Technical and Economic Assessment of Methanol Production from Biogas

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Thomas Helmer Pedersen
  • René Haller Schultz
4. term, Energy Engineering, Master (Master Programme)
The importance of renewable fuel production has become significant in terms of supplying energy carriers for the transportation sector and storing electricity overflows from intermittent sources. Consequently, renewable methanol from electrolysis and a biogas origin is investigated. Two plant sizes have been established; farm and large scale. Three novel conceptual plant designs have been addressed and modeled through Aspen Plus®. An heat integration and economic assessment of capital and operational costs were established to estimate methanol production prices. The three designs have been subjected to a cost-optimization to minimize production costs. It was found, that large scale methanol production is favored by economy of scale and that large plants based on partial oxidation reforming yielded the lowest cost. The methanol production price was found in the range of 418-687 USD/ton. Due to the competitive prices, the establishment of the novel schemes are projected to be an incentive to enhance biogas production. Despite the finding that methanol can be produced at competitive prices, basing a Danish methanol infrastructure entirely on synthesis of biogas is unlikely, due to low methanol conversion efficiencies.
Publication date31 May 2012
Number of pages138
Publishing institutionAAU - Study of Energy Engineering
ID: 63472421