Trio to test carbon dioxide-to-methanol processDavid Wagman | March 31, 2020
Three Mitsubishi business units were tapped by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization to research a process to recycle carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from a refinery at Tomakomai City in Hokkaido, Japan. CO2 currently is captured and stored by an existing demonstration plant.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. said in a statement they will collaborate on research to produce methanol from captured CO2. The research is expected to run until February 2021.
MHPS is leading the consortium and proposed using captured carbon dioxide to synthesize methanol. The process will combine captured CO2 with hydrogen (H2) obtained either as a by-product from the refinery or from water electrolysis within the existing carbon capture facility at the site.
The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO, is one of Japan's largest public management organizations promoting research and development as well as deployment of industrial, energy and environmental technologies.
The scope of the NEDO-backed research includes assessing the performance of key components, basic engineering for optimizing plant configuration and conducting an economic feasibility outlook.
The consortium will conduct a survey project based on an assumption that an additional 20 ton per day carbon-recycled methanol synthesis plant will be added adjacent to the existing facility. Mitsubishi Gas will provide supply chain expertise related to methanol production and synthesis catalysts, as well as process technology for methanol production. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will draw on its work as EPC for a number of large-scale methanol plants.
Insights from the research may be applied to a range of CO2 emission sources in the future.