Core Technologies

Synthesis

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Synthesis

JM Davy’s synthesis technologies convert syngas (CO, CO2 & H2) to methanol by the following exothermic reactions:

A-SRC - big equation1

A-SRC - big equation2

These reactions have a limited conversion rate, so several passes through a reactor are required to produce sufficient methanol.

Consequently, JM Davy’s methanol synthesis reactors (called converters) are designed with an adjoining process loop.

The loop passes the reactants through the converter several times. After each pass, crude methanol is separated by condensation, and the unreacted syngas recycles to the converter along with fresh feed.

Two main factors influence our methanol synthesis flowsheets:

  • The syngas feed composition determines the exact design of the methanol loop.
  • As the conversion reaction is exothermic, the converter designs vary based on how they remove the reaction heat.

JM Davy offer three different methanol synthesis technologies. Click the tabs below to learn more:

JM Davy’s axial steam-raising converter (A-SRC) employs a simple shell-and-tube design with axial counter-current flow.

Axial Steam-Raising Converter (A-SRC) Flowsheet

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A-SRC 1 A-SRC 2 A-SRC 3 A-SRC 4
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Process Description

The Davy A-SRC facilitates methanol synthesis in the gas phase, with the reaction proceeding over fixed catalyst beds in axial reaction tubes.

Syngas, following compression, passes to the A-SRC, entering the top of the vessel and flowing down through reactor tubes packed with catalyst.

In the tubes, the syngas reacts exothermically to form methanol.

On the shell side, water enters the base of the A-SRC and vaporises as it absorbs the heat of reaction, then circulates through a steam drum before re-entering the vessel in the liquid phase.

The reaction vessel and steam drum operate as a single water/ steam unit. The pressure in the steam drum is used to control the temperature of the water entering the A-SRC, which in turn determines the methanol reaction temperature.

The crude product exits the bottom of the vessel, and a simple loop arrangement adjoining the A-SRC separates the methanol by condensation. The loop then purges small quantities of inerts from the unreacted syngas before circulating it back to the A-SRC for further conversion.

The crude liquid methanol product passes to distillation for purification.

Related Processes & Core Technologies

Davy synthesis technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes – explore them here:

We offer a range of synthesis technologies with different cooling mechanisms and loop designs to suit our clients’ needs.

In addition, our converters often work in conjunction with our reforming technologies, in particular for methanol production.

Explore these in more detail here:

Radial steam-raising conversion involves syngas moving radially across a fixed catalyst bed on the shell-side of a reactor. As the syngas exothermically reacts to form methanol, tube-side water absorbs the heat of reaction and converts to steam. JM Davy’s R-SRCs are particularly useful for large-capacity methanol synthesis.

Radial Steam-Raising Converter (R-SRC) Flowsheet

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R-SRC 1 R-SRC 2 R-SRC 3 R-SRC 4
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Process Description

Methanol synthesis proceeds in the gas phase by exothermic reaction over a fixed catalyst bed.

Syngas, following compression, passes to the R-SRC. Entering the bottom of the vessel, the syngas flows up through a central distributor pipe which allows it to flow radially out from the centre through a fixed catalyst bed.

Here, the syngas reacts exothermically to form methanol.

Water flowing up through tubes embedded in the catalyst absorbs the heat of reaction and converts to steam.

The crude product exits the side of the vessel, and a simple loop arrangement adjoining the R-SRC separates the methanol by condensation. The loop then purges small quantities of inerts from the unreacted syngas before circulating it back to the R-SRC for further conversion.

The crude liquid methanol product passes to distillation for purification.

Related Processes & Core Technologies

Davy synthesis technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes – explore them here:

We offer a range of synthesis technologies with different cooling mechanisms and loop designs to suit our clients’ needs.

In addition, our converters often work in conjunction with our reforming technologies, in particular for methanol production.

Explore these in more detail here:

JM Davy’s tube-cooled converter (TCC) uses its feed stream to cool the exothermic methanol synthesis reaction.

Tube-Cooled Converter (TCC) Flowsheet

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TCC 1 TCC 2 TCC 3 TCC 4
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Process Description

Methanol synthesis proceeds exothermically in the gas phase, and is cooled by counter-current heat exchange with the feed stream.

Syngas, following compression, passes to the TCC. Entering the bottom of the reactor, the feed gas flows upwards through axial tubes which are embedded in catalyst.

As the syngas flows upwards, it absorbs heat from the exothermic reaction taking place shell-side in the catalyst bed.

The heated syngas leaves the top of the tubes, then passes down through the catalyst bed where it reacts to form methanol. At the same time, heat from this exothermic reaction transfers to the fresh feed flowing up through the tubes.

The crude product exits the bottom of the vessel, and a simple loop arrangement adjoining the TCC separates the methanol by condensation. The loop then purges small quantities of inerts from the unreacted syngas before circulating it back to the TCC for further conversion.

The crude liquid methanol product passes to distillation for purification.

Related Processes & Core Technologies

Davy synthesis technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes – explore them here:

We offer a range of synthesis technologies with different cooling mechanisms and loop designs to suit our clients’ needs.

In addition, our converters often work in conjunction with our reforming technologies, in particular for methanol production.

Explore these in more detail here:


Related Processes

Davy synthesis technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes – explore them here:


Core Technologies

We offer a range of synthesis technologies with different cooling mechanisms and loop designs to suit our clients’ needs.

In addition, our converters often work in conjunction with our reforming technologies, in particular for methanol production.

Explore these in more detail here: