Published: July 2002
In this report, we have evaluated one of the most promising new applications for methanol: the conversion of methanol to light olefins. We have developed conceptual designs and economics of the two processes currently available for license�the UOP/Hydro MTO (methanol-toolefins) technology based on a modified SAPO-34 catalyst, and Lurgi's MTP (methanol-topropylene) process based on a modified ZSM-5 catalyst. Our analysis shows that both processes have product values that are competitive with those of conventional technologies when methanol is priced below 30¢/gal.
This report also presents comparative evaluations of several processes for producing formaldehyde and acetic acid, which are two commercially important derivatives of methanol. Our conceptual design and economic analysis of the recent Topsøe SR (Series Reactor) formaldehyde process indicate that the technology offers economic advantages over the conventional metal oxide-catalyzed process.