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Advances in Methanol Production and Utilization, with Particular Emphasis toward Hydrogen Generation via Membrane Reactor Technology


Methanol is currently considered one of the most useful chemical products and is a promising building block for obtaining more complex chemical compounds, such as acetic acid, methyl tertiary butyl ether, dimethyl ether, methylamine, etc. Methanol is the simplest alcohol, appearing as a colorless liquid and with a distinctive smell, and can be produced by converting CO2 and H2, with the further benefit of significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Indeed, methanol synthesis currently represents the second largest source of hydrogen consumption after ammonia production. Furthermore, a wide range of literature is focused on methanol utilization as a convenient energy carrier for hydrogen production via steam and autothermal reforming, partial oxidation, methanol decomposition, or methanol–water electrolysis reactions. Last but not least, methanol supply for direct methanol fuel cells is a well-established technology for power production. The aim of this work is to propose an overview on the commonly used feedstocks (natural gas, CO2, or char/biomass) and methanol production processes (from BASF—Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik, to ICI—Imperial Chemical Industries process), as well as on membrane reactor technology utilization for generating high grade hydrogen from the catalytic conversion of methanol, reviewing the most updated state of the art in this field.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Italy ; Tunisia

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