Methanol, or methyl alcohol, is an industrial chemical used as a basic building block for many chemical products. It can be used to make formaldehyde, sometimes used as an embalming agent, and it is also a fuel source for large engines found in racecars and monster trucks. Methanol is also used to make MTBE, acetic acid, olefins and other solvents.
Though methanol is usually produced from natural gas, some producers who want a cost-effective solution to methanol production also turn to gasification. GE’s gasification process converts coal into a synthesis gas (or syngas) that then goes through a number of processes to remove impurities and byproducts. The cleaned syngas then can be sent to a methanol synthesis process where the CO and H2 react under the presence of a catalyst to produce methanol.
Benefits of GE’s gasification process for methanol producers:
- Coal as a gasification feedstock can provide a hedge against often volatile natural gas prices
- Proven technology. Experienced personnel. GE is an industry leader in gasification technology development and deployment with more than 130 gasifiers in the field today.
- GE technology, with its relatively low capital cost and high plant availability, provides a cost-effective solution for methanol production