Application of Zeolite Membrane Reactors for Efficient Methanol Production, pp. 291-325
Authors: (Angelo Basile, Fausto Gallucci - CNR-ITM, University of Calabria, Rende(CS), Italy and others)
Abstract: Zeolite membranes are advanced materials which can be effectively used in (catalytic) membrane reactors. A zeolite membrane reactor, able to combine catalytic reactions with separation properties of zeolite membranes can give big improvements in methanol production with respect to a traditional system. A defect free zeolite membrane allowing only vapours (water and methanol) to permeate can shift the equilibrium reaction towards the products. The permeation of water through zeolite membranes can be also useful during the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. In this case both higher productivity than a traditional system and a reduction of the catalyst deactivation can be obtained. In this chapter the use of zeolite membrane reactors for the efficient production of methanol from CO/CO2 and H2 is considered from both theoretical and experimental points of view. A mathematical model has been developed and used to simulate and predict the behaviour of a zeolite membrane reactor in terms of maximum CO2 conversion and methanol selectivity attainable in given conditions. The results show that with zeolite membrane reactors it is possible to obtain both higher conversion and higher methanol selectivity with respect to a traditional reactor operating at the same conditions. A review of the main literature works dealing with methanol production is also presented.