Catalytic Methanol Synthesis via Black Liquor Gasification


Biofuel production from gasified black liquor is an interesting route to decrease green house gas emissions. The only pressurised black liquor gasifier currently in pilot operation is located in Sweden. In this work, synthesis gas was taken online directly from this gasifier, purified from hydrocarbons and sulphur compounds and for the first time catalytically converted to methanol in a bench scale equipment. Methanol was successfully synthesised during 45 h in total and the space time yield of methanol produced at 25 bar pressure was 0.16-0.19 g methanol/(g catalyst h). The spent catalyst exposed to gas from the gasifier was slightly enriched in calcium and sodium at the inlet of the reactor and in boron and nickel at the outlet of the reactor. Calcium, sodium and boron likely stem from black liquor whereas nickel probably originates from the stainless steel in the equipment. A slight deactivation, reduced surface area and mesoporosity of the catalyst exposed to gas from the gasifier were observed but it was not possible to reveal the origin of the deactivation. In addition to water, the produced methanol contained traces of hydrocarbons up to C4, ethanol and dimethyl ether.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Black liquor gasification; Deactivation; Methanol synthesis; SEM; TEM; Trace element

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2012