This page is maintained by Ayşenur Demirci and Dündar Alp Erkenci as a part of requirement Econ 318 at Bilkent University for the 2018-2019 Spring Semester, supervised by Gökberk Bilgin. This project is finalized by June 11, 2019. The information reported here uses available information by this date.

 

       Turkey may have several natural gas transportation routes in the future. This may cause excess supply of natural gas. Turkey may benefit from this excess supply by producing various petrochemical products such as methanol.

 

       We studied two methods to produce methanol: sg-CTM and d-CTM. Turkey spent 205,227,944 USD to import 614,364,435 kg of methanol in 2017. Our simulations suggest that to produce 614,364,435 kg of methanol via sg-CTM, it requires about 0.603 bcm of natural gas and it costs us 190,016,551 USD per year. If d-CTM is used to produce methanol, its cost is 374,951,875 USD for the same amount. Thus, adopting a sg-CTM project produces net present value of 46.65 million USD. Methanol is one of the most essential product that can be produced by natural gas. Thus, producing items that have high value addition to contribution of the natural gas imports will contribute more to the Turkish Economy.

 

       Natural gas prices might be indexed to oil prices with a delay. Thus, current lower prices in oil (even if that might decrease natural gas in the future.) may make methanol production not economically viable in the current period. However, as long as the relative price fluctuation of natural gas to oil is less than 4.216%, then this natural gas based methanol production is economically feasible.

 

                                                                                                         

  1. Form of Natural Gas

 

       Natural gas is a fossil energy source that formed deep beneath the earth's surface. It contains many different compounds. The largest component of natural gas is methane (CH4). Natural gas contains smaller amounts of natural gas liquids (NGL; which are also hydrocarbon gas liquids), and non-hydrocarbon gases, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor. It can also be used gas as a fuel and to make materials and chemicals. Natural gas is an ingredient used to make products such as fertilizer, antifreeze, plastics, pharmaceuticals and fabrics. It is also used to manufacture a wide range of chemicals such as ammonia, methanol, butane, ethane, propane, and acetic acid. We use for industry, conversion and service sectors and housing.

 

       LNG is a way of transporting natural gas long distances when pipelines are not an option—across oceans, for example. Producing LNG involves compressing and cooling natural gas to around minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit. That process converts the gas to a liquid and cuts its volume to 1/600th of the original, making it possible to ship the LNG in special tankers. Once it gets to its destination, the LNG can be unloaded at a receiving terminal and regasified—turned back into a gas. It can then be delivered through local pipelines to customers. The infrastructure for LNG—for cooling and compressing, shipping and regasifying—can be extensive and expensive. A natural gas processing plant is a facility designed to “clean” raw natural gas by separating impurities and various non-methane hydrocarbons and fluids to produce what is known as 'pipeline quality' dry natural gas.

 

       The fastest growing use of natural gas today is for the generation of electric power. Natural gas power plants usually generate electricity in gas turbines, directly using the hot exhaust gases of fuel combustion. Residential and commercial uses include heating buildings for space and water heating and for cooking.

 

 

  1. Natural Gas and Turkey

 

       Natural gas is an important and emerging commodity. Turkey is an important importer of the commodity. Natural gas has an important use in Petrochemical Sector. Natural gas sees a broad range of other uses in industry, as a source of both heat and power and as an input for producing plastics and chemicals. Most hydrogen gas (H) production, for example, comes from reacting high temperature water vapor (steam) with methane.            

 

 

Table 1: Turkey's Amount of Imported Natural Gas by Countries between 2005-2017

(in million cubic meters)

Year\Country

Russia

Iran

Azerbaijan

Algeria

Nigeria

Others*

Total

2005

17,524

4,248

0

3,786

1,013

0

26,571

2006

19,316

5,594

0

4,132

1,100

79

30,221

2007

22,762

6,054

1,258

4,205

1,396

167

35,842

2008

23,159

4,113

4,580

4,148

1,017

333

37,350

2009

19,473

5,252

4,960

4,487

903

781

35,856

2010

17,576

7,765

4,521

3,906

1,189

3,079

38,036

2011

25,406

8,190

3,806

4,156

1,248

1,069

43,874

2012

26,491

8,215

3,354

4,076

1,322

2,464

45,922

2013

26,212

8,730

4,245

3,917

1,274

892

45,269

2014

26,975

8,932

6,074

4,179

1,414

1,689

49,262

2015

26,783

7,826

6,169

3,916

1,240

2,493

48,427

2016

24,540

7,705

6,480

4,284

1,220

2,124

46,352

2017

28,690

9,251

6,544

4,617

1,344

4,804

55,250

*Others represent the countries of imported spot LNG.

Sources: Doğal Gaz Piyasası Sektör Raporu 2017 published by T.C. EPDK.

Turkish Natural Gas Market Report 2015 published by T.C. EPDK.

Sektöre Dair” 2018 published by TPAO.

 

 

 

Table 2: Usage of Natural Gas in Turkey (2017)

Area of Usage

Ratio

Amount (mcm)

Industry sector (18% is used in Petrochemistry.)

28%

15,078.16

Conversion sector (94% is used in power stations.)

39%

20,484.20

Housing (mostly used in heating.)

25%

13,301.49

Service sector

6%

3,874.30

Other

2%

649.10

Source: GAZBİR’s 2017 Doğal Gaz Sektör Raporu (2018).

 

 

 

Table 2.1: Turkey Natural Gas Consumption by Sector in 2017 (more detailed)

 

Sector

Consumption (mcm)

                    1.      Conversion Sector

20,484.20

          1.1 Power Plants

19,309.90

          1.2 Heat and Power Plants (CHP)

58.21

          1.3 Heat Plants

0.00

                    2.      Energy Sector

503.60

          2.1 Oil Refineries

180.70

          2.2 Blast Furnaces

306.12

          2.3 Consumed as fuel in Electricity, CHP and Heat Power Plants

10.53

                    3.      Transportation Sector

141.50

          3.1 Vehicle fuel

83.43

          3.2 Pipeline transportation

56.70

                    4.      Industry Sector

15,078.16

          4.1 Wood products processing

195.21

          4.2 Chemical (including petrochemical)

2,593.89

          4.3 Mining and quarrying

140.38

          4.4 Machinery Industry

67.29

          4.5 Textiles, leather & clothing industry

802.37

          4.6 Tobacco and tobacco products

12.70

          4.7 Transportation vehicles industry (automotive, aircraft industry, etc.)

150.31

          4.8 Alcohol and alcohol products

19.87

          4.9 Nonmetallic minerals (glass, ceramic, cement, etc.)

1,786.70

          4.10 Iron – Steel

1,518.93

4.11 Non-ferrous metal production and processing (chrome, copper, etc.)

450.05

          4.12 Food and beverage

1,139.74

          4.13 Fertilizer

493.40

          4.14 Construction

600.56

          4.15 Paper, cellulose and printing

255.82

                    5.      Service Industry

3,874.30

          5.1 Business

1,835.06

          6.1 Housing

13,301.49

          6.2 Agriculture / Forestry

20.46

          6.3 Livestock breeding

58.62

Source: GAZBİR’s 2017 Doğal Gaz Sektör Raporu (2018).

 

 

  1. Natural Gas in the World

 

Table 3: Top 10 Major Natural Gas Producer Countries (2018)

Country

Production (in billion cubic meters)

The United States

687

Russia

627

Iran

163

Qatar

155

Canada

137

China

115

Norway

109

Netherlands

86

Saudi Arabia

84

Algeria

55

Source: “Top 10 Largest Gas Producing Countries In The World” published by The Daily Records, 2019.

 

 

 

Table 4: Top 10 Major Countries by Proven Natural Gas Reserves (start of 2018)

Country

Proven Reserves (in trillion cubic meters)

Russia

35

Iran

33,2

Qatar

24,9

Turkmenistan

19,5

The United States

8,7

Saudi Arabia

8

Venezuela

6,4

The United Arab Emirates

5,9

China

5,5

Nigeria

5,2

Source: BP, Statistical Review of World Energy, 2018.

 

 

 

Table 5: Uses of Natural Gas in Petrochemical Industry

Production

Conversion

Type

Usage

methanol (CHOH)

ethylene,propylene, formaldehyde

stable*

-Can turn into a variety of materials such as polyethylene, PVC plastics, resins, antifreeze, paints, automotive components, materials packaging, textiles, and countless other specialty plastics and foams, paint, glue, fuel additive, acetic acid

ethane (CH)

propane (C3H8)

butane (C4H10)

ammonia (NH3)

 

 

- world synthetic fertilizers

-nitrogen compounds ( nitric acid, ammonia nitrate)

-refrigerant as replacement for CFC’s

methane (CH4)

 

 

-The modern method of direct reduction of iron to produce steel directly removes oxygen by reacting the ore with a hydrogen-rich gas and CO-produced by catalyzing rich methane. As in the production of fertilizers, natural gas provides the energy and raw materials for the process

 

electricity

 

aluminium production

Higher molecular weighted hydrocarbons: Heptane (C7H16) or Pentane (C5H12)

 

 

liquefied petroleum gas

propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10) together

 

 

household fuel

 

liquid motor fuel

 

With gas-to-liquid technology

Production in US

 

 

Mostly methanol-based products, with increasing role of ethane. Both of them includes polyethylene, PVC plastics, resins, antifreeze, paints, automotive components, materials packaging, textiles, and countless other specialty plastics and foams, paint, glue, fuel additives, acetic acid.

*Can be transported by pipeline or special vessels for petrochemical plants

Source: Grossman Research Group.

 

 

 

  1. Future of Natural Gas in Chemical Industry

 

Natural gas may be used as replacement for coal as the primary early carbon management technique (source reduction). Deployment of  highly efficient Natural Gas Combined Cycle plants for electricity production and chemical plant cogeneration may increase.

 

 

  1. Expected Nature of NG Supply

 

For many financial intermediates, there might be a competition between methane and ethane feedstocks resulting from advances in catalysis, energy efficiency, and process design optimization. Its permanency will depend on how long shale gas remains plentiful and whether it is wet or dry. If plentiful and wet, then the existing US ethane-based chemical industry infrastructure will remain world competitive.  If plentiful but dry, new methane chemistries will emerge, but based on methane steam reforming syngas.  If oil shale is developed using directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing gas shale technology, the role for naphtha cracking infrastructure may be extended.

 

Table 6: Future of Natural Gas in Chemical Industry

Possible event

Detail

Possible Future Use

Natural gas may be used as replacement for coal.

As early carbon management technique (source reduction).

Natural gas may be used in deployment of highly efficient Natural Gas Combined Cycle plants.

For electricity production and chemical plant cogeneration.

Existing ethane-based chemical industry will remain world competitive.

If shale gas remains plentiful and wet.

New methane chemistries may emerge but based on methane steam reforming syngas

If shale gas remains plentiful but dry.

The role of naphtha cracking infrastructure may be extended. By that, we can use it as raw materials for the creation of petrochemicals including butane and gasoline. (See table 5 for uses of butane in petrochemical industry)

If oil shale is developed using directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing gas shale technology.

Remote Future

Electricity power plant fuel switching could dominate the rate of shale gas development.

 

Amount of gas producible from shale formations might be less than predicted.

 

Additional shale formations might be more expensive to produce than first experiences suggest.

 

Some shale formations might be geologically inappropriate for development (e.g. shallow formations near groundwater supplies).

 

Production technologies (especially hydraulic fracturing) might have unintended environmental consequences leading to political or regulatory restrictions.

 

Source: Petroblogger.

 

 

  1. Natural Gas and the US Petrochemical Industry

 

       U.S. natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production has nearly doubled since 2010, outpacing the rate of natural gas production growth and setting an annual record of 3.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017. NGPLs are produced at natural gas processing plants, which separate liquids from raw natural gas to produce pipeline-quality dry natural gas. Marketed natural gas includes both NGPLs and dry natural gas.

 

       Growth in U.S. natural gas production has been driven by shale gas, particularly from the Appalachian region, and to a lesser extent by associated natural gas, a byproduct of crude oil production. The high liquids content of many shale plays means that growth in marketed natural gas production has led to increased production of NGPLs.

 

       NGPLs accounted for a growing share of marketed natural gas production between 2010 and 2017, making up 15% of total marketed production in 2017 in energy content terms, up from 11% in 2010. The increased share of NGPL production can be attributed to expanded capacity to produce, transport, and consume NGPL products. Increases in NGPL production pushed two measures of total natural gas production—gross withdrawals and marketed production—to record highs in 2017.

 

       NGPLs that come out of natural gas plants are a mix of ethane, propane, isobutane and normal butane, and natural gasoline that requires further processing to convert into separate marketable products. The yield of these liquid products, especially ethane, varies significantly depending on product prices, the ability to process and distribute them to market, and the makeup of the raw natural gas.

 

       With the exception of ethane, natural gas plant operators may leave only trace amounts of NGPLs in dry—pipeline-quality—natural gas. Natural gas specifications set by pipeline operators allow for significant amounts of ethane to be left in dry gas at the discretion of natural gas plant operators. If ethane prices are low relative to the price of natural gas on a heating-value equivalent basis, more ethane is likely to be left in the dry natural gas stream, provided that the mix can still meet specifications required by natural gas pipeline operators.

 

Table 6.1: Change in U.S. Ethane Prices by Years

Year

U.S. Ethane Prices

2011-2012

Began declining.

2013-2015

Remained consistently lower than the price of natural gas. As a result, the ethane share of total U.S. NGPLs declined between 2012 and 2015, when natural gas producers had the incentive to leave as much ethane in pipeline natural gas as possible to capture its value as a heating fuel instead of recovering and selling it as a separate product.

 

2016-2017

Began to increase. Ethane prices surpassed natural gas prices on a heat-content equivalent basis, causing the ethane share of U.S. NGPL production to increase as well.

Source: MacIntyre 2018

 

 

       Two U.S. ethane export terminals opened in 2016, and two U.S. ethane-consuming petrochemical plants opened in 2017, providing additional sources of demand. Annual average U.S. NGPL production increased nearly 400,000 b/d between 2015 and 2017, and about 175,000 b/d of this increase resulted from growth in ethane production.

 

       Several more petrochemical plants are expected to come online in the United States in 2018 and 2019, further driving increases in ethane demand and prices. First-quarter 2018 U.S. ethane production was 260,000 b/d higher than the first-quarter 2017 level. Ethane production will increase by another 440,000 b/d between the first quarter of 2018 and the fourth quarter of 2019, according to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook, accounting for 52% of the growth in NGPL production. (MacIntyre 2018).

 

 

Table 7: Import Product Groups of Chemical (including petrochemical) Industry in Turkey (Value: US$ 1,000)

Product/Year

2015

2016

2017 (January-August)

Fuels / mineral oils

37,843,294

27,169,080

23,354,890

Inorganic chemicals

1,388,743

1,219,692

891,813

Organic chemicals

4,715,525

4,359,682

3,466,661

Pharmaceutical substances

4,296,440

4,217,114

2,772,705

Fertilizer

1,250,919

1,275,609

907,670

Dyes, sealants, varnishes

1,808,606

 1,738,937

1,302,884

Perfumery and cosmetics

1,101,905

1,113,776

797,777

Soaps

779,400

772,612

565,536

Albuminoid products

466,029

435,625

295,683

Explosive materials

55,052

47,137

31,851

Substances for cinematography and photography

156,804

145,579

88,487

Various chemicals

2,049,569

2,024,132

1,460,186

Plastics and derivatives

12,268,256

 11,627,985

8,716,916

Rubber and derivatives

2,525,199

2,560,926

1,877,001

Total

70,705,741

58,707,887

46,530,062

Source: TÜİK

 

 

  1. Types of Natural Gas

 

7.1.Defined by methane content and formation process

 

       As previously mentioned, natural gas is primarily methane (CH4) with smaller quantities of other hydrocarbons. It was formed millions of years ago when dead marine organisms sunk to the bottom of the ocean and were buried under deposits of sedimentary rock. Subject to intense heat and pressure, these organisms underwent a transformation in which they were converted to a gas over millions of years (EIA, 2015).

 

       There are two general types of natural gas, defined by their methane content, that reflect differences in the formation processes:

 

   Biogenic gas (± 95% methane), or “dry” gas, which was formed by bacterial decay at shallow depth. Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, landfills, and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material (US Geological Survey, 2010 & EIA). It is more appropriate to produce ethane due to its rich methane content.

 

   Thermogenic gas (<95% methane), is available as associated gas in crude oil reservoirs and as non-associated gas in natural gas reservoirs and in the form of condensates (also known as wet gas) (Senthamaraikkannan, Chakrabarti & Prasad, 2014). Thermogenic gas is a lower quality gas formed at high temperatures. Wet gas on the other hand contains compounds such as ethane and butane, in addition to methane. These natural gas liquids (NGLs for short) can be separated and sold individually for various uses, such as refrigerants and to produce petrochemical products, like plastics (House of Commons, 2011). Thermogenic hydrocarbon gases are primarily derived from oil and gas migration from deeper strata. The bulk of the gases migrate up to the seafloor where suitable P-T conditions exist for the formation of natural gas hydrate; small amounts of gas hydrate thermogenic gas can remain sequestrated within the submarine sediments. These hydrocarbon molecules are rather large. So they form larger gas hydrate structures — large enough to contain methane and other hydrocarbons  (Zou, 2013). In short, it is appropriate to produce ethane (but not as biogenic gas) and butane and also it is suitable to form  larger gas hydrate structures containing methane and other hydrocarbons.

 

 

7.2.Defined by being conventional or unconventional

 

       Natural gas that is economical to extract and easily accessible is considered “conventional.” Conventional gas is trapped in permeable material beneath impermeable rock. Natural gas found in other geological settings is not always so easy or practical to extract. This gas is called “unconventional.” New technologies and processes are always being developed to make this unconventional gas more accessible and economically viable. Over time, gas that was considered “unconventional” can become conventional (National Geographic Society, 2012). In addition, most of the conventional reserves exist in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, while Asia Pacific and North America hold the majority of the unconventional reserves (Senthamaraikkannan, Chakrabarti & Prasad, 2014).

 

7.2.1.     Biogas

      Biogas is a type of gas that is produced when organic matter decomposes without oxygen being present. This process is called anaerobic decomposition, and it takes place in landfills or where organic material such as animal waste, sewage, or industrial byproducts are decomposing.  Biogas is biological matter that comes from plants or animals, which can be living or nonliving. This material, such as forest residues, can be combusted to create a renewable energy source. Biogas contains less methane than natural gas, but can be refined and used as an energy source (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

7.2.2.     Deep Natural Gas

      Deep natural gas is an unconventional gas. While most conventional gas can be found just a few thousand meters deep, deep natural gas is located in deposits at least 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) below the surface of the Earth. Drilling for deep natural gas is not always economically practical, although techniques to extract it have been developed and improved (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

7.2.3.     Shale

      Shale gas is another type of unconventional deposit. Shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock that does not disintegrate in water. Some scientists say shale is so impermeable that marble is considered “spongy” in comparison. Thick sheets of this impermeable rock can “sandwich” a layer of natural gas between them. Shale gas is considered an unconventional source because of the difficult processes necessary to access it: hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) and horizontal drilling. Fracking is a procedure that splits open rock with a high-pressure stream of water, and then “props” it open with tiny grains of sand, glass, or silica. This allows gas to flow more freely out of the well. Horizontal drilling is a process of drilling straight down into the ground, then drilling sideways, or parallel, to the Earth’s surface (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

7.2.4.     Tight Gas

      Tight gas is an unconventional natural gas trapped underground in an impermeable rock formation that makes it extremely difficult to extract. Extracting gas from “tight” rock formations usually requires expensive and difficult methods, such as fracking and acidizing (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

7.2.5.     Coalbed Methane

      Coalbed methane is another type of unconventional natural gas. As its name implies, coalbed methane is commonly found along seams of coal that run underground. Historically, when coal was mined, the natural gas was intentionally vented out of the mine and into the atmosphere as a waste product. Today, coalbed methane is collected and is a popular energy source (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

7.2.6.     Gas in Geopressurized Zones

      Another source of unconventional natural gas is geopressurized zones. Geopressurized zones form 3,000-7,600 meters (10,000-25,000 feet) below the Earth’s surface. These zones form when layers of clay rapidly accumulate and compact on top of material that is more porous, such as sand or silt. Because the natural gas is forced out of the compressed clay, it is deposited under very high pressure into the sand, silt, or other absorbent material below. Geopressurized zones are very difficult to mine, but they may contain a very high amount of natural gas. In the United States, most geopressurized zones have been found in the Gulf Coast region (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

7.2.7.     Methane Hydrates

      Methane hydrates are another type of unconventional natural gas. Methane hydrates were discovered only recently in ocean sediments and permafrost areas of the Arctic. Methane hydrates form at low temperatures (around 0°C, or 32°F) and under high pressure. When environmental conditions change, methane hydrates are released into the atmosphere. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that methane hydrates could contain twice the amount of carbon than all of the coal, oil, and conventional natural gas in the world, combined (National Geographic Society, 2012).

 

 

7.3.Defined by being fuel gas

 

7.3.1.     Associated petroleum gas (APG)

      Associated petroleum gas (APG), or associated gas, is a form of natural gas which is found with deposits of petroleum, either dissolved in the oil or as a free "gas cap" above the oil in the reservoir (Røland; 2010 and The Society of Petroleum Engineers; 2005). Historically, this type of gas was released as a waste product from the petroleum extraction industry. It may be a stranded gas reserve due to the remote location of the oil field, either at sea or on land, this gas is simply burnt off in gas flares(Schlumberger Limited, 2011). When this occurs the gas is referred to as flare gas. The gas can be utilized in a number of ways after processing: sold and included in the natural gas distribution networks, used for on-site electricity generation with engines (Clarke Energy, 2011) or turbines, reinjected for enhanced oil recovery, converted from gas to liquids producing synthetic fuels or used as feedstock for the petrochemical industry (Knizhnikov, A. & N Poussenkova, 2009).

 

7.3.2.     Coalbed methane (CBM)

      Coalbed methane (CBM or coal-bed methane), coalbed gas, coal seam gas (CSG), or coal-mine methane (CMM) is a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds (Clark Energy, 2014). In recent decades it has become an important source of energy in United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. The term refers to methane adsorbed into the solid matrix of the coal. It is called 'sweet gas' because of its lack of hydrogen sulfide. The presence of this gas is well known from its occurrence in underground coal mining, where it presents a serious safety risk. Coalbed methane is distinct from a typical sandstone or other conventional gas reservoir, as the methane is stored within the coal by a process called adsorption. The methane is in a near-liquid state, lining the inside of pores within the coal (called the matrix). The open fractures in the coal (called the cleats) can also contain free gas or can be saturated with water (Islam, 2014). Unlike much natural gas from conventional reservoirs, coalbed methane contains very little heavier hydrocarbons such as propane or butane, and no natural-gas condensate. It often contains up to a few percent carbon dioxide.

 

7.3.3.     Compressed natural gas (CNG)

      Compressed natural gas (CNG) (methane stored at high pressure) is a fuel which can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane/LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). CNG combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than the aforementioned fuels. In comparison to other fuels, natural gas poses less of a threat in the event of a spill, because it is lighter than air and disperses quickly when released. Biomethane – cleaned-up biogas from anaerobic digestion or landfills – can be used. CNG (Compressed natural gas) is made by compressing natural gas, (which is mainly composed of methane, CH4), to less than 1 percent of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric pressure. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of 20–25 MPa (2,900–3,600 psi), usually in cylindrical or spherical shapes (Shah, 2017).

 

7.3.4.     HCNG

      Blending of hydrogen with CNG provides a blended gas termed as hydrogen-enriched natural gas (HCNG). HCNG stands for hydrogen enriched compressed natural gas and it combines the advantages of both hydrogen  and  methane.  HCNG  allows customers  early  hydrogen deployment  with  nearly commercial technology. It is being treated as the first step towards future hydrogen economy. Engines can be calibrated for lower NOx or greenhouse gas emissions. Any natural gas engine is compatible to run on HCNG and can do so with minimum modifications.  It also allows governments and agencies to promote the use of hydrogen to greater number of people at less cost. HCNG can help the hydrogen industry to develop volume and transportation solutions while  reducing  costs.  HCNG  can  take  advantage  of  existing  investment  in  natural  gas infrastructure and also has much higher volumetric energy storage density than pure hydrogen (Nanthagopal, Subbarao, Elango, Baskar & Annamalai, 2011).

 

7.3.5.     Natural-gas condensate

      Natural-gas condensate is a low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids that are present as gaseous components in the raw natural gas produced from many natural gas fields. Some gas species within the raw natural gas will condense to a liquid state if the temperature is reduced to below the hydrocarbon dewpoint temperature at a set pressure (Speight, 2018). The natural gas condensate is also called condensate, or gas condensate, or sometimes natural gasoline because it contains hydrocarbons within the gasoline boiling range (Sujan, Jamal, Hossain, Khanam & Ismail, 2015).

 

7.3.6.     Substitute natural gas (SNG)

      Substitute Natural Gas, which is interchangeable with Natural Gas can be manufactured from other fossil fuels by combining three main reaction stages; the gasification of the feedstock with steam, or a mixture of steam and oxygen, to produce a gas from which Methane can be synthesized from the carbon oxides and hydrogen, and the removal of carbon dioxide.

 

       A number of large plants were built in the United States and Japan in the early 1970s to make SNG from Sight distillate oils to meet predicted shortages in natural gas supplies. The process used was the CRG (Catalytic Rich Gas) process developed by British Gas. In this process, the distillate oil is first hydro-desulfurized and it is then gasified catalytically with steam in an adiabatic reactor to produce a gas containing about 64% methane, 17% hydrogen and 21% carbon dioxide, by volume, on a dry basis (Lacey, 2011).

 

7.3.7.     Renewable Natural Gas (RNG of Bio-SNG)

      Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), also known as Sustainable Natural Gas (SNG) or biomethane, is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to fossil natural gas and having a methane concentration of 90% or greater (Al Mamun & Torii, 2017). A biogas is a gaseous form of methane obtained from biomass. By upgrading the quality to that of natural gas, it becomes possible to distribute the gas to customers via the existing gas grid within existing appliances (Chuol, 2010). Renewable natural gas is a subset of synthetic natural gas or substitute natural gas (SNG). Renewable natural gas can be produced and distributed via the existing gas grid, making it an attractive means of supplying existing premises with renewable heat and renewable gas energy, while requiring no extra capital outlay of the customer. Renewable natural gas can be converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for direct use as fuel in transport sector. LNG pricing compete with gasoline or diesel as it can replace these fuels in the transport sector.

 

 

  1. Associated Gas and Non-Associated Gas

 

       There are two primary sources of gas: associated gas reserves and non-associated gas reserves. The economic drivers for monetizing gas from these two basic sources are quite different and are likely to lead to different gas utilization routes. Hence, it is useful to understand the difference in economic characteristics of these two broad categories of gas sources.

 

8.1.Nonassociated gas

       Nonassociated (natural gas reserves in unconventional oil fields) gas reserves are developed primarily to produce natural gas. There may or may not be condensate production together with the gas. Under these conditions, it is essential that there be a profitable market to which to deliver the gas. As a reminder, most of the unconventional reserves exist in Asia Pacific and North America, while Eastern Europe and the Middle East hold the majority of the unconventional reserves (Senthamaraikkannan, Chakrabarti & Prasad, 2014).

 

8.2.Associated gas

       Associated gas (natural gas reserves in conventional oil fields) is gas produced as a byproduct of the production of crude oil. Associated gas reserves are typically developed for the production of crude oil, which pays for the field development costs. The reserves typically produce at peak levels for a few years and then decline. Associated gas is generally regarded as an undesirable byproduct, which is either reinjected, flared, or vented.

     

       According to 2010 statistics from the US Energy Information Administration, worldwide approximately 4.3 Tcf/yr of gas was flared or vented, and an additional 17.1 Tcf/yr of gas was reinjected (EIA, 2010). The need to produce oil and dispose of natural gas (as is the case with associated gas) requires unique approaches in the field-development plans.

      

       With increasing focus on sustainable development, flaring may cease to be an option. Some countries have already legislated against gas flaring. For example, current Nigerian policy required all flaring to be eliminated by 2008. This policy is expected to eliminate the waste of a valuable resource for Nigeria and attendant negative impacts on the environment. Consequently, several key gas utilization projects have either been recently completed or are at various stages of implementation in Nigeria. Examples of such projects include:

 

Obite Gas Plant

ChevronTexaco Escravos GTL project

West African gas pipeline project

Nigeria liquefied natural gas (LNG) project (Erinne, 2001).

 

 

  1. Methanol

 

       Methanol is a type of alcohol made primarily from natural gas. It’s a base material in acetic acid and formaldehyde, and in recent years it is also increasingly being used in ethylene (C2H4) and propylene (C3H6). Mixing methanol with substances like these enables it to be used as an intermediate material to make literally thousands of methanol and methanol derivative products used in practically every aspect of our lives. Methanol and its derivative products such as acetic acid and formaldehyde created via chemical reactions are used as base materials in acrylic plastic; synthetic fabrics and fibers used to make clothing; adhesives, paint, and plywood used in construction; and as a chemical agent in pharmaceuticals and agrichemicals. Its endless myriad applications have made methanol ubiquitous in our lives and throughout society.

 

       The versatility of methanol is making it a common fuel resource in the power generation industry. At MGC (Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company), they use methanol as a fuel source not only in liquid form, but also in the form of highly efficient fuel cell batteries. Locations and conditions where it is impractical to utilize commercial power commonly currently use rechargeable batteries, solar cells, and gas-powered engine generators. MGC direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) offer another solution that is unmatched for its efficiency and versatility.

 

 

10.  Methanol Production, Imports and Consumption in Turkey

 

       In Turkey, industrial production of methanol in an amount to be used as input is not possible. However, it is known that methanol is obtained as a by-product in various productions. For example, methanol is produced as a by-product after the fermentation process during the production of raw morphine from the capsule. Furthermore, after the use of methanol in the production of DMT (DiMethyl Terephthalate), the methanol used may also be recovered and the recovered methanol is also re-evaluated in DMT production (Altınay, 2008). There is no methanol production in Turkey.

 

Table 8: Methanol Import Figures by Years in Turkey between 2002 and 2017

Year

Amount (kg)

Trade Value ($)

2002

165,496,963

26,331,559

2003

180,952,916

43,202,493

2004

239,206,881

61,268,279

2005

285,823,225

76,185,791

2006

349,901,590

139,022,018

2007

335,575,617

136,279,516

2008

330,690,401

145,605,358

2009

331,085,428

77,638,762

2010

415,247,810

129,284,529

2011

432,921,205

164,776,697

2012

431,091,385

166,770,737

2013

463,109,009

217,546,856

2014

503,124,231

227,191,343

2015

525,646,396

172,248,939

2016

548,254,244

120,581,317

2017

614,364,435

205,227,944

Source: TÜİK

 

     

Table 8.1: Capacities of Methanol User Companies Registered between June 2003-June 2006 and Their Breakdown by Sectors in Turkey

Methanol Industry / Production Issue

Number of Companies

Total Annual Methanol Consumption Capacity (tonne / year)

Biodiesel Production

158

427,635

Wood Products Industry

9

332,665

Chemical Industry

44

243,944

Other

71

60,415

Pharmaceutical Industry

10

43,742

TOTAL

292

1,108,401

Source: TAPDK (2008).

 

 

11.  How much needed natural gas to produce methanol imported by Turkey?

 

      In order to obtain 1 million tonnes of methanol, approximately 0.91 bcm natural gas must be used. Additionally, in order to attain 1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, approximately 1.36 bcm natural gas must be used and 1 bcm natural gas is equal to 35.5 million mmbtu.

 

Table 9: The Amount of NG & LNG Needed to Produce Methanol Imported by Turkey between 2002 and 2017

Year

Amount of NG (bcm)

Amount of NG (mmbtu)

Amount of LNG (kg)

2002

0.15060224

5,346,379.52

110,736,941

2003

0.16466715

5,845,683.825

121,078,787

2004

0.21767826

7,727,578.23

160,057,544

2005

0.26009913

9,233,519.115

191,249,360

2006

0.31841045

11,303,570.98

234,125,331

2007

0.30537381

10,840,770.26

224,539,566

2008

0.30092826

10,682,953.23

221,270,779

2009

0.30128774

10,695,714.77

221,535,103

2010

0.37787551

13,414,580.61

277,849,640

2011

0.39395830

13,985,519.65

289,675,221

2012

0.39229316

13,926,407.18

288,450,853

2013

0.42142920

14,960,736.6

309,874,412

2014

0.45784305

16,253,428.28

336,649,301

2015

0.47833822

16,981,006.81

351,719,279

2016

0.49891136

17,711,353.28

366,846,588

2017

0.55907164

19,847,043.22

411,082,088

Source: The Author’s Calculation

 

 

12.  Methanol Production in the World

 

           Table 10: Methanol Production Capacities of the Countries having Methanol Plants in the World (2014)

County

KTPA (Kilo Tonnes Per Annum)

Algeria

100

Argentina

400

Australia

100

Azerbaijan

560

Belarus

80

Brazil

200

Burma

150

Canada

560

Chile

1,000

China

49,390

Egypt

1,000

Equatorial Guinea

1,500

Germany

1,840

Indonesia

700

Iran

4,300

Libya

600

Malaysia

1,000

Mexico

180

Netherlands

1,000

New Zealand

700

Norway

900

Omar

1,031

Poland

100

Qatar

1,000

Russia

4,137

Saudi Arabia

7,750

South Africa

140

The United States

2,432

Trinidad and Tobago

6,620

Ukraine

190

Uzbekistan

32

Venezuela

1,500

Source: TargetMap

 

           

13.  Methanol Production Capacities by World Methanol Companies

 

Table 11: Methanol Production Capacities of Methanol Companies in the World

Company

Country

Capacity (*1000 tonnes/year)

Achema

Lithuania

130

Angarsk Petrochemical

Russia

200

Ar-Razi Saudi Methanol Co.

Saudi Arabia

850

Assam PC

India

165

Atlantic Methanol Production Company LLC

Equitorial Guinea

1,000

Azmeco

Azerbaijan

560

Azot Severodonetsk

Ukraine

200

Azot Shchekino

Russia

450

BASF

Germany

480

BioMCN

Netherlands

1,000

BP Refining & Petrochemicals

Germany

300

Brunei Methanol Company

Brunei

850

Caribbean Gas Chemical Ltd

Trinidad and Tobago

1,000

Castleton Commodities International

USA

1,800

Celanese

USA

1,400

China National Offshore Oil Corp.

China

800

Datang International Power Generation

China

1,680

Deepak Fertilizers and Petrochemicals

India

100

EMethanex

Egypt

1,300

ENI

Italy

750

G2X Energy

USA

1,400

GPC Quimica

Brazil

50

Grodno Azot

Belarus

80

GSFC

India

165

Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers

India

240

Henan Lantian

China

760

IBN SINA National Methanol Company

Saudi Arabia

1,000

Inner Mongolia Boyuan United Chemical

China

1,000

JSC Ammonity

Russia

230

JSC Shchekinoazot

Russia

450

Kaltim Methanol Industry

Indonesia

660

Kaveh Methanol Co

Iran

2,300

Kharg 2

Iran

1,400

Lake Charles

USA

1,280

Legend Holdings

China

720

LyondellBasell

USA

780

Metafrax

Russia

1,000

Methanex

New Zealand

650

Methanex

Canada

470

Methanex

USA

1,000

Metor 2

Venezuela

850

Mider-Helm Methanol

Germany

660

MSK

Serbia

200

National Fertilizers

India

25

Nevinnomyssk Azot

Russia

140

Novomoskovsk Azot

Russia

400

OAO Acron

Russia

70

OAO Novatek

Russia

52

OCI Beaumont

USA

850

OCI North America (Natgasoline)

USA

1,750

Pandora Methanol

USA

850

Petrobas

Brazil

721

Petronas Fertilizer

Malaysia

70

Petronas Methanol Labuan

Malaysia

2,360

PT Medco Methanol Bunyu

Indonesia

330

QAFAC

Qatar

3000

Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers

India

72

Salalah Methanol

Oman

1,300

Schekino Azot

Russia

450

Shandong Jiutai Energy

China

1,000

Shanghai Coking & Chemical

China

800

Shell & DEA Oil

Germany

400

Shenhua Baotou Coal Chemicals

China

1,800

Shenhua Ningxia Coal

China

1,670

Sichuan Vinylon Plant

China

970

Silekol

Poland

100

SOCAR Methanol LLC

Azerbaijan

500

South Louisiana Methanol

USA

1,860

Statoil

Norway

900

Togliatti Azot

Russia

1,000

Tomskneftekhim

Russia

825

Trinidad and Tobago Methanol Company

Trinidad and Tobago

4,100

Valero

USA

1,600

Viromet

Romania

225

Xinjiang Guanghui Industry

China

1,200

Yuhuang Chemical

USA

1,700

ZAO Ural Methanol Group

Russia

600

Source: ICIS

 

14.  Methanol Exports in the World

 

Table 12: The Share of Countries Exporting Methanol between 2008 and 2017

Country

Export Value (million $)

Percent (%)

Algeria

24.5

0.28

Austria

2.74

0.032

Azerbaijan

43

0.50

Bahrain

47.2

0.55

Belarus

6.74

0.078

Belgium-Luxembourg

124

1.4

Brunei

154

1.8

Bulgaria

0.638

0.0074

Cambodia

0.00105

0.000012

Canada

98.2

1.1

Chile

139

1.6

China

24.3

0.28

Cyprus

7.06

0.082

Denmark

0.136

0.0016

Egypt

0.444

0.0052

Equatorial Guinea

176

2.0

Estonia

5.25

0.061

Finland

65.4

0.76

France

7.96

0.092

Gabon

0.00139

0.000016

Georgia

3.46

0.040

Germany

138

1.6

Guinea

4.18

0.049

Hong Kong

3.52

0.041

Hungary

0.366

0.0043

Iceland

0.450

0.0052

India

4.05

0.047

Indonesia

81.6

0.95

Iran

1170

14

Ireland

0.148

0.0017

Italy

17.3

0.20

Japan

8.24

0.096

Kenya

0.145

0.0017

Libya

32.4

0.38

Lithuania

2.09

0.024

Macedonia

0.00123

0.000014

Malaysia

553

6.4

Malta

0.501

0.0058

Mauritius

0.0597

0.00069

Moldova

0.167

0.0019

Netherlands

397

4.6

New Zealand

570

6.6

Norway

199

2.3

Oman

681

7.9

Other Asia

0.301

0.0035

Pakistan

0.036.4

0.00042

Poland

32.5

0.38

Portugal

5.78

0.067

Qatar

203

2.4

Romania

4.76

0.055

Russia

469

5.4

Saudi Arabia

1000

12

Serbia

41.5

0.48

Singapore

15.9

0.18

Slovakia

12.1

0.14

Slovenia

12.7

0.15

South Africa

2.14

0.025

South Korea

2.06

0.024

Spain

4.96

0.058

Sweden

21.8

0.25

Switzerland

0.728

0.0085

Tanzania

0.122

0.0014

Thailand

1.04

0.012

The Czech Republic

2.32

0.027

The Philippines

0.076.9

0.00089

The United Arab Emirates

35.5

0.41

The United Kingdom

17.2

0.20

The United States

371

4.3

Trinidad and Tobago

1150

13

Tunisia

0.025.9

0.00030

Turkey

2.3

0.027

Ukraine

0.666

0.0077

Uzbekistan

0.411

0.0048

Venezuela

401

4.7

Vietnam

0.722

0.0084

Total

8610

100

Sources: The Center for International Data from Robert Feenstra

UN Comtrade

 

 

  1.  Methanol Companies

 

      World’s leader methanol producers are Atlantic Methanol Production Companies, Azelis, Billion Miles, Clariant, Coogee Energy, Ecofuel, Enerkem, Fitech, G2X Energy, Haldor Topsde, IMTT, Johnson Mattey, Lanxess, Metafrax, Methanex, Mhtl, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Mitsubishi International Cooperation, Muntajat, NW Innovation Works, OCI N.V., Oman Methanol Company, Petronas, Qafac, Sabic, Salalah Methanol Company, Southern Chemical Cooperation, Sipchem, Solvadis, Tricon Energy, United Chemical Company and Vitusa Products (Source: Methanol Institute).

 

16.   Methanol Production Technologies

 

      High plant availability and energy efficiency and low capital cost are essential for ensuring the best performance in methanol production.

 

      One Step Methanol uses tubular steam reforming as synthesis gas generator. The optimal capacity range is from 500 up to 2500 MTPD (7-Methyl-triazabicyclodecene). This can be extended to 3000 MTPD if approximate 25% of the hydrocarbon feed is CO2.

 

       Two Step Methanol is the most commonly used methanol technology. It uses a combination of tubular steam reforming and oxygen reforming as synthesis gas generator to produce a stoichiometric methanol synthesis gas.

 

       SynCOR Methanol™ is the most cost efficient methanol technology available. The optimal single train capacity is 500 MTPD up to 10.000 MTPD. The highly efficient, fully automated SynCOR™ syngas generator based on oxygen reforming at unique low steam carbon is the core of the process. Together with the most efficient methanol synthesis SynCOR Methanol™ provides the lowest CAPEX and OPEX, high availability and lowest environmental impact in a capacity range from low scale and up to very large scale single train capacity.

 

      Small scale Methanol for capacities in the range 100 MTPD to 1000 MTPD take advantage of the knowhow achieved from large scale production in combination with specific small scale solutions.

 

 

  1. Kırklareli Organized Industrial Zone (OZI)

                             

      Kırklareli OZI is a candidate for being the second biggest city of Thrace after Çerkezköy with an expansion capacity of 850 Hectares. As of 2014, the wastewater treatment capacity of Kırklareli Organized Industrial Zone has increased to 2800 m³ / day with the existing 600 m³ / day wastewater treatment plant.

 

      Large-scale industrial investments (allocated in the food, pharmaceutical and yarn sectors) in the OIZ are rapidly continuing.

 

      OZI Stage I Electrical rehabilitation works have been completed, OZI Stage II Infrastructure electrical installations are about to be completed.

 

      Within the scope of OZI Stage II Infrastructure construction works, Gallery Infrastructure Manufacturing which is 7 km in length, 3,30 m x 2,65 m in dimensions, two-eyed and accommodates electricity, telecommunication, water and steam lines has been completed. Infrastructure services are provided within the gallery.

 

      OZI Stage II Natural Gas Construction Work has been tendered and approximately 7 km long of natural gas network has been completed. Eventually, uninterrupted natural gas supply is provided to all companies.

 

      Kırklareli OZI contains 50 different factory firms. The distributions of these firms are as follows:

      Participants in production phase (25)

      Participants in the machine assembly phase (8)

      Participants in the construction phase (11)

      Participants in the project phase (6)

 

 

  1. Characteristics of Countries’ Natural Gases

 

Table 13: Gross Heat Content of Dry Natural Gas of Countries in 1995 (Btu per Cubic Foot)

Country

Heat Cont.

Albania

939

Armenia

911

Austria

1,063

Azerbaijan

911

Bosnia and Herzegovina

955

Bulgaria

943

Croatia

912

Egypt

1,047

Georgia

911

Germany

985

Greece

1,558

Hungary

926

Iran

1,056

Iraq

1,047

Israel

1,039

Italy

1,001

Jordan

1,047

Kazakhstan

911

Kuwait

1,047

Libya

1,047

Macedonia

955

Moldova

911

Romania

909

Russia

905

Saudi Arabia

1,047

Serbia and Montenegro

955

Slovakia

877

Slovenia

955

Switzerland

1,082

Syria

1,047

Turkey

1,028

Turkmenistan

911

Ukraine

911

Source: Kilgore (1995, pp. 138-140).

 

 

Table 13.1: Countries’ Dry Natural Gas Consumption, Production and Heat Content in 2012

Country

Production (bcf)

Consumption (bcf)

Res. tcf

Heat Cont.

Egypt

2,141

1,882

77

1,020

Germany

434

3,080

6

944

Iran

5,649

5,511

1,168

1,056

Italy

304

2,646

2

1,023

Russia

21,685

15,437

1,680

1,026

Saudi Arabia

3,585

3,585

284

1,020

Turkey

22

1,598

0

1,026

Turkmenistan

2,492

868

265

1,012

Ukraine

694

1,856

39

993

Source: Dahl (2015, pp. 187-188).

 

 

  1. Comparison of Methanol Production Technologies

 

Table 14: Comparison of Sg-CTM and d-CTM

 

Sg-CTM

d-CTM

Methanol Production

464 kta

464 kta

H2 Consumption

-

99.04 kta

CO2  Consumption

-

664.8 kta

Syngas Consumption

536 kta

-

CO2  Emission

15.56 ton CO2eq/h

19.02 ton CO2eq/h

Vapor (ton/ton)

0.30

1.26

Cooling water (m3/ton)

67.93

101.18

Electricity (gJ/ton)

1.34

3.36

Total Annual Cost Estimate

$143,595,569

$283,351,254

Natural Gas Needed

309.33 kta

?

Total Annual Cost Estimate for 614 kta

$190,016,551

$374,951,875

kta=kilotons per annum

Source: Machado,Alsayegh, LNGIndustry

 

 

      As Sg-CTM is the conventional method, it would be easier for Turkey -as a new investor in this area- to use that method. Furthermore, methanol production from syngas emits less CO2  when compared to direct conversion from CO2  to methanol. It costs less electricity, less vapor and less cooling water. Therefore, Turkey must use this method to produce methanol.

 

      Turkey may establish partnership with QAFAC - Qatar Fuel Additives Company Limited which produces a little under 1 million metric tons per year. QAFAC is one of the leaders of the methanol market, which can assist Turkey in establishing Sg-CTM technology. Bilateral relations of Turkey with Qatar may fasten the process.

 

 

20.  The Costs of Methanol Production via Synthesis Gas

 

      We adopted Alysayegh et al. (2019) study to estimate the methanol production costs from natural gas for Turkey. We chose sg-CTM method to produce methanol rather than d-CTM because of its cost advantages & environmentally friendly technology. Our estimation suggests that producing 614 kta of methanol costs $190,016,551.23. Methanol production from natural gas for Turkey is estimated under following assumptions:

- Syngas selling price, $0.10/m3 has been used in order to get the worst case result. (LNGIndustry.com). The cost of producing syngas from methane is below the syngas selling price.

- Table a reports the price data we use. Syngas selling price used is from 2015 ($0.10/m3). (LNGIndustry.com). Other data are from 2019 that gathered from Alsayegh et al. (2019). We also assumed that syngas selling prices remained constant during time, for the calculations.

- There is no impurity present in syngas. It is needed for converting m3 to kilograms. Thus we converted unit of measurement from unit of volume (m3) to unit of mass (kg).

Steam Reforming of Methane (SRM) method is used in order to produce syngas from methane. Steam Reforming Method (SRM) gave the highest cost estimates in comparison to other methods. We chose this in order to get the worst-case scenario. Other methods give lower costs.

Table b reports the estimates of the syngas weight for each m3. Table c reports the cost items of methanol production.

 

Table a: Unit Prices for 2019

 

Prices

CO2  

$0.035/kg

H2

$0.65/kg

Syngas

$0.10/m3*

Cooling Water

$0.033/m3

Electricity

$0.087/kwh

 

 

*Syngas price is from 2015.
Sources: Alsayegh, LNGIndustry.com

 

Table b: Comparison of Different Syngas Production Methods

Methods of Syngas Production from NG

1m3

Steam Reforming of Methane (SRM)

0.38 kg

Dry Reforming of Methane (DRM)

0.67 kg

Water Gas Shift (WGS)

0.47 kg

 

Table c: Costs of Sg-CTM Method

Sg-CTM

Methanol Production

464 kta

H2 Consumption

-

CO2  Consumption

-

Syngas Consumption

536 kta

$           141,052,631.58

Cooling water (m3/ton)

67.93

$               1,040,144.16

Electricity (gJ/ton)

1,34

$               1,502,793.92

Total Annual Cost Estimate

$           143,595,569.66

Sources: Alsayegh, LNGIndustry.com

 

      Turkey’s methanol import is 614 kta. According to our results, if Turkey produces all of that methanol, it will cost Turkey $190,016,551.23 annually.

 

 

20.1.               Methanol via Direct CTM (d-CTM)

 

      D-CTM is the name of the method which corresponds to the production of methanol by hydrogenation of CO2 (direct CTM, d-CTM).

 

      There are at least two differences in the paths for methanol synthesis using syngas or a mixture of H2 and CO2  as raw material. The analysis carried out in this work has revealed that, d-CTM process presents more consumption of utilities as vapor, cooling water and electricity per ton of methanol production. Moreover, d-CTM process emits 19.02 ton CO2 equivalent per hour against an emission of 15.56 ton CO2 equivalent per hour for sg-CTM. Regarding the consumption of raw material, d-CTM process is more demanding because of the high stroichiometry ratio, which requires a high H2/CO2 ratio. In the d-CTM process, the most suitable process conditions for methanol production are pressure higher than 80 bar and high value N parameter, but these values must be adjusted for economic viability. Therefore, the d-CTM process still requires more study about process condition in order minimize electric energy and thermal energy expenses, and to reduce pressure requirements as low as the economics of the process allows. This will reduce operating costs improving process economics.

 

20.2.               Methanol via Syn gas (Sg-CTM)

 

      Sg-CTM is the name of the method which corresponds to the production of methanol from synthesis gas. It is the conventional industrial process used in large scale worldwide. (Machado)

 

      As mentioned, Sg-CTM is the dominant method. Therefore, it is used in most of the methanol producer countries mentioned in the tables.

 

      A major breakthrough came in the early 1970s with the development of low pressure processes replacing the high pressure route. Today, nearly all production is based on these processes consuming natural gas, naphtha or refinery light gas with a shift in production to those countries with low cost natural gas.

 

      Synthesis gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, is first produced in a reformer. This is carried out by passing a mixture of the hydrocarbon feedstock and steam through a heated tubular reformer. The ratio of hydrogen and carbon in the syngas may need to be adjusted by purging excess hydrogen or adding carbon dioxide. Developments  include the use of autothermal reforming, either alone or in combination with a primary reformer, in which oxygen is mixed with the steam.

 

      The syngas is cooled and then compressed before being fed to the methanol converter. The methanol synthesis takes place in the presence of copper-based catalysts at 250-260 oC. The crude methanol is recovered and purified by distillation.

 

20.2.1.  What is syngas?

 

      Syngas is an abbreviation for synthesis gas, which is a mixture comprising of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. The syngas is produced by gasification of a carbon containing fuel to a gaseous product that has some heating value. Some of the examples of syngas production include gasification of coal emissions, waste emissions to energy gasification, and steam reforming of coke.

 

      The name of syngas is derived from the use as an intermediate in generating synthetic natural gas and to create ammonia or methanol. It is a gas that can be used to synthesize other chemicals, hence the name synthesis gas, which was shortened to syngas. Syngas is also an intermediate in creating synthetic petroleum to use as a lubricant or fuel.

 

      Syngas has 50% of the energy density of natural gas. It cannot be burnt directly, but is used as a fuel source. The other use is as an intermediate to produce other chemicals. The production of syngas for use as a raw material in fuel production is accomplished by the gasification of coal or municipal waste. In these reactions, carbon combines with water or oxygen to give rise to carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. Syngas is used as an intermediate in the industrial synthesis of ammonia and fertilizer. During this process, methane (from natural gas) combines with water to generate carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

The gasification process is used to convert any material that has carbon to longer hydrocarbon chains. As carbon chain size increases, molecule become less and less water soluble. One of the uses of this syngas is as a fuel to manufacture steam or electricity. Another use is as a basic chemical building block for many petrochemical and refining processes.

 

      The general raw materials used for gasification (creation of syngas) are coal, petroleum based materials, or other materials that would be rejected as waste. From these materials, a feedstock is prepared. This is inserted to the gasifier in dry or slurry form. In the gasifier, this feedstock reacts in an oxygen starved environment with steam at elevated pressure and temperature. The resultant syngas is composed of 85% carbon monoxide and hydrogen and small amounts of methane and carbon dioxide.

 

      The syngas may contain some trace elements of impurities, which are removed through further processing and either recovered or redirected to the gasifier. For example, sulfur is recovered in the elemental form or as sulfuric acid and both of these can be marketed. Syngas is a primary source of sulfuric acid. If syngas contains a considerable quantity of nitrogen, the nitrogen must be separated to avoid production of nitric oxides, which are pollutants and contribute to acid rain production. Both carbon monoxide and nitrogen have similar boiling points so recovering pure carbon monoxide requires cryogenic processing, which is very difficult.

 

      If the syngas is to be put to use to generate electricity, then it is generally used as a fuel in an IGCC (integrated gasification combine cycle) power generation configuration. The energy is then utilized by the factor that original produce the syngas, thereby lowering operating costs. There are commercially available technologies to process syngas to generate industrial gases, fertilizers, chemicals, fuels and other products.

 

21.  Is Methanol a Byproduct?

 

      At the Point Lisas Methanol Complex, methanol is made using the ICI Low Pressure Methanol Synthesis Process. The two main raw materials used are natural gas (96% methane), received from the National Gas Company (NGC) to provide the carbon, and hydrogen components and water from the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to provide the oxygen component. These raw materials undergo a series of chemical reactions to produce crude methanol which is then purified to yield refined methanol, having a purity exceeding 99.9%. As it has a purity exceeding 99.9%, it is not a byproduct.

 

22.  The Details of Methanol Plants

 

      The methanol plants operate continuously 24 hours a day in a production process that can be divided into four main stages: Feed Purification, Reforming, Methanol Synthesis and Methanol Purification.

 

STEP 1: FEED PURIFICATION

 

      The two main feedstocks, natural gas and water, both require purification before use. Natural Gas contains low levels of sulphur compounds and undergo a desulphurization process to reduce the sulphur to levels of less than one part per million. Impurities in the water are reduced to undetectable or parts per billion levels before being converted to steam and added to the process. If not removed, these impurities can result in reduced heat efficiency and significant damage to major pieces of equipment.

 

STEP 2: REFORMING

 

      Reforming is the process which transforms the methane (CH4) and the steam (H2O) to intermediate reactants of hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon dioxide is also added to the feed gas stream at this stage to produce a mixture of components in the ideal ratio to efficiently produce methanol. This process is carried out in a Reformer furnace which is heated by burning natural gas as fuel.

 

STEP 3: METHANOL SYNTHESIS

 

      After removing excess heat from the “reformed gas” it is compressed before being sent to the methanol production stage in the synthesis reactor. Here the reactants are converted to methanol and separated out as crude product with a composition of methanol (68%) and water (31%). Traces of byproducts are also formed. Methanol conversion is at a rate of 5% per pass hence there is a continual recycling of the unreacted gases in the synthesis loop.

This continual recycling of the synthesis gas however results in a build-up of inert gases in the system and this is continuously purged and sent to the reformer where it is burnt as fuel. The crude methanol formed is condensed and sent to the methanol purification step which is the final step in the process.

 

STEP 4: METHANOL PURIFICATION

 

     The 68% methanol solution is purified in two distinct steps in tall distillation columns called the topping column and refining column to yield a refined product with a purity of 99% methanol classified as Grade AA refined methanol.

 

     The methanol process is tested at various stages and the finished product is stored in a large secured tankage area off the plant until such time that it is ready to be delivered to customers. Since 99% of our product is sold on the overseas market, it is shipped by ocean going tankers while local sales are made via pipelines and drums.

 

23.  Principal Uses of Methanol

 

      Methanol is used to produce a variety of chemicals, including formaldehyde and acetic acid.

 

      Formaldehyde is added to adhesives used in wood industry, such as plywood, particle board and laminates. Formaldehyde is also a key component of resins used to coat paper and plastic products. Industrial uses of acetic acid include preparing metal acetates, used in some printing processes; vinyl acetate, used to produce plastics; and cellulose acetate, used in photographic films and textiles; and butyl acetates, widely used as solvents in paints, lacquers and resins.

 

      Globally, methanol is also used to produce chemicals used to manufacture polyester fabrics and fibers; acrylic plastics; pesticides; textile solvents; pharmaceuticals; and windshield wiper fluid.

 

      Methanol is also used as a direct fuel for automobile engines, as a blended fuel with gasoline (M85), and as an octane booster/additive in MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) reformulated gasoline.

 

      All these uses (and more) mean methanol is produced, stored, and shipped in large quantities. World consumption is expected to reach 46 million metric tons this year. Constantly changing global economic and environmental issues affect methanol markets, as does worldwide energy policies and the ups and downs of business cycles in key use industries.

 

24.   Daily Usage

 

      Traditionally Methanol is used in a variety of industrial applications. Methanol is primarily used as an industrial solvent for inks, resins, adhesives to wood items, and dyes. It is used as a solvent in the manufacture of cholesterol, streptomycin, vitamins, hormones, and other pharmaceuticals. Methanol is used as an antifreeze for automotive radiators, Productsan ingredient of gasoline (as an antifreezing agent and octane booster), and as fuel for picnic stoves. Methanol is also an ingredient in paint and varnish removers. We find methanol applied in such everyday items as windshield washer fluid, fertilizers, carpets, clothing and plastics.

 

 

25.  Questions & Answers

 

 

Q1: Can methanol be a substitution for oil and coal?

A1: Over the last 10 years, methanol has become a notable substitute for oil and coal. Its consumption has increased from approximately 35 metric MMtpy in 2004 to approximately 64 metric MMtpy in 2014. Of the 64 metric MMt of consumption in that year, approximately 60% was in chemical applications (Abazajian, 2018).

The chemical applications of methanol are not substituting oil- or coal-based products. These applications tend to grow with the increased use of polymers in the general economy. Approximately 40% of the methanol consumption is in oil-substitute applications. In addition, approximately 5 MMt, 6 of captive methanol production from coal in China typically is not considered part of the methanol market, but it also substitutes for oil (Abazajian, 2018).

The prime alternative of producing ethylene and propylene in the Far East is by cracking naphtha, a product of oil refining. This methanol is converted into olefins via methanol-to-olefins (MTO) or into gasoline via methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) onsite. Another 4.9 MMt of methanol capacity were in the late stages of construction or in startup in 2015 (Abazajian, 2018).

Assuming a 70% coal-to-olefins (CTO) capacity utilization rate and correcting for the oxygen content of methanol, methanol substitution of crude oil is approximately equal to 0.35 MMbpd, or 0.4% of the total crude oil demand. If one is to make the broad assumption that the difference between GDP growth and crude oil demand growth is due to efficiency improvements and substitution, then methanol substitution is responsible for approximately 30% of the total 1.3% efficiency/substitution effect (Abazajian, 2018).

Some of the methanol substitutes are so-called “drop-in” substitutes. These are chemically similar enough that they involve no changes to the product distribution infrastructure. Other methanol-based substitutes are chemically dissimilar functional substitutes that require the adaptation of distribution and utilization systems (Abazajian, 2018).

A number of processes to convert methanol into substitute products have been developed and commercialized. Other processes exist, but they have not yet been used in oil substitution applications, or they must be modified to fit it. Still others are under development (Abazajian, 2018).

 

Q2: Is there any benefit of using methanol fuel? If any, what are the benefits?

A2:

It’s a low-emission fuel: Methanol is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer smog-causing emissions — such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter — and can improve air quality and related human health issues (Methanex, 2016).

It can be made from a variety of sources, including renewables: Methanol is most commonly produced on a commercial scale from natural gas. It can also be produced from renewable sources such as biomass and recycled carbon dioxide and anything that is, or ever was, a plant! (Methanex, 2016).

It’s high-octane – improving performance and efficiency: As a high-octane vehicle fuel, methanol offers excellent acceleration and power. It also improves vehicle efficiency (Methanex, 2016).

It’s used in vehicles worldwide: Methanol fuel blends are used in vehicles around the world, particularly in China. With more than 100 million passenger vehicles, China is the world’s largest user of methanol for automotive fuel (Methanex, 2016).

It’s an economical option: Methanol can be produced, distributed and sold to consumers at prices competitive to those of gasoline and diesel with no need for government subsidies (Methanex, 2016).

It’s accessible all around the world: Methanol is one of the top five chemical commodities shipped around the world each year, and unlike some alternative fuels, is readily accessible through existing global terminal infrastructure (Methanex, 2016).

 

Q3: What is Methanol Economy and what are the advantages of this?

A3: The methanol economy is an idea that was promoted by the late Nobel-prize-winning chemist George Olah since the 1990s.  The idea is to replace fossil fuels with methanol for energy storage, ground transportation fuel, and raw material for hydrocarbon-based products.   Methanol is the simplest alcohol and can be produced from a wide variety of sources ranging from fossil fuels to agricultural products to just carbon dioxide.  Methanol can be used directly as a fuel or it can be reformed into hydrogen, which can then itself be used as a fuel (EarthWise, 2017).

  1. Presently, methanol is prepared from synthesis gas (syngas or CO+H2). Syngas is obtained from partial combustion of coal and natural gas. Coal will last for another 150–200 years (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).
  2. Methanol can be effectively produced by methane via oxidation without the production of syngas (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).
  3. Methanol can also be produced by reductive hydrogenation by utilizing CO2. This is a crucial method as it can solve the problem of global warming by cutting the level of CO2 that is being emitted through the industries (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).
  4. Methanol has a higher “flame speed” which enables faster and more complete fuel combustion in the cylinders (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).
  5. Methanol has a higher octane number than gasoline, an increased efficiency of the internal combustion engines (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).
  6. Despite having half the energy density of gasoline, less than double the amount of methanol is necessary to achieve the same power output (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).
  7. Using DMFC to obtain electricity without the need to produce hydrogen (Gumber & Gurumoorthy, 2018).

 

26.  Russia and Its Methanol Importers

Table 15: The Methanol Importers of the Russian Federation (2017)

Partner (Importer)

Amount (kg)

Trade Value ($)

Finland

867,432,890

220,296,587

Poland

230,652,880

66,558,247

Slovakia

177,819,620

51,311,575

Romania

103,209,490

30,777,893

Belarus

68,449,345

18,374,540

Lithuania

60,453,420

16,470,877

Ukraine

30,742,515

9,594,242

Kazakhstan

22,688,490

8,606,126

Turkey

21,336,000

5,951,113

Netherlands

19,981,550

4,971,762

Belgium

18,375,760

4,832,609

The United Arab Emirates

16,256,900

4,571,028

Switzerland

15,059,500

3,666,698

Germany

6,909,400

2,634,875

Estonia

10,420,570

2,298,036

Latvia

5,936,690

1,608,979

The United Kingdom

4,694,375

977,744

Bulgaria

1,998,000

638,178

China

924,330

187,151

The Republic of Molova

435,520

130,174

Uzbekistan

255,300

90,632

World

1,684,032,546

454,549,066

Source: UN Comtrade

27.  The Petrochemical Importation of Turkey

Table 16: Petrochemicals Imported by Turkey in 2017

Petrochemical

Amount (kg)

Trade Value ($)

Propane (liquefied)

134,344,007

62,486,164

Butane (liquefied)

2,350

14,314

Polymers of propylene, other olefins (in primary forms)

2,136,285,527

2,722,285,855

Polypropylene (in primary forms)

1,721,172,493

2,117,619,023