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Technology Profile: Dimethyl Ether Production from Natural Gas and Carbon Dioxide

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Dimethyl Ether Production from Natural Gas and CO2 (Direct Method) – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/dimethyl-ether-production-cost. Dimethyl ether (DME) is the simplest aliphatic ether, containing only two carbon atoms. This organic compound has been used in the production of the methylating agent dimethyl sulfate, and as an aerosol propellant, a coolant and in a number of other applications. Over the past few years, DME has been increasingly viewed as a “clean” and economical alternative fuel for diesel engines, able to achieve high performance and low emissions (CO, NOx and particulate matter) when burned as fuel. The process The present analysis discusses an industrial process for the production of DME from natural gas and carbon dioxide (direct method). The process comprises three major sections: (1) production of synthesis gas (syngas); (2) DME synthesis; and (3) purification (Figure 1).   Figure 1. The diagram shows the process for production of dimethyl ether from natural gas and CO2 (direct method)[/caption] Syngas production. Natural gas feedstock is treated in zinc oxide beds for removal of sulfur compounds, and in…
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