Methanol or methyl alcohol has industrially been produced for many decades and when using it as a fuel it buns without emitting polluting substances such as NOx and Sox. It is also well suited for use in steam generators or gas turbines and it considerably reduces CO emissions when used in mixture with gasoline. Moreover, methanol as ecological energy carrier is an important chemical precursor used widely in the manufacture of formaldehyde, chloromethane, acetic acid, acetic anhydride, methyl formate and dim ethyl ether. Furthermore, methanol can be converted into a high octane gasoline for the transportation market using an off-the-shelf methanol-to-gasoline process and can also be used to produce olefins a precursor product used in the manufacturing of plastics.
Our standalone design for a methanol plant capable of producing 7,000 BPD would require the gasification of approximately 1,100 tonnes per day of high grade coal. The best practice would be to develop and build the plant at an operating coal mine. A plant of this size would have an estimated capital cost of approximately US$275 million. The plant would be self-sufficient in power due to the large amount of excess steam produced from the process. All the industrial methods for producing methanol are very familiar to each other and are based on two fundamental stages namely a first stage in which the raw material such as coal is converted into syn-gas namely a (CO/H2/CO2) mixture and a second stage in which the mixture is converted into methanol with a heterogeneous gaseous phase catalysis. Typically, a copper catalyst is used in either a bubbling bed or a fixed tube reactor. Based on long term reliability Klean uses a fixed tube reactor in its plant designs.