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Methanol Production from CO2 and H2 and the energy utilities analysis by

varying feed flow rate.

Problem statement:

Figure 1: Process Flowsheet


The methanol is prepared by the reaction of CO2 and H2 in the presence of nitrogen. The 57%
conversion is achieved. The concentration of the N2 in the gross feed cannot exceed more than 2
%. The basis of 1 kmol/s CO2 is assumed for ease of calculation. The moles of N2 in the gross feed
are determined. The total conversion for one mole of a component is 57% so for 3 moles of H2 the
conversion is determined. Assuming 100% separation is achieved giving maximum value of the
conversion of methanol and water. The unreacted components are recycled. For that we provided
a mixer for the mixing of the fresh feed and the recycle stream. The flow rates of the recycle and
the fresh feed is determined by applying the balance across mixer. As the outlets are coming at a

certain temperature so for that heaters are attached to raise the temperature of the outlet streams.
The N2 does not involve in the reaction as it is inert.

Experimental Procedure:

The basis of 1 kmol/ Sec of CO2 is used. The components CO2, H2O, N2, H2 and CH3OH were
added and ideal conditions were assumed, and all the calculations were made on the basis of ideal
gas law. The ideal was selected in the base method.

Figure 2: Method selection

The flow diagram for the process generated is given below:

Figure 3: Process Flow sheet

The stream entering the reactor was a combination of fresh feed and recycle streams that were
added to the mix. The stream obtained after the reaction was the combination of product, unreacted
reactants and inert N2. A separator was used to give three streams of methanol, water and the gases.
The gas stream was attached to a splitter which split the streams in to recycle and purge stream.
The heater was attached to obtain the desired temperature of the streams. The fresh feed entered
at 250 C and recycle stream was entered at 900 C and at 1 bar for both streams.

Figure 4: Entering the specification of feed stream

Similarly, for recycle stream

Figure 5: Entering the specification of recycle stream

The reactor was operated at a temperature 700 C and the fractional conversion added was 0.57.

Figure 6: Reactor operating specifications

The reaction specifications were

Figure 7: Reaction specifications

In separator the streams of methanol, water and gases were obtained. The separated gas stream
was connected to a splitter to obtain the unreacted reactants that were latter on mixed in the mixer
with the fresh feed.

Figure 8: Splitter specifications

The heater for the purge and the recycle stream were fixed at 1000 C and 900 C respectively at 1
bar pressure. The stream entering the mixer was also at 900 C.

Results and Discussion:

The recycle stream was added to the mixer as a separate stream just to give an idea that the gross
feed is the mixer of both the fresh feed and the recycle stream. The results given below are for 2.55
kmol/ Sec

Figure 9: Results of each stream

The energy analysis at this flow rate is given below

Figure 20: Energy analysis

Net energy duty =3237 cal/sec

Net energy duty =3237*4.184 J/Sec
Net energy duty =13,543/1000 KJ/Sec

Net energy duty =13.543 KJ/Sec
The results given below are for 5.1032 kmol/ Sec. The result showed that the feed flow rate is
double the energy duty increases as shown in figure 12.

Figure 31: Results of each stream at

Figure 42: Energy analysis

The graph shows the relation between the net energy duty and the flow rates

Relation between net energy duty & flow rate


Net Energy duty (kj\s)



0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Flow rate (kmol\s)

Figure 53: Relation between net energy duty & flow rate

Net energy duty =5163 cal/sec

Net energy duty =5163*4.184 J/Sec
Net energy duty =21,601/1000 KJ/Sec
Net energy duty = 21.601 KJ/Sec

There is an increase in the energy duty to increase in flow rate from 2.5516 to 5.102 kmol/Sec
because larger equipment’s, auxiliaries and utilities are required. The graph shows that there is
direct relation between them.