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Engineering    2017, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 166 -170
Research |
Artificial versus Natural Reuse of CO2 for DME Production: Are We Any Closer?
Mariano Martín()
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Salamanca, Salamanca 37008, Spain

This work uses a mathematical optimization approach to analyze and compare facilities that either capture carbon dioxide (CO2) artificially or use naturally captured CO2 in the form of lignocellulosic biomass toward the production of the same product, dimethyl ether (DME). In nature, plants capture CO2 via photosynthesis in order to grow. The design of the first process discussed here is based on a superstructure optimization approach in order to select technologies that transform lignocellulosic biomass into DME. Biomass is gasified; next, the raw syngas must be purified using reforming, scrubbing, and carbon capture technologies before it can be used to directly produce DME. Alternatively, CO2 can be captured and used to produce DME via hydrogenation. Hydrogen (H2) is produced by splitting water using solar energy. Facilities based on both photovoltaic (PV) solar or concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies have been designed; their monthly operation, which is based on solar availability, is determined using a multi-period approach. The current level of technological development gives biomass an advantage as a carbon capture technology, since both water consumption and economic parameters are in its favor. However, due to the area required for growing biomass and the total amount of water consumed (if plant growing is also accounted for), the decision to use biomass is not a straightforward one.

Keywords Solar energy      Photovoltaic      Concentrated solar power      Biomass      Water electrolysis      Dimethyl ether     
Corresponding Authors: Mariano Martín   
Just Accepted Date: 16 March 2017   Online First Date: 13 April 2017    Issue Date: 27 April 2017
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Mariano Martí,n. Artificial versus Natural Reuse of CO2 for DME Production: Are We Any Closer?[J]. Engineering, 2017, 3(2): 166 -170 .
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