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Gas Plant
P2X Methanol Analysis Tool

Description

Methanol (CH3OH) is water-soluble and readily biodegradable and is the simplest alcohol. It is a clean-burning, biodegradable fuel, and due to its environmental and economic advantages, methanol is an attractive alternative fuel for powering ships, vehicles, cooking, and heating process.

Renewable Methanol is an ultra-low carbon chemical produced from sustainable biomass, often called bio-methanol, or from carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced from renewable electricity. The P2X Methanol Analysis Tool is part of a series of open-source and open-access tools developed to assess the viability of Power-to-X projects and supply chains. Previously released tools include outputs from HySupply Australia Germany collaboration, and include Hydrogen, Ammonia, and Shipping Analysis Tools. It is released with the intent to iteratively improve existing functionalities and data sets to provide holistic, high-level, pre-feasibility assessments for possible hydrogen projects.

The P2X Methanol Analysis Tool is a Microsoft Excel Workbook developed to model and cost methanol production via hydrogenation of captured CO2 process, using renewable energy (solar PV and wind) as a key power source and green hydrogen from an electrolyser. The tool extends beyond current state-of-the-art models, by providing the user the complete freedom to define their desired plant capacities and design a wide variety of configurations to integrate the renewable energy power source, dispatchable balancing power (e.g., battery), electrolyser and methanol production process. Solar and wind traces for various locations around Australia are preloaded into the model but the user has the option to upload their own trace data which allows the tool to be used to assess green methanol production in any location around the world. The hourly resolution of the solar and wind trace data is used to model the entire process from hydrogen generation via electrolysis through to the methanol production process. The tool also considers generally under-explored electrolyser and power plant operating factors such as variation of electrolyser efficiency with load, electrolyser/power plant efficiency degradation with operating life, and using hydrogen storage as a buffer to maintain reliable operation.
Furthermore, the tool integrates several types of balancing technology (battery, hydrogen Fuel cell, methanol fuel cell and grid power) which is used to provide dispatchable power to maintain system reliability when the renewable power generation is insufficient to meet the power demand.


A subsequent cost model then establishes the capital and operating costs associated with generating the methanol, which is then used to estimate the levelised cost of methanol through a discounted net present value analysis. Complete user control also extends to these features, allowing for their own project-specific cost assumptions. These include options for the user to set their own electrolyser and power plant system cost, with additional opportunities to explore economies of scale. These costs are then complemented with options to include additional costs or include engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and land development cost. 

Methanol Tool overview.png

NOTE: To access and use the P2X Methanol Analysis Tool – go to the link and please download the file before accessing it (the tool is a Microsoft Excel workbook - as of 13/7/2023). To download, go to 'FILE' then 'DOWNLOAD' Please check 'Downloads folder' for the file. Use of the up-to-date Excel Version (Office 365) is advised to avoid loss of functionality.

The tool is a living tool with additional features being and expected to be added as it being developed. We also encourage feedback from the user to help us improve the tool.

Feedback can be provided to  Dr. Rahman Daiyan (r.daiyan@unsw.edu.au). Please check this page from time to time for further updates.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

This work was also supported by the NSW Government, Office of Chief Scientist Office and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) funded Australia-Germany Hydrogen Value Chain Feasibility Study (HySupply)

FURTHER READING:

Van Antwerpen, J., et al. A model for assessing pathways to integrate intermittent renewable energy for e-methanol production., Int. J. Hydrogen Energy (2023), doi: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2023.04.177

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