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Process development in a miniplant scale - A multilevel - multiscale PSE approach for developing an improved Oxidative Coupling of Methane process

DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-444-59506-5.50169-3
  • Oxidative Coupling Of Methane
  • Concurrent Pse Approach
  • Miniplant
  • Engineering


Abstract The oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) is a promising alternative route to olefins that converts methane to higher hydrocarbons and open up a new feedstock for the oil based industry. However, due to yield limitations of available catalysts and high separation costs for conventional gas processing, the OCM process has not been applied yet in the industry. Starting with process simulation and sensitivity studies a flexible mini-plant was built in this research so as to demonstrate technical feasibility of an efficient OCM process, model validity and to study long term effects. By this means a concurrent engineering approach was applied for the whole process while investigating each unit parallel. Moreover, catalyst with several reactor concepts like the fluidized bed and membrane reactor were investigated by CFD simulation, process simulation and experiments, in order to study catalyst life time, operation conditions and technical feasibility. Thus, the reaction section was improved from 16% yield to 18%. Furthermore, the separation part of the OCM process was energetically improved by an integrated down streaming unit for the CO2. Thus, an energetic improvement of more than 40% in comparison to a benchmark absorption - desorption based CO2 separation process was achieved. In addition to this, novel absorbents were studied starting with molecular simulation up to process simulation and experimental validation for the CO2 separation. The results of the integrated process development and optimization process for the OCM will be presented and an overview of the multi scale and multilevel Process System Engineering (PSE) approach will be given for the case study.

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