Techno-Economic Optimization of CO2-to-Methanol with Solid-Oxide Electrolyzer

Carbon capture and utilization are promising to tackle fossil-fuel depletion and climate change. CO2 hydrogenation can synthesize various chemicals and fuels, such as methanol, formic acid, urea, and methane. CO2-to-methanol integrated with solid-oxide electrolysis (SOE) process can store renewable power in methanol while recycling recovered CO2, thus achieving the dual purposes of storing excess renewable power and reducing lifetime CO2 emissions. This paper focuses on the techno-economic optimization of CO2 hydrogenation to synthesize green methanol integrated with solid-oxide electrolysis process. Process integration, techno-economic evaluation, and multi-objective optimization are carried out for a case study. Results show that there is a trade-off between energy efficiency and methanol production cost. The annual yield of methanol of the studied case is 100 kton with a purity of 99.7%wt with annual CO2 utilization of 150 kton, representing the annual storage capacity of 800 GWh renewable energy. Although the system efficiency is rather high at around at 70% and varies within a narrow range, methanol production cost reaches 560 $/ton for an electricity price of 73.16 $/MWh, being economically infeasible with a payback time over 13 years. When the electricity price is reduced to 47 $/MWh and further to 24 $/MWh, the methanol production cost becomes 365 and 172 $/ton with an attractive payback time of 4.6 and 2.8 years, respectively. The electricity price has significant impact on project implementation. The electricity price is different in each country, leading to a difference of the payback time in different locations.


Published in:
Energies, 12, 19, 3742
Year:
Sep 30 2019
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 Record created 2020-01-06, last modified 2020-04-20

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