Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Economical and cleaner methanol and hexamine production

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.02.03  Engineering sciences and technologies  Chemical engineering  Process system engineering 

Code Science Field
T120  Technological sciences  Systems engineering, computer technology 
T130  Technological sciences  Production technology 
T140  Technological sciences  Energy research 
T270  Technological sciences  Environmental technology, pollution control 
T350  Technological sciences  Chemical technology and engineering 
P390  Natural sciences and mathematics  Organic chemistry 
optimization, retrofit, energy saving, integration, nonlinear programming
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (6)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  01347  PhD Peter Glavič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2007 - 2009  1,122 
2.  20036  PhD Nataša Iršič Bedenik  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2008 - 2009  46 
3.  10878  PhD Anita Kovač-Kralj  Chemical engineering  Head  2007 - 2009  336 
4.  23475  PhD Damjan Krajnc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2007 - 2008  166 
5.  04009  PhD Severina Oreški  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2007 - 2009  83 
6.  28169  Bojana Žiberna  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2007 - 2008  31 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0794  University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  Maribor  5089638012  13,183 
Over recent years our research has focused on the optimization of chemical processes, one of them being methanol production in the Nafta Petrochem plant. We need to continue it because the process is very complex and needs additional research. The proposed project would include CO2 separation from purge gas. CO2 is on of the basic raw materials for methanol production, therefore, by recycling it methanol production could be enlarged and emissions of CO2 reduced. CO2 could be separated from purge gas by using a membrane or absorption system (absorber and regenerator) and recycling CO2 in the process. The increased concentration of CO2 would affect the equilibrium in the reactor and, thereby, product production could be increased. CO2 emissions could be reduced at source and so would be its environmental effect. This problem could be optimized simultaneously by using nonlinear programming (NLP). A mathematical model would include additional equations for reaction equilibrium, raw material flow rate effect, taxes of CO2 emissions, and the amount and energy balances for all the necessary process units. The model would include electricity cogeneration and heat integration. The optimisation would be carried out using the GAMS computer code. Simultaneous amount, heat, energy cogeneration, and emission optimization could increase methanol production and also produce additional profit. CO2 would be separated from outlet gas. Nafta Petrochem is planning to select the most convenient gas supplier for methanol production from: - Russia  this natural gas is contains too much methane 98 %, (the existing process) - Croatia  this natural gas is of a very quality (our previous research) - Hungary  a new 15 km long gas pipeline is needed for this natural gas supply. Methanol production using natural gas from Hungary will be simulated. A comparison between natural gases from Hungary and Russia would be carried out. Nafta Petrochem would like to increase its added value by using a new hexamine production process. Hexamine can be produced from formaldehyde and ammonia, and formaldehyde is produced from methanol. The methanol production plant has to be optimized, because methanol is a raw material for formaldehyde production, thereby – reducing the cost of the raw material would reduce the price of hexamine, too. We shall analyse and model hexamine production process in order to optimise it. Most hexamine is produced and consumed in Japan and the USA, presenting an additional positive proof that hexamine is a top chemical in military and pharmaceutical industries. Hexamine can be used for explosives, antiseptics, synthesis of antibiotic chloramphenicol, and synthesis of bactericide with alkaloids. Hexamine is very important in different processes (vulcanisation) and products: dyes, lacquers, textile, photo material, food, etc.
Significance for science
This research would be very important for the development of science, because it included chemistry, energy management, chemical engineering and process engineering disciplines. In the time of energy crisis, energy saving is very important, therefore the optimization of existing plants is more urgent and necessary. This research would be very significant for the development of science because it was be very complex and included: - reducing the use of energy and materials, and production of toxic materials - using renewable sources of energy - using renewable raw material resources - recycling in industrial processes - reducing pollution and wastage - introducing more sustainable production patterns in the industry - optimize relationship between production, pollution, technological adaptation and innovation, economic growth and development. The research is very complex, therefore it will include chemical, engineering and environmental knowledge. The research will focus on planning, simulation, integration, modelling, retrofit and optimization of processes. Reducing the energy and materials used per unit of production can contribute both to the alleviation of environmental stress and to greater economic and industrial productivity, and competitiveness.
Significance for the country
The results of our research will expand energy and material savings in co-funding organisations. The process production will be more efficient and economical because of: - reducing the use of energy and materials - using renewable resources - recycling energy and material within the industrial processes - reducing wasteful material - reducing pollution and wastage - additional product production … The cooperation between research groups and industry should intensify the efforts to use energy and resources more efficiently.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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