Project Synopsis

Perform a preliminary process design for a facility to produce both methanol (MeOH) and dimethyl ether (DME) from natural gas.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, a new alternative energy technology company, to develop a mass and energy balance and process flow diagram for a methanol (CH3OH) / dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3) co-production process.  The process uses natural gas as a feedstock that is combined with water and oxygen in an auto-thermal reformer to produce carbon dioxide (CO2).  The natural gas is treated in a de-sulfurizer bed prior to reformation.  The auto-thermal outlet gas is fed to a liquid-phase methanol reactor for the production of methanol and dimethyl ether.  Distillation, adsorption, and membrane unit operations are utilized downstream of the reaction to effect the required separations of products and gases.  PROCESS developed a process simulation utilizing its licensed commercial computer process simulation program, CHEMCAD, to produce the required project deliverables.

Industry Type

  • Alternative Energy
  • Alternative Chemicals

Utilized Skills

  • Conceptual plant design
  • Preliminary process design