The general objectives of the OCMOL project, focussed on the development of an alternative chemical route based on oxidative coupling of methane followed by oligomerization to liquids, are twofold: 1. To develop a small-scale process: process intensification via cutting-edge micro reactor technologies will enable to skip the expensive scaling up stage to provide a proof of concept of the OCMOL liquefaction route for companies to make go/ no go decisions. 2. To develop a fully integrated process, which will be self-sufficient through the re-use and the recycling of by-products at every process stages. Such an innovative route offers 4 main advantages: 1. An economic operation at capacities of 100 kT/year, which is nowadays not possible by using state of the art technologies. 2. An operation at more uniform pressure levels 3. The flexibility of product streams 4. Low if not zero CO2 emission thus contributing to face global warming. The OCMOL route to convert natural gas into liquid fuel will encompass methane oxidative coupling, methane dry reforming, membrane/PSA separation and oligomerization. Process intensification, such as the integration between methane oxidative coupling reactor, dry reforming reactor, and membranes integration will be one of the main challenges addressed to improve the energy efficiency of the whole process. A strong focus will be put on cutting-edge material science to develop effective catalysts/membranes which are of paramount importance to implement the innovative processes foreseen. Moreover, micro reactor technologies will be adopted to investigate novel reactor designs necessary to ensure the efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of the OCMOL solution.
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