To produce federal-grade AA refined methanol from natural gas-based synthesis gas and naphtha using Toyo Engineering Corp.’s (TOYO’s) Synthesis Gas Generation technologies and proprietary MRF-Z reactor. In a natural gas-based plant, the synthesis gas is produced by reforming natural gas with steam and/or oxygen using high-activity steam reforming ISOP catalyst.
Syngas preparation. The feedstock is first preheated and sulfur compounds are removed in a desulfurizer (1). Steam is added, and the feedstock-steam mixture is preheated again. Part of the feed is reformed adiabatically in pre-reformer TAS-R (2). Half of the feedstock-steam mixture is distributed into catalyst tubes of the steam reformer (3) and the rest is sent to TOYO’s proprietary heat exchanger reformer, TAF-X (4), installed in parallel with (3) as the primary reformer. The heat required for TAF-X unit is supplied by the effluent stream of secondary reformer (5). Depending on plant capacity, the TAF-X (4) and/or the secondary reformer (5) can be eliminated.
Methanol synthesis. The synthesis loop comprises a circulator combined with compressor (6), MRF-Z reactor (7), feed/effluent heat exchanger (8), methanol condenser (9) and separator (10). At present, the MRF-Z reactor is the only reactor in the world capable of producing 5,000 tpd–6,000 tpd of methanol in a single-reactor vessel. The operation pressure is 5 MPa–10 MPa. The syngas enters the MRF-Z reactor (7) at 220°C–240°C and leaves at 260°C–280°C normally.
The methanol synthesis catalyst applied is purchased from authorized catalyst vendor(s) by TOYO and is packed in the shell side of the reactor. Reaction heat is recovered and used to efficiently generate steam on the tube side. Reactor effluent gas is cooled to condense the crude methanol. The crude methanol is separated in a separator (10). The unreacted gas is circulated for further conversion. A purge taken from the recycling gas can be used as fuel in the reformer (3).
Methanol purification. The crude methanol is fed to a distillation system, which consists of a small topping column (11) and a refining column (12) to obtain high-purity federal grade AA methanol.
Licensor: Toyo Engineering Corp. (TOYO)