Moving Bed Reactor
R825370C054 Predictive Tool for Ultrafiltration Performance
R825370C055 Heuristic Reactor Design for Clean Synthesis and Processing - Separative Reactors
R825370C056 Characterization of Selective Solid Acid Catalysts Towards the Rational Design of Catalytic Reactions
R825370C057 Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing: Prediction of Processing Waste Streams for Discrete Products
R825370C064 The Physical Properties Management System (PPMS™): A P2 Engineering Aid to Support Process Design and Analysis
R825370C065 Development and Testing of Pollution Prevention Design Aids for Process Analysis and Decision Making
R825370C066 Design Tools for Chemical Process Safety: Accident Probability
R825370C067 Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing: Design for Disassembly (DFD) in De-Manufacturing of Products
R825370C068 An Economic Comparison of Wet and Dry Machining
R825370C069 In-Line Copper Recovery Technology
R825370C070 Selective Catalytic Hydrogenation of Lactic Acid
R825370C071 Biosynthesis of Polyhydroxyalkanoate Polymers from Industrial Wastewater
R825370C072 Tin Zeolites for Partial Oxidation Catalysis
R825370C073 Development of a High Performance Photocatalytic Reactor System for the Production of Methanol from Methane in the Gas Phase
R825370C074 Recovery of Waste Polymer Generated by Lost Foam Technology in the Metal Casting Industry
R825370C075 Industrial Implementation of the P2 Framework
R825370C076 Establishing Automated Linkages Between Existing P2-Related Software Design Tools
R825370C077 Integrated Applications of the Clean Process Advisory System to P2-Conscious Process Analysis and Improvement
R825370C078 Development of Environmental Indices for Green Chemical Production and Use