Converting CO2 into Clean Fuels: A Sustainable Approach

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Energy and Environmental Engineering, the British University in Egypt (BUE)


Climate change is one of the most critical problems facing humanity. One of the most important reasons is greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. In Egypt, the cement sector is the heaviest emitting industry, accounting for 12% of the total CO2 emissions. This study aims to capture and utilise CO2 for methanol synthesis. The importance of methanol has been growing steadily in recent years, as it has many applications, including automotive fuel, wastewater treatment, fuel cells, and as a feedstock for many chemicals, including dimethyl ether (DME), formaldehyde, acetic acid, and olefins. The market size of methanol is expected to reach 38.98 MM in the next five years. However, the method used for 95% of the world’s methanol production is through the catalytic hydrogenation of synthesis gas obtained from natural gas steam reforming. This conventional method is not viable, hence the need for a greener, yet economic, process for methanol production. This study presents the approach to designing a methanol plant with a 2 MT/year production capacity. The used methanol is synthesised through the catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide, captured from a cement plant in Egypt. The process is simulated using Aspen HYSYS software V10 to monitor its performance. After designing the unit operations and estimating its costs, the designed methanol plant was found to be viable and profitable. The economic aspect is described to highlight the specific value of capital investment for the given basic design, which is 237714540 USD while the operating cost is 68,894,000,000 USD.


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