Methanol Lab Report

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Introduction
Methanol having a general formula CH3OH is the simplest alcohol in the alkyl-alcohol series. It is also known as “wood alcohol”, because it was first produced by destructive distillation of wood, having no colour, mild alcoholic order and water soluble properties. Its melting point is -97.60C and boiling point is 64.60C and having a density of 0.791g/cm3 at 200C. Flash point of methanol is 110C and its auto-ignition temperature is 4640C. It is highly inflammable but is having explosive nature at room temperature in the presence of air. In the starting days of production (mid of 19th century to the ending of 19th century) methanol was mainly used as a household fuel and for remote purposes like lighting, heating and cooking purposes.
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This is the indirect way of producing methanol by using syn-gas but from past few years various research activities and programs are running for direct conversion of methane into methanol.
Scope of Work
Understanding the PFD and the production process and all the other processes associated with it. Performing a mass balance for the PFD and verifying the calculations using Aspen. Process integration by combining multiple distillation towers into a single unit Literature
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The overall volume of the reaction decreases as the reaction progresses. By Le Chatelier’s principle, a high pressure and low temperature push the reaction in the forward direction. But reducing the temperature reduces the kinetics of the reaction, thus an optimum temperature is required. The reactions are carried out at around 3000C and 50-100 atm. (Olah & Goeppert, 2006)
Control of temperature is very important and over-heating of the catalyst needs to be avoided as catalysts gets poisoned and degrades at high temperature. In a single pas of gases over the catalyst only a small fraction of them get converted to methanol. Thus the feed gases at the reactor outlet are recycled (after separation of methanol and water through condensation) back to the reactor.
In the Liquid Phase Methanol Process powdered catalyst is suspended in some inert oil. This provides an efficient means of heat removal from the system (especially the catalyst thereby protecting it from degrading) and control the temperature. The types of reactor and catalysts systems used are fixed beds, suspensions and

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