29 Jul '12, 9am

China's coal to chemical future

China's coal to chemical future

The primary raw chemical input produced from coal is methanol, which is produced through coal gasification and subsequently methanol synthesis and refining (see picture below for overview of process steps). Figure 1 - Block flow diagram of coal to methanol synthesis. Source: Inouye et al. 2008 Today methanol is used to produce a wide variety of chemicals including formaldehyde, MTBE, acetic acid, DME, esters, olefins and other products. These are used for fuels, pesticides, medicines, plastics, fibres, resins etc. China currently produces approximately 25% of the world’s output of Methanol. Figure 2 - Products produced in the coal to chemical's industry of today. Source: Yang and Jackson 2012 The current status of China’s coal to chemical industry. Since 2000 China has been investing an increasing amount into producing coal based petrochemicals, substituting for traditiona...

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9371

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