Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Renewable Energy Based Dimethyl-Ether Production System Linked With Industrial Waste Heat

[+] Author and Article Information
Magd N. DinAli

Clean Energy Research Laboratory,
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology,
2000 Simcoe Street North,
Oshawa, ON, L1H 7K4, Canada
e-mail: Magd.Dinali@uoit.net

Ibrahim Dincer

Clean Energy Research Laboratory,
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology,
2000 Simcoe Street North,
Oshawa, ON, L1H 7K4, Canada
e-mail: Ibrahim.Dincer@uoit.ca

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received March 2, 2019; final manuscript received June 12, 2019; published online July 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Samer F. Ahmed.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(12), 122003 (Jul 08, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-19-1113; doi: 10.1115/1.4044056 History: Received March 02, 2019; Accepted June 15, 2019

A new renewable energy based dimethyl-ether (DME) production system is proposed in this paper. The DME is then produced through the indirect synthesis method where methanol is produced first through carbon hydrogenation process, then methanol derived to a process called methanol dehydration to produce the DME. The proposed integrated system consists of four main subsystems named as carbon capturing and heat recovery system, proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen production system, methanol synthesis system, and the DME synthesis system. The main inputs are electrical energy from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and thermal energy from flue gas waste heat. The system is modeled and simulated using both aspen plus process simulation software and engineering equation solver (EES) and assessed based on energy and exergy approaches. The energy and exergy efficiencies are determined to be 40.46% and 52.81%, respectively.

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Fig. 1

Primary energy production resources (data from Ref. [1])

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the photovoltaic-based DME production plant

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Fig. 3

Flowsheet of carbon capturing system with flue gas heat recovery

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Fig. 4

aspen flowsheet of methanol and DME synthesis

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Fig. 5

Distribution of exergy destruction over the three subsystems

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Fig. 6

Heat duty, work consumption, exergy destruction, and exergy efficiency for the PEM electrolyzer subsystem

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Fig. 7

Heat duty, exergy destruction, and exergy efficiency for carbon capturing subsystem

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Fig. 8

Heat and power consumption or production for DME synthesis

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Fig. 9

Exergy destruction rates and exergy efficiencies for DME synthesis subsystem

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Fig. 10

Distillation column 1 design using the graphical method



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