Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

methanol Related Abstracts

20 Preliminary Phytopharmacological Evaluation of Methanol and Petroleum Ether Extracts of Selected Vegetables of Bangladesh

Authors: A. Mohammad Abdul Motalib Momin, B. Sheikh Mohammad Adil Uddin, C. Md Mamunur Rashid, D. Sheikh Arman Mahbub, E. Mohammad Sazzad Rahman, F. Abdullah Faruque

Abstract:

The present study was designed to investigate the antioxidant and cytotoxicity potential of methanol and pet ether extracts of the Lagenaria siceraria (LM, LP), Cucumis sativus (CSM, CSP), Cucurbita maxima (CMM, CMP) plants. For the phytochemical screening, crude extract was tested for the presence of different chemical groups. In Lagenaria siceraria the following groups were identified: alkaloids, steroids, glycosides and saponins for methanol extract and alkaloids, steroids, glycosides, tannins and saponins are for pet ether extract. Glycosides, steroids, alkaloids, saponins and tannins are present in the methanol extract of Cucumis sativus; the pet ether extract has the alkaloids, steroids and saponins. Glycosides, steroids, alkaloids, saponins and tannins are present in both the methanolic and pet ether extract of Cucurbita maxima. In vitro antioxidant activity of the extracts were performed using DPPH radical scavenging, nitric oxide (NO) scavenging, total antioxidant capacity, total phenol content, total flavonoid content, and Cupric Reducing Antioxidant Capacity assays. The most prominent antioxidant activity was observed with the CSM in the DPPH free radical scavenging test with an IC50 value of 1667.23±11.00271 μg/ml as opposed to that of standard ascorbic acid (IC50 value of 15.707± 1.181 μg/ml.) In total antioxidant capacity method, CMP showed the highest activity (427.81±11.4 mg ascorbic acid/g). The total phenolic and flavonoids content were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu Reagent and aluminium chloride colorimetric method, respectively. The highest total phenols and total flavonoids content were found in CMM and LP with the value of 79.06±16.06 mg gallic acid/g & 119.0±1.41 mg quercetin/g, respectively. In nitric oxide (NO) scavenging the most prominent antioxidant activity was observed in CMM with an IC50 value of 8.119± 0.0036 μg/ml. The Cupric reducing capacity of the extracts was strong and dose dependent manner and CSM showed lowest reducing capacity. The cytotoxicity was determined by Brine shrimp lethality test and among these extracts most potent cytotoxicity was shown by CMM with LC50 value 16.98 µg/ml. The obtained results indicate that the investigated plants could be potential sources of natural antioxidants and can be used for various types of diseases.

Keywords: methanol, Cytotoxicity, antioxidant, petroleum ether

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19 Life Cycle Assessment Comparison between Methanol and Ethanol Feedstock for the Biodiesel from Soybean Oil

Authors: Apichit Svang-Ariyaskul, Pawit Tangviroon

Abstract:

As the limited availability of petroleum-based fuel has been a major concern, biodiesel is one of the most attractive alternative fuels because it is renewable and it also has advantages over the conventional petroleum-base diesel. At Present, productions of biodiesel generally perform by transesterification of vegetable oils with low molecular weight alcohol, mainly methanol, using chemical catalysts. Methanol is petrochemical product that makes biodiesel producing from methanol to be not pure renewable energy source. Therefore, ethanol as a product produced by fermentation processes. It appears as a potential feed stock that makes biodiesel to be pure renewable alternative fuel. The research is conducted based on two biodiesel production processes by reacting soybean oils with methanol and ethanol. Life cycle assessment was carried out in order to evaluate the environmental impacts and to identify the process alternative. Nine mid-point impact categories are investigated. The results indicate that better performance on Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP) and Acidification Potential (AP) are observed in biodiesel production from methanol when compared with biodiesel production from ethanol due to less energy consumption during the production processes. Except for ADP and AP, using methanol as feed stock does not show any advantages over biodiesel from ethanol. The single score method is also included in this study in order to identify the best option between two processes of biodiesel production. The global normalization and weighting factor based on eco-taxes are used and it shows that producing biodiesel form ethanol has less environmental load compare to biodiesel from methanol.

Keywords: Biodiesel, Life Cycle Assessment, methanol, Ethanol, soybean oil

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18 Electrical Properties of Roystonea regia Fruit Extract as Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Authors: Henry Boyo, Surukite Oluwole, Adenike Boyo Olasunkanmi Kesinro

Abstract:

Utilizing solar energy in producing electricity can minimize environmental pollution generated by fossil fuel in producing electricity. Our research was base on the extraction of dye from Roystonea regia fruit by using methanol as solvent. The dye extracts were used as sensitizers in Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSCs). Study was done on the electrical properties from the extracts of Roystonea regia fruit as Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSCs). The absorptions of the extracts and extracts with dye were determined at different wavelengths (350-1000nm). Absorption peak was observed at 1.339 at wavelength 400nm. The obtained values for methanol extract Roystonea regia extract are, Imp = 0.015mA, Vmp = 12.0mV, fill factor = 0.763, Isc= 0.018 mA and Voc = 13.1 mV and efficiency of 0.32%. .The phytochemical screening was taken and it was observed that Roystonea regia extract contained less of anthocyanin compared to flavonoids. The nanostructured dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) will provide economically credible alternative to present day silicon p–n junction photovoltaic.

Keywords: methanol, Ethanol, titanium dioxide, roystonea regia fruit, dye-sensitized solar cell

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17 Efficient Use of Energy through Incorporation of a Gas Turbine in Methanol Plant

Authors: M. Azadi, N. Tahouni, M. H. Panjeshahi

Abstract:

A techno-economic evaluation for efficient use of energy in a large scale industrial plant of methanol is carried out. This assessment is based on integration of a gas turbine with an existing plant of methanol in which the outlet gas products of exothermic reactor is expanded to power generation. Also, it is decided that methanol production rate is constant through addition of power generation system to the existing methanol plant. Having incorporated a gas turbine with the existing plant, the economic results showed total investment of MUSD 16.9, energy saving of 3.6 MUSD/yr with payback period of approximately 4.7 years.

Keywords: Energy Saving, Power Generation, methanol, Gas Turbine

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16 Civil Protection in Mass Methanol Poisoning in the Czech Republic

Authors: Michaela Vašková, Jiří Barta, Josef Kellner, Jan Hrdlička, Otakar J. Mika

Abstract:

The paper is focused on the method to solutions the crisis situation in the Czech Republic associated with the mass methanol poisoning. The emphasis is put on tasks of individual state bodies and of Integrated Rescue System during the handling of the crisis. The theoretical part describes poisonings, ways of intoxication, types of intoxicants and cases of mass poisoning by dangerous substances in the world. The practical part describes the development, causes and solutions of extraordinary event, mass methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic. The main emphasis was put on the crisis management of the Czech Republic in solving this situation.

Keywords: Crisis Management, methanol, Hazardous Substances, poisoning, extraordinary event

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15 The Role of Pharmacist in The Community: A Study of Methanol Toxicity Disaster in Tripoli Libya During March 2013

Authors: Abdurrahim A. Elouzi, Abdurrauf M. Gusbi, Mahmud H. Arhima, Ebtisam A. Benomran, Salsabeela Elmezwghi, Aram Elhatan, Nafesa Elgusbi

Abstract:

Mass poisonings with methanol are rare but occur regularly both in developed and in non-developing countries. As a result of the tragedy that happened in the city of Tripoli Libya in March during year 2013 a number of patients were admitted to Tripoli Medical Center and Tripoli Central Hospital suffering from poisoning following ingestion of methanol by mistake. Our aims have been formulated to collect Information about those cases as much as we can from the archiving departments from the two hospitals including the number of cases that had been admitted, recovered patients and died victims. This retrospective study was planned to find out the reasons which allow those patients to drink methanol in our Muslim community and also the role of pharmacist to prevent such a disaster that claimed the lives of many people. During this tragedy 291 ospitalized patients their ages between 16-32 years old were admitted to both hospitals, total number of died 189 (121 at Tripoli medical center) and (68 at Tripoli central hospital), demographic data also shows that most of them are male (97%) and (3% female), about 4% of the patients foreigners and 96% were Libyans. There were a lot of obstacles and poor facilities at the time of patient admission as recognized in many cases including lack of first line of treatment. The morbidity was high due to the lack of antidote and availability of dialysis machines at this two main hospitals in Tripoli also according to survey done to the medical staff and also a random number of medical students shows about 28% have no idea about the first aid procedure used for methanol poisoning cases and this due to the absence of continuing education for all medical staff through the establishment of training courses on first aid, rapid diagnosis of poisoning and follow the written procedures to dealing with such cases.

Keywords: methanol, Ethanol, poisoning, fomepizole

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14 Preparation and Characterization of Photocatalyst for the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol

Authors: Maksudur Rahman Khan, Huei Ruey Ong, Chin Kui Cheng, D. M. Reddy Prasad, Nur Sabrina Binti Rahmat, D. Sathiyamoorthy

Abstract:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission to the environment is inevitable which is responsible for global warming. Photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuel, such as methanol, methane etc. is a promising way to reduce greenhouse gas CO2 emission. In the present work, Bi2S3/CdS was synthesized as an effective visible light responsive photocatalyst for CO2 reduction into methanol. The Bi2S3/CdS photocatalyst was prepared by hydrothermal reaction. The catalyst was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument. The photocatalytic activity of the catalyst has been investigated for methanol production as a function of time. Gas chromatograph flame ionization detector (GC-FID) was employed to analyze the product. The yield of methanol was found to increase with higher CdS concentration in Bi2S3/CdS and the maximum yield was obtained for 45 wt% of Bi2S3/CdS under visible light irradiation was 20 μmole/g. The result establishes that Bi2S3/CdS is favorable catalyst to reduce CO2 to methanol.

Keywords: methanol, Visible light, CO2 Reduction, XRD, photocatalyst, GC-FID

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13 Turn Organic Waste to Green Fuels with Zero Landfill

Authors: Xu Fei (Philip) WU

Abstract:

As waste recycling concept been accepted more and more in modern societies, the organic portion of the municipal waste become a sires issue in today’s life. Depend on location and season, the organic waste can bee anywhere between 40-65% of total municipal solid waste. Also composting and anaerobic digestion technologies been applied in this field for years, however both process have difficulties been selected by economical and environmental factors. Beside environmental pollution and risk of virus spread, the compost is not a product been welcomed by people even the waste management has to give up them at no cost. The anaerobic digester has to have 70% of water and keep at 35 degree C or above; base on above conditions, the retention time only can be up to two weeks and remain solid has to be dewater and composting again. The enhancive waste water treatment has to be added after. Because these reasons, the voice of suggesting cancelling recycling program and turning all waste to mass burn incinerations have been raised-A process has already been proved has least energy efficiency and most air pollution problem associated process. A newly developed WXF Bio-energy process employs recently developed and patented pre-designed separation, multi-layer and multi-cavity successive bioreactor landfill technology. It features an improved leachate recycling technology, technologies to maximize the biogas generation rate and a reduced overall turnaround period on the land. A single properly designed and operated site can be used indefinitely. In this process, all collected biogas will be processed to eliminate H2S and other hazardous gases. The methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen will be utilized in a proprietary process to manufacture methanol which can be sold to mitigate operating costs of the landfill. This integration of new processes offers a more advanced alternative to current sanitary landfill, incineration and compost technology. Xu Fei (Philip) Wu Xu Fei Wu is founder and Chief Scientist of W&Y Environmental International Inc. (W & Y), a Canadian environmental and sustainable energy technology company with patented landfill processes and proprietary waste to energy technologies. He has worked in environmental and sustainable energy fields over the last 25 years. Before W&Y, he worked for Conestoga-Rovers & Associates Limited, Microbe Environmental Science and Technology Inc. of Canada and The Ministry of Nuclear Industry and Ministry of Space Flight Industry of China. Xu Fei Wu holds a Master of Engineering Science degree from The University of Western Ontario. I wish present this paper as an oral presentation only Selected Conference Presentations: • “Removal of Phenolic Compounds with Algae” Presented at 25th Canadian Symposium on Water Pollution Research (CAWPRC Conference), Burlington, Ontario Canada. February, 1990 • “Removal of Phenolic Compounds with Algae” Presented at Annual Conference of Pollution Control Association of Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. April, 1990 • “Removal of Organochlorine Compounds in a Flocculated Algae Photo-Bioreactor” Presented at International Symposium on Low Cost and Energy Saving Wastewater Treatment Technologies (IAWPRC Conference), Kiyoto, Japan, August, 1990 • “Maximizing Production and Utilization of Landfill Gas” 2009 Wuhan International Conference on Environment(CAWPRC Conference, sponsored by US EPA) Wuhan, China. October, 2009. • “WXF Bio-Energy-A Green, Sustainable Waste to Energy Process” Presented at 9Th International Conference Cooperation for Waste Issues, Kharkiv, Ukraine March, 2012 • “A Lannfill Site Can Be Recycled Indefinitely” Presented at 28th International Conference on solid Waste Technology and Management, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. March, 2013. Hosted by The Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Waste Management, methanol, Bio-Energy, green fuel

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12 Preparation and Characterization of CuFe2O4/TiO2 Photocatalyst for the Conversion of CO2 into Methanol under Visible Light

Authors: Md. Maksudur Rahman Khan, Abu Yousuf, Huei Ruey Ong, Chin Kui Cheng, M. Rahim Uddin, Hamidah Abdullah, Kaykobad Md. Rezaul Karim

Abstract:

A systematic study was conducted to explore the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol on TiO2 loaded copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) photocatalyst under visible light irradiation. The phases and crystallite size of the photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and it indicates CuFe2O4 as tetragonal phase incorporation with anatase TiO2 in CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The XRD results confirmed the formation of spinel type tetragonal CuFe2O4 phases along with predominantly anatase phase of TiO2 in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. UV-Vis absorption spectrum suggested the formation of the hetero-junction with relatively lower band gap than that of TiO2. Photoluminescence (PL) technique was used to study the electron–hole (e/h+) recombination process. PL spectra analysis confirmed the slow-down of the recombination of electron–hole (e/h+) pairs in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The photocatalytic performance of CuFe2O4/TiO2 was evaluated based on the methanol yield with varying amount of TiO2 over CuFe2O4 (0.5:1, 1:1, and 2:1) and changing light intensity. The mechanism of the photocatalysis was proposed based on the fact that the predominant species of CO2 in aqueous phase were dissolved CO2 and HCO3- at pH ~5.9. It was evident that the CuFe2O4 could harvest the electrons under visible light irradiation, which could further be injected to the conduction band of TiO2 to increase the life time of the electron and facilitating the reactions of CO2 to methanol. The developed catalyst showed good recycle ability up to four cycles where the loss of activity was ~25%. Methanol was observed as the main product over CuFe2O4, but loading with TiO2 remarkably increased the methanol yield. Methanol yield over CuFe2O4/TiO2 was found to be about three times higher (651 μmol/gcat L) than that of CuFe2O4 photocatalyst. This occurs because the energy of the band excited electrons lies above the redox potentials of the reaction products CO2/CH3OH.

Keywords: methanol, photocatalysis, CuFe2O4/TiO2, band-gap energy

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11 Highly Selective Conversion of CO2 to CO on Cu Nanoparticles

Authors: Muhammad Sharif, Rauf Razzaq, Kaiwu Dong, Ralf Jackstell, Matthias Beller

Abstract:

Carbon dioxide (CO2), a key greenhouse gas produced from both anthropogenic and natural sources, has been recently considered to be an important C1 building-block for the synthesis of many industrial fuels and chemicals. Catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 using a heterogeneous system is regarded as an efficient process for CO2 valorization. In this regard CO2 reduction to CO via the reverse water gas shift reaction (RWGSR) has attracted much attention as a viable process for large scale commercial CO2 utilization. This process can generate syn-gas (CO+H2) which can provide an alternative route to direct CO2 conversion to methanol and/or liquid HCs from FT reaction. Herein, we report a highly active and selective silica supported copper catalyst with efficient CO2 reduction to CO in a slurry-bed batch autoclave reactor. The reactions were carried out at 200°C and 60 bar initial pressure with CO2/H2 ratio of 1:3 with varying temperature, pressure and fed-gas ratio. The gaseous phase products were analyzed using FID while the liquid products were analyzed by using FID detectors. It was found that Cu/SiO2 catalyst prepared using novel ammonia precipitation-urea gelation method achieved 26% CO2 conversion with a CO and methanol selectivity of 98 and 2% respectively. The high catalytic activity could be attributed to its strong metal-support interaction with highly dispersed and stabilized Cu+ species active for RWGSR. So, it can be concluded that reduction of CO2 to CO via RWGSR could address the problem of using CO2 gas in C1 chemistry.

Keywords: methanol, CO2 Reduction, synthesis gas, slurry reactor

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10 Energy Consumption in Biodiesel Production at Various Kinetic Reaction of Transesterification

Authors: S. M. Anisuzzaman, Sariah Abang, Awang Bono, D. Krishnaiah, S. Rasmih

Abstract:

Biodiesel is a potential renewable energy due to biodegradable and non-toxic. The challenge of its commercialization is associated with high production cost due to its feedstock also useful in various food products. Non-competitive feedstock such as waste cooking oils normally contains a large amount of free fatty acids (FFAs). Large amount of fatty acid degrades the alkaline catalyst in the biodiesel production, thereby decreasing the biodiesel production rate. Generally, biodiesel production processes including esterification and trans-esterification are conducting in a mixed system, in which the hydrodynamic effect on the reaction could not be completely defined. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of variation rate constant and activation energy on energy consumption of biodiesel production. Usually, the changes of rate constant and activation energy depend on the operating temperature and the degradation of catalyst. By varying the activation energy and kinetic rate constant, the effects can be seen on the energy consumption of biodiesel production. The result showed that the energy consumption of biodiesel is dependent on the changes of rate constant and activation energy. Furthermore, this study was simulated using Aspen HYSYS.

Keywords: Simulation, methanol, transesterification, palm oil, triolein

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9 Insect Inducible Methanol Production in Plants for Insect Resistance

Authors: Gourav Jain, Sameer Dixit, Surjeet Kumar Arya, Praveen C. Verma

Abstract:

Plant cell wall plays a major role in defence mechanism against biotic and abiotic stress as it constitutes the physical barrier between the microenvironment and internal component of the cell. It is a complex structure composed of mostly carbohydrates among which cellulose and hemicelluloses are most abundant that is embedded in a matrix of pectins and proteins. Multiple enzymes have been reported which plays a vital role in cell wall modification, Pectin Methylesterase (PME) is one of them which catalyses the demethylesterification of homogalacturonans component of pectin which releases acidic pectin and methanol. As emitted methanol is toxic to the insect pest, we use PME gene for the better methanol production. In the current study we showed overexpression of PME gene isolated from Withania somnifera under the insect inducible promoter causes enhancement of methanol production at the time of insect feeds to plants, and that provides better insect resistance property. We found that the 85-90% mortality causes by transgenic tobacco in both chewing (Spodoptera litura larvae and Helicoverpa armigera) and sap-sucking (Aphid, mealybug, and whitefly) pest. The methanol content and emission level were also enhanced by 10-15 folds at different inducible time point interval (15min, 30min, 45min, 60min) which would be analysed by Purpald/Alcohol Oxidase method.

Keywords: methanol, pectin methylesterase, inducible promoters, Purpald/Alcohol oxidase

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8 Pervaporation of Dimethyl Carbonate / Methanol / Water Mixtures Using Zeolite Membranes

Authors: Dong-Ho Lee, Young Cheol Park, Jong-Ho Moon, Hyunuk Kim, Jong-Seop Lee, Jae-deok Jeon, Hyung-Keun Lee

Abstract:

A novel membrane reactor process for DMC synthesis from carbon dioxide has been developing in Korea Institute of Energy Research. The scheme of direct synthesis of DMC from CO₂ and Methanol is 'CO₂ + 2MeOH ↔ DMC + H₂O'. Among them, reactants are CO₂ and MeOH, product is DMC, and byproduct is H₂O (water). According to Le Chatelier’s principle, removing byproduct (water) can shift the reaction equilibrium to the right (DMC production). The main purpose of this process is removing water during the reaction. For efficient in situ water removal (dehydration) and DMC separation, zeolite 4A membranes with very small pore diameter and hydrophilicity were introduced. In this study, pervaporation performances of binary and ternary DMC / methanol / water mixtures were evaluated.

Keywords: Water, methanol, Pervaporation, dimehtyl carbonate, zeolite membrane

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7 The Photocatalytic Approach for the Conversion of Polluted Seawater CO₂ into Renewable Source of Energy

Authors: Yasar N. Kavil, Yasser A. Shaban, Radwan K. Al Farawati, Mohamed I. Orif, Shahed U. M. Khanc

Abstract:

Photocatalytic way of reduction of CO₂ in polluted seawater into chemical fuel, methanol, was successfully gained over Cu/C-co-doped TiO₂ nanoparticles under UV and natural sunlight. A homemade stirred batch annular reactor was used to carry out the photocatalytic reduction experiments. Photocatalysts with various Cu loadings (0, 0.5, 1, 3, 5 and 7 wt.%) were synthesized by the sol-gel procedure and were characterized by XRD, SEM, UV–Vis, FTIR, and XPS. The photocatalytic production of methanol was promoted by the co-doping with C and Cu into TiO₂. This improvement was attributed to the modification of bandgap energy and the hindrance of the charges recombination. The polluted seawater showing the yield depended on its background hydrographic parameters. We assessed two types of polluted seawater system, the observed yield was 2910 and 990 µmol g⁻¹ after 5 h of illumination under UV and natural sunlight respectively in system 1 and the corresponding yield in system 2 was 2250 and 910 µmol g⁻¹ after 5 h of illumination. The production of methanol in the case of oxygen-depleted water was low, this is mainly attributed to the competition of methanogenic bacteria over methanol production. The results indicated that the methanol yield produced by Cu-C/TiO₂ was much higher than those of carbon-modified titanium oxide (C/TiO₂) and Degussa (P25-TiO₂). Under the current experimental condition, the optimum loading was achieved by the doping of 3 wt % of Cu. The highest methanol yield was obtained over 1 g L-1 of 3wt% Cu/C-TiO₂.

Keywords: methanol, Seawater, Copper, CO₂ photoreduction, Cu/C-co-doped TiO₂

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6 Effect of Hydrogen on the Performance of a Methanol SI-Engine at City Driving Conditions

Authors: Junaid Bin Aamir, Ma Fanhua

Abstract:

Methanol is one of the most suitable alternative fuels for replacing gasoline in present and future spark-ignited engines. However, for pure methanol engines, cold start problems and misfires are observed under certain operating conditions. Hydrogen provides a solution for such problems. This paper experimentally investigated the effect of hydrogen on the performance of a pure methanol SI-engine at city driving conditions (1500 rpm speed and 1.18 excess air ratio). Hydrogen was used as a part of methanol reformed syngas (67% hydrogen by volume). 4% by mass of the total methanol converted to hydrogen and other constituent gases, was used in each cycle. Port fuel injection was used to inject methanol and hydrogen-rich syngas into the 4-cylinder engine. The results indicated an increase in brake thermal efficiency up to 5% with the addition of hydrogen, a decrease in brake specific fuel consumption up to 200 g/kWh, and a decrease in exhaust gas temperature by 100°C for all mean effective pressures. Hydrogen addition also decreased harmful exhaust emissions significantly. There was a reduction in THC emissions up to 95% and CO emissions up to 50%. NOx emissions were slightly increased (up to 15%), but they can be reduced to zero by lean burn strategy.

Keywords: Performance, Hydrogen, methanol, alternative fuels, spark ignition engines

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5 Techno-Economic Assessments of Promising Chemicals from a Sugar Mill Based Biorefinery

Authors: Somayeh Farzad, Kathleen Frances Haigh, Mieke Nieder-Heitmann, Mohsen Ali Mandegari, Johann Ferdinand Gorgens

Abstract:

Lignocellulose can be converted to a range of biochemicals and biofuels. Where this is derived from agricultural waste, issues of competition with food are virtually eliminated. One such source of lignocellulose is the South African sugar industry. Lignocellulose could be accessed by changes to the current farming practices and investments in more efficient boilers. The South African sugar industry is struggling due to falling sugar prices and increasing costs and it is proposed that annexing a biorefinery to a sugar mill will broaden the product range and improve viability. Process simulations of the selected chemicals were generated using Aspen Plus®. It was envisaged that a biorefinery would be annexed to a typical South African sugar mill. Bagasse would be diverted from the existing boilers to the biorefinery and mixed with harvest residues. This biomass would provide the feedstock for the biorefinery and the process energy for the biorefinery and sugar mill. Thus, in all scenarios a portion of the biomass was diverted to a new efficient combined heat and power plant (CHP). The Aspen Plus® simulations provided the mass and energy balance data to carry out an economic assessment of each scenarios. The net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and minimum selling price (MSP) was calculated for each scenario. As a starting point scenarios were generated to investigate the production of ethanol, ethanol and lactic acid, ethanol and furfural, butanol, methanol, and Fischer-Tropsch syncrude. The bypass to the CHP plant is a useful indicator of the energy demands of the chemical processes. An iterative approach was used to identify a suitable bypass because increasing this value had the combined effect of increasing the amount of energy available and reducing the capacity of the chemical plant. Bypass values ranged from 30% for syncrude production to 50% for combined ethanol and furfural production. A hurdle rate of 15.7% was selected for the IRR. The butanol, combined ethanol and furfural, or the Fischer-Tropsch syncrude scenarios are unsuitable for investment with IRRs of 4.8%, 7.5% and 11.5% respectively. This provides valuable insights into research opportunities. For example furfural from sugarcane bagasse is an established process although the integration of furfural production with ethanol is less well understood. The IRR for the ethanol scenario was 14.7%, which is below the investment criteria, but given the technological maturity it may still be considered for investment. The scenarios which met the investment criteria were the combined ethanol and lactic acid, and the methanol scenarios with IRRs of 20.5% and 16.7%, respectively. These assessments show that the production of biochemicals from lignocellulose can be commercially viable. In addition, this assessment have provided valuable insights for research to improve the commercial viability of additional chemicals and scenarios. This has led to further assessments of the production of itaconic acid, succinic acid, citric acid, xylitol, polyhydroxybutyrate, polyethylene, glucaric acid and glutamic acid.

Keywords: Biorefineries, methanol, Ethanol, sugar mill

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4 One Dimensional Reactor Modeling for Methanol Steam Reforming to Hydrogen

Authors: Mingchuan Zhou, Hongfang Ma, Weiyong Ying, Haitao Zhang

Abstract:

One dimensional pseudo-homogenous modeling has been performed for methanol steam reforming reactor. The results show that the models can well predict the industrial data. The reactor had minimum temperature along axial because of endothermic reaction. Hydrogen productions and temperature profiles along axial were investigated regarding operation conditions such as inlet mass flow rate and mass fraction of methanol, inlet temperature of external thermal oil. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, low inlet temperature, and high mass fraction of methanol decreased minimum temperature along axial. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, high mass fraction of methanol, and high inlet temperature of thermal oil made cold point forward. Low mass fraction, high mass flow rate, and high inlet temperature of thermal oil increased hydrogen production. One dimensional models can be a guide for industrial operation.

Keywords: Modeling, methanol, reactor, Steam reforming

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3 Synthesis of Methanol through Photocatalytic Conversion of CO₂: A Green Chemistry Approach

Authors: Parimal Pal, Sankha Chakrabortty, Biswajit Ruj

Abstract:

Methanol is one of the most important chemical products and intermediates. It can be used as a solvent, intermediate or raw material for a number of higher valued products, fuels or additives. From the last one decay, the total global demand of methanol has increased drastically which forces the scientists to produce a large amount of methanol from a renewable source to meet the global demand with a sustainable way. Different types of non-renewable based raw materials have been used for the synthesis of methanol on a large scale which makes the process unsustainable. In this circumstances, photocatalytic conversion of CO₂ into methanol under solar/UV excitation becomes a viable approach to give a sustainable production approach which not only meets the environmental crisis by recycling CO₂ to fuels but also reduces CO₂ amount from the atmosphere. Development of such sustainable production approach for CO₂ conversion into methanol still remains a major challenge in the current research comparing with conventional energy expensive processes. In this backdrop, the development of environmentally friendly materials, like photocatalyst has taken a great perspective for methanol synthesis. Scientists in this field are always concerned about finding an improved photocatalyst to enhance the photocatalytic performance. Graphene-based hybrid and composite materials with improved properties could be a better nanomaterial for the selective conversion of CO₂ to methanol under visible light (solar energy) or UV light. The present invention relates to synthesis an improved heterogeneous graphene-based photocatalyst with improved catalytic activity and surface area. Graphene with enhanced surface area is used as coupled material of copper-loaded titanium oxide to improve the electron capture and transport properties which substantially increase the photoinduced charge transfer and extend the lifetime of photogenerated charge carriers. A fast reduction method through H₂ purging has been adopted to synthesis improved graphene whereas ultrasonication based sol-gel method has been applied for the preparation of graphene coupled copper loaded titanium oxide with some enhanced properties. Prepared photocatalysts were exhaustively characterized using different characterization techniques. Effects of catalyst dose, CO₂ flow rate, reaction temperature and stirring time on the efficacy of the system in terms of methanol yield and productivity have been studied in the present study. The study shown that the newly synthesized photocatalyst with an enhanced surface resulting in a sustained productivity and yield of methanol 0.14 g/Lh, and 0.04 g/gcat respectively, after 3 h of illumination under UV (250W) at an optimum catalyst dosage of 10 g/L having 1:2:3 (Graphene: TiO₂: Cu) weight ratio.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, methanol, CO2 Capture, photocatalytic conversion

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2 A Functional Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Mobile Applications: Design and Performance Analysis

Authors: Jure Galović, Peter Hofmann

Abstract:

Thermochemical energy storage (TCES), as a long-term and lossless energy storage principle, provides a contribution for the reduction of greenhouse emissions of mobile applications, such as passenger vehicles with an internal combustion engine. A prototype of a TCES system, based on reversible sorption reactions of LiBr composite and methanol has been designed at Vienna University of Technology. In this paper, the selection of reactive and inert carrier materials as well as the design of heat exchangers (reactor vessel and evapo-condenser) was reviewed and the cycle stability under real operating conditions was investigated. The performance of the developed system strongly depends on the environmental temperatures, to which the reactor vessel and evapo-condenser are exposed during the phases of thermal conversion. For an integration of the system into mobile applications, the functionality of the designed prototype was proved in numerous conducted cycles whereby no adverse reactions were observed.

Keywords: methanol, thermochemical energy storage, dynamic applications, LiBr composite, performance of TCES system, sorption process

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1 Modeling and Optimization of a Microfluidic Electrochemical Cell for the Electro-Reduction of CO₂ to CH₃OH

Authors: Barzin Rajabloo, Martin Desilets

Abstract:

First, an electrochemical model for the reduction of CO₂ into CH₃OH is developed in which mass and charge transfer, reactions at the surface of the electrodes and fluid flow of the electrolyte are considered. This mathematical model is developed in COMSOL Multiphysics® where both secondary and tertiary current distribution interfaces are coupled to consider concentrations and potentials inside different parts of the cell. Constant reaction rates are assumed as the fitted parameters to minimize the error between experimental data and modeling results. The model is validated through a comparison with experimental data in terms of faradaic efficiency for production of CH₃OH, the current density in different applied cathode potentials as well as current density in different electrolyte flow rates. The comparison between model outputs and experimental measurements shows a good agreement. The model indicates the higher hydrogen evolution in comparison with CH₃OH production as well as mass transfer limitation caused by CO₂ concentration, which are consistent with findings in the literature. After validating the model, in the second part of the study, some design parameters of the cell, such as cathode geometry and catholyte/anolyte channel widths, are modified to reach better performance and higher faradaic efficiency of methanol production.

Keywords: Modeling, methanol, Carbon Dioxide, electrochemical reduction

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