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Keywords:

  • methanol synthesis;
  • reaction kinetics;
  • process intensification;
  • multifunctional reactor;
  • mathematical modeling

Methanol synthesis was carried out at 25 bar in slit formed by two parallel plates 5 mm apart. Upper plate was covered by catalyst layer and heated up to 250°C, whereas lower one was kept at about 30°C. Reaction stream in laminar flow consisted of H2, CO2, and CO in concentration range usually encountered in industrial processes. Catalyst layer was prepared by spraying CuO/ZnO/Al2O3/V2O3 slurry on SS-plate. Continuous removal of methanol and water by condensation on the cool surface shifted equilibrium toward products formation. At isothermal conditions with no temperature gradient in slit, total carbon conversion approached the thermodynamic equilibrium when residence time was long enough. Experiments with high temperature difference showed total carbon conversion much larger compared to the thermodynamic one calculated at plate-catalyst temperature. Three-dimensional model predicted total carbon conversion for both isothermal and high temperature gradient operation reasonably well. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J 60: 613–622, 2014