Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Holles

Abstract

Dry Reforming of Methane to Syngas other Subsequent Products

Hussain Alsukairi, Alexander Fox, Sean Kasprisin, Tim Poppert, Nykta Vovk

Chemical Engineering

University of Wyoming

Senior Design

Synthesis Gas, or syngas (a combination of Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide) can be used in a plethora of different chemical processes and processing plants. Utilizing Steam reforming of methane has been the accepted method to create syngas and it utilized on an industrial scale. Steam reforming of methane results in the formation of Carbon Dioxide (a greenhouse gas) that has to be dealt with so the impact on the environment can be minimized. Dry-reforming of methane uses Carbon Dioxide as a feed, instead of a by-product and creates a better stoichiometric amount of syngas compared to the Steam Reforming method.

Acetic acid (the desired product) is also a very common in chemical processes, and has a variety of uses. The accepted method for creating Acetic Acid from syngas is to utilize a Methanol intermediate in the process. This requires multiple reactors as well as a gas-liquid shift reaction to take place to allow for stoichiometric amounts of required feed gases. Directly converting from syngas to Acetic Acid (and other products) allowing the favorable stoichiometric amounts of syngas from dry reforming to be utilized without involving an additional reactor for the process.

The goal of the process was to determine if it was possible to directly convert methane and carbon dioxide into syngas through the dry reforming process and then directly convert it to Acetic Acid and other subsequent products for sale. The project focused on what were the necessary items to create this process and would it be economically feasible. Due to the limited amount of literature information on these processes the project’s end state was to determine what necessary steps in the research and development phases were needed to create a catalyst with certain properties to make the process technically possible, and economically viable.

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