Simulation of One-pass Dimethylether Production from Natural Gas for Potential Use in a NG/DME Dual-fuel CI Engine
A model process to produce dimethylether (DME) from natural gas (NG) was simulated in a one-pass mode (no material recycle), assuming steady-state and chemical and physical equilibrium. NG conversion to synthesis gas (syngas) via steam reforming resulted in stoichiometric numbers of 2.97 along with vapor mole fraction extremes for carbon dioxide, methane, and water. These concentrations formed an eight-trial simulation grid of syngas compositions. Simulation of DME production was performed in a dual reactor configuration with methanol formation as the intermediate compound. Solutions resulting from the subsequent adiabatic dehydration of the methanol-rich phase showed a consistent DME composition (88%). The resulting solutions and unreacted syngas streams from simulation were examined for applicability to a dual-fuel NG/DME CI engine.