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Direct dimethyl ether (DME) synthesis through a thermally coupled heat exchanger reactor


  • Vakili, R.
  • Pourazadi, E.
  • Setoodeh, P.
  • Eslamloueyan, R.
  • Rahimpour, M.R.


Compared to some of the alternative fuel candidates such as methane, methanol and Fischer-Tropsch fuels, dimethyl ether (DME) seems to be a superior candidate for high-quality diesel fuel in near future. The direct synthesis of DME from syngas would be more economical and beneficial in comparison with the indirect process via methanol synthesis. Multifunctional auto-thermal reactors are novel concepts in process intensification. A promising field of applications for these concepts could be the coupling of endothermic and exothermic reactions in heat exchanger reactors. Consequently, in this study, a double integrated reactor for DME synthesis (by direct synthesis from syngas) and hydrogen production (by the cyclohexane dehydrogenation) is modelled based on the heat exchanger reactors concept and a steady-state heterogeneous one-dimensional mathematical model is developed. The corresponding results are compared with the available data for a pipe-shell fixed bed reactor for direct DME synthesis which is operating at the same feed conditions. In this novel configuration, DME production increases about 600Â Ton/year. Also, the effects of some operational parameters such as feed flow rates and the inlet temperatures of exothermic and endothermic sections on reactor behaviour are investigated. The performance of the reactor needs to be proven experimentally and tested over a range of parameters under practical operating conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Vakili, R. & Pourazadi, E. & Setoodeh, P. & Eslamloueyan, R. & Rahimpour, M.R., 2011. "Direct dimethyl ether (DME) synthesis through a thermally coupled heat exchanger reactor," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 1211-1223.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:88:y:2011:i:4:p:1211-1223

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xu, Shuaiqing & Wang, Yang & Zhang, Xiao & Zhen, Xudong & Tao, Chengjun, 2012. "Development of a novel common-rail type Dimethyl ether (DME) injector," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Luu, Minh Tri & Milani, Dia & Sharma, Manish & Zeaiter, Joseph & Abbas, Ali, 2016. "Model-based analysis of CO2 revalorization for di-methyl ether synthesis driven by solar catalytic reforming," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 863-878.
    3. Chen, Hsi-Jen & Fan, Chei-Wei & Yu, Chiou-Shia, 2013. "Analysis, synthesis, and design of a one-step dimethyl ether production via a thermodynamic approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 449-456.
    4. Kang, Yinhu & Wang, Quanhai & Lu, Xiaofeng & Wan, Hu & Ji, Xuanyu & Wang, Hu & Guo, Qiang & Yan, Jin & Zhou, Jinliang, 2015. "Experimental and numerical study on NOx and CO emission characteristics of dimethyl ether/air jet diffusion flame," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 204-224.
    5. Arab Aboosadi, Z. & Jahanmiri, A.H. & Rahimpour, M.R., 2011. "Optimization of tri-reformer reactor to produce synthesis gas for methanol production using differential evolution (DE) method," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 2691-2701.
    6. Chen, Wei-Hsin & Lin, Bo-Jhih & Lee, How-Ming & Huang, Men-Han, 2012. "One-step synthesis of dimethyl ether from the gas mixture containing CO2 with high space velocity," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 92-101.
    7. Rahimpour, M.R. & Dehnavi, M.R. & Allahgholipour, F. & Iranshahi, D. & Jokar, S.M., 2012. "Assessment and comparison of different catalytic coupling exothermic and endothermic reactions: A review," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 496-512.


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