Power to Fuel - Techno-Economic Analysis of Green Methanol Production in UAE

  • Mohammed Shaikh Abdul Qader Bin Afif

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Rapidly declining costs of renewable energy technologies have made solar and wind the cheapest sources of energy in many parts of the world. This has been seen primarily as enabling the rapid decarbonization of the electricity sector, but low-cost, low-carbon energy can have great secondary impact by enabling and reducing the costs of energy-intensive decarbonization efforts in other areas. In this study we consider, by way of an exemplary carbon capture & utilization cycle based on mature technologies, the energy requirements of the 'industrial carbon cycle', an emerging paradigm in which industrial CO2 emissions are captured and reprocessed into useful products including chemicals and fuels, and assess the impact of declining renewable energy costs on the overall economics of these processes. In our exemplary process, CO2 is captured from a cement production facility via a solar thermal amine scrubbing process and combined with hydrogen produced by solar-powered polymer electrolyte membrane, electrolysis to produce methanol. We show that solar heat and electricity generation costs currently realized in the Middle East lead to a large reduction in the cost of this process relative to baseline assumptions found in published literature, and the extrapolation of current energy price trends into the near future would bring costs down to the level of current fossil-fuel based processes.
Date of AwardDec 2021
Original languageAmerican English

Keywords

  • Renewable Energy Transition
  • Solar Energy
  • Carbon Capture and Utilisation
  • Hydrogen
  • Methanol
  • Techno-Economic Analysis.

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