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The Production and Utilization of Renewable Methanol in a Nuclear Economy

28 Apr 2015, 20:12 UTC
The Production and Utilization of Renewable Methanol in a Nuclear Economy
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10.7 MWe rated methanol electric power plant at Point Lisas, Trinidad (Credit: Mendenhall Technical Services) Terrestrial and off-shore nuclear power plants could safely and economically provide all of the base load electricity requirements for future carbon neutral  industrial economies. The additional-- peak load-- electrical demands for an industrial region could also be supplied by carbon neutral methanol electric power plants-- if nuclear electricity was also utilized to produce renewable methanol derived from biowaste and waste water resourcesMethanol (CH3OH) is, of course, the simplest alcohol, producing only carbon dioxide (CO2) and water after combustion with oxygen. The production of methyl alcohol through the pyrolysis of carbon based materials and their distillation has been known since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Modern techniques of methanol production utilize pyrolysis to produce syngas (synthetic natural gas),  a gaseous mixture of consisting of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen  that is then converted into methanol. Since approximately 65% to 75% of the CO2 content is wasted during the  synthesis of  syngas into to methanol, introducing additional hydrogen into the synthesis process could potentially increase the production of methanol by three to four times. Sources of carbon neutral hydrogen could, therefore, be produced through nuclear, ...

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