Conclusion

Based on the analysis performed, the liquid-phase technology, LPMEOHTM is seen as the more superior choice because it holds numerous technical and cost-competitive advantages over the gas-phase technologies. Most importantly, the LPMEOHTM reactor is well suited to the current plant design in the North-West shelf region of Western Australia, such that the addition of the LPMEOHTM converter will not entail significant changes to the process design. Also, because the proposed plant in Western Australia is similar in production capacity to the one in Tennessee which also utilizes the LPMEOHTM converter; it proves that the technology can be successfully adopted in the current plant design. More efficient temperature control enables this liquid-phase technology to be significantly more competitive in terms of conversion per pass compared to the other gas-phase technologies. Although commercially less established compared to its gas-phase counterparts, the LPMEOHTM converter is favoured in terms of overall costs, due to the fact that the process has lower operational costs and that ongoing efforts are focused on reducing its capital expenditure. The Cu/Zn/Al2O3 catalyst which is one of the most commonly used catalysts in gas-phase technologies, is also very compatible with this liquid-phase technology. The LPMEOHTM technology and the Cu/Zn/Al2O3 catalyst is regarded as the most preferred combination for the proposed plant in North-West shelf region in Western Australia.

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